First published in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has become a standard text. It focuses heavily on how the major events in US history impacted minorities, women, and the poor. Fast paced and conversational, A People’s History of the United States is worth picking up if you don’t think you got a good handle on US history in school or if an American history class is on your schedule for next year.
I also think it is worth reading for non-Americans. Being an American can lead to some cultural myopia. Our cultural output is seen worldwide, our internal politics are treated as globally important. We don’t always look outward as much as we should. But on the flip side, I think there is a tendency for non-Americans to think they have a thorough understanding of US history from watching The West Wing. A People’s History of the United States is a good primer for those who are interested in US history, but haven’t formally studied it. It is widely available overseas (Spanish: La Otra Historia de los Estados Unidos , French: Une Histoire Populaire des Etats-Unis).
A People’s History of the United States on Amazon