Defining Documents in American History: Dissent & Protest Review

“This two-volume series is part of the Defining Documents in American History series. The 93 primary source documents with their essays are divided into eight sections: From Colonies to Nation; Slavery and Abolition; Sectional Conflict, Civil War, and Reconstruction; Native American Dissent; African American Civil Rights; Women's Rights; Political and Social Protest; and Anti-War Activism. Each essay that accompanies the primary source document includes a summary overview, defining moment, author biography, document analysis, and essential themes, followed by a bibliography and further reading section. The book examines a broad range of dissent and protest movements from 1635 to 2017, with a diversity of texts including government reports, laws, treaties, trial notes, letters, political and religious sermons, pamphlets, speeches, and diplomatic communications. The appendixes include a chronological list that arranges all the documents discussed by year, a Web resources section for various supplemental resources, and an overall bibliography. I highly recommend this book for high school and academic libraries, given that it covers a broad range of protest and dissent movements in the United States along with their primary source documents.”

“Finding a primary document can be relatively straightforward on the internet, but comprehending its message and impact can be more difficult for novice scholars. Salem Press's editor has pulled together documents to illuminate the study of American history in this "Defining Documents in American History" series. The 93 documents assembled here range from the Colonial period (e.g., "Declaration of Protestant Subjects in Maryland") to the modern day, but some are merely excerpts from much longer texts. Sections cover civil rights publications, along with political and social protests (e.g., Huey Long's "Share Our Wealth" speech) and statements from anti-war activists and women's rights advocates. The real value of this set is the added material explaining the background and context of each document, whose role and importance students need to understand. This additional material includes a summary overview of the document, why it was a defining moment in American history, the author's biography, and analysis of the content. Illustrations and glossaries of terms are scattered throughout, and at the end there is a chronological list of documents and a page of web resources…Documentation that might helpfully complement the materials in this series would include articles from Salem's "Decades in America," "Great Lives from History," or "Great Events from History" series. This work is most suitable for high school or beginning college students; instructors may also be interested in using the set as supplemental reading for their courses. Online access comes with purchase of the print edition…

Summing Up: Recommended.”