5 thoughts on “The Story of America

  1. The Story of America consists of 20 essays Jill Lepore wrote for The New Yorker. If you like history, you’ll find it interesting, if surface-skimming, material. That is, Lepore is not diving in deep here, she’s making her point in 15 pages or so, and moving on.

    Me, I bought it strictly in hopes of using some essays for school, but Lepore’s writing, as a rule, is a bit above your average 8th grader’s ken. That’s not to say I can’t use certain excerpts. I can (and will). In these dark (bright? yet

  2. Lepore brings a lot into her essays. She is a professor of history and a staff writer on the New Yorker, where I believe all the essays here were originally published. She writes on a variety of subjects, including literature and history. And whatever she writes about, she leaves the impression of having some authority. When she writes a book review, it almost sounds like she knows the material better than the author.

    The essays here seem to be ordered somewhat in chronological order of subject,

  3. My history teacher mantra, which I repeat often to my students’ amusement, is “History is not just a bunch of stuff that happened… it’s the stories we tell ourselves about what happened.” In Jill Lepore, I have found a kindred spirit. In the essays that comprise “The Story of America”, Lepore explores many of the stories that make up Americans’ knowledge of our history. Along the way, she fills in many gaps and emends many misconceptions- but never in a sophomoric “Lies My Teacher Told Me” fashi

  4. A collection of short essays by one of our best ‘storytelling’ historians, this work is a joy to read. All but one essay appeared in The New Yorker; the exception, the Longfellow, appeared in The American Scholar. Although the author is a Harvard history professor, these essays are not ‘academic history’. Although they embody solid scholarship and fresh insights, they are best characterized as ‘historical stories’. Are written in a style so entertaining that it rivals the best fiction in its app

  5. I’ve loved any New Yorker essay that I’ve read by Lepore, so I suppose I picked up this book with a bit of a bias. However, these essays actually surpassed my expectations. They are so fun to read because each essay looks deeply at a small little part of American history (one of my favorites was about how the physical act of casting a vote changed throughout history). In addition to her ability to find interesting stories to tell, Lepore is also an amazing writer–I loved her wit, her touch of s

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