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These Truths: A History of the United States (Paperback)

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Lepore is both a provoking historian & modern-day political journalist in These Truths.  She identifies the Constitutional framers’ standards of “political equality,” “natural rights,” and “sovereignty of the people,” then she investigates how these ideas measure up before Washington crossed the Delaware, over the Mason/Dixon line, and into the Trump White House.  Lepore offers us more than U.S. history; she explores America’s ever-evolving political landscape, while questioning our Constitution.

— Faith

As a master of her craft, Lepore has given us another astounding book in a line of memorable reads. Never before, however, has her scope broadened to all of American political history. While raising the profile of women and non-white men, Lepore has covered all the bases and created a work to be savored over time. This belongs on the shelf of every history buff and its ideas will surely become a part of the American tapestry.

— Andrew


“Nothing short of a masterpiece.”—NPR Books

A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book of the Year

In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation.

Widely hailed for its “sweeping, sobering account of the American past” (New York Times Book Review), Jill Lepore’s one-volume history of America places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—“these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?

These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore wrestles with the state of American politics, the legacy of slavery, the persistence of inequality, and the nature of technological change. “A nation born in contradiction… will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history,” Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. With These Truths, Lepore has produced a book that will shape our view of American history for decades to come.

About the Author

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and is also a staff writer at The New Yorker. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, her many books include the international bestseller These Truths and This America.

Praise For…

It isn’t until you start reading it that you realize how much we need a book like this one at this particular moment.… Brilliant.
— Andrew Sullivan - New York Times Book Review

[These Truths] captures the fullness of the past, where hope rises out of despair, renewal out of destruction, and forward momentum out of setbacks.

— Jack E. Davis - Chicago Tribune

It is the story of a nation, multiracial at its founding, and those who sought to find ways to realize ‘these truths.’
— John S. Gardner - Guardian

This sweeping, sobering account of the American past is a story not of relentless progress but of conflict and contradiction, with crosscurrents of reason and faith, black and white, immigrant and native, industry and agriculture rippling through a narrative that is far from completion.
— New York Times Book Review

[Lepore’s] one-volume history is elegant, readable, sobering; it extends a steadying hand when a breakneck news cycle lurches from one event to another, confounding minds and churning stomachs.
— Jennifer Szalai - New York Times

Those devoted to an honest reckoning with America’s past have their work cut out for them. Lepore’s book is a good place to start.
— H. W. Brands - Washington Post

Sweeping and propulsive.
— Boris Kachka - Vulture

In her epic new work, Jill Lepore helps us learn from whence we came.
— Natalie Beach - O, Oprah Magazine

Gripping, moving, and beautifully written.
— Evan Thomas - Boston Globe

A splendid rendering—filled with triumph, tragedy, and hope—that will please Lepore’s readers immensely and win her many new ones.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393357424
ISBN-10: 0393357422
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 960
Language: English