These Truths PDF by Jill Lepore

These Truths PDF by Jill Lepore

Download These Truths PDF book free by Jill Lepore – These Truths: A History of the United States: In the most ambitious one volume American history in decades, award winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Buy from Amazon

These Truths PDF

Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation 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. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise? These Truths PDF

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 traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth century party machine, from talk radio to twenty first century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News.(Free PDF Books)

Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well known and lesser known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism.These Truths PDF

Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. “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. “The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden,” These Truths observes. “It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it.”127 illustrations

Editorial Reviews – These Truths PDF Review

An Amazon Best Book of September 2018:: It takes an ambitious historian to write a single volume history of the United States: Enter Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer. These Truths sets out first to remind people how the United States got its start. The “truths,” as Thomas Jefferson called them, were political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But Lepore also notes that history is a form of inquiry, something to be questioned, discussed, disputed. Has this country lived up to These Truths? she asks. The answer, as you might expect, is yes and no (though more yes than no). And the book itself is engrossing and even-handed, examining our contradictions—like a land of liberty supporting slavery—and singling out important historical figures, some well-known—like Benjamin Franklin—as well as others who were key voices in their time, but have since been left on history’s curb—like Mary Lease, leading voice of the People’s Party. As the book traces wars, policy decisions, and national debates, one can’t help but feel that the arguments we are seeing today have been carried out all throughout our history. When the final chapter (America, Disrupted) brings us to Obama, and then Trump, the narrative has lost no steam—rather, it has coalesced into a national story approaching coherence, something resembling the Founding Fathers’ more perfect union, though never actually perfect. –Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review


“[B]rilliant…insightful…It isn’t until you start reading it that you realize how much we need a book like this one at this particular moment.”
– Andrew Sullivan, New York Times Book Review

“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 (editors’ choice)

“[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

“Jill Lepore is an extraordinarily gifted writer, and These Truths is nothing short of a masterpiece of American history. By engaging with our country’s painful past (and present) in an intellectually honest way, she has created a book that truly does encapsulate the American story in all its pain and all its triumph.”
– Michael Schaub, NPR

“Lepore’s brilliant book, These Truths, rings as clear as a church bell, the lucid, welcome yield of clear thinking and a capable, curious mind.”
– Karen R. Long, Newsday

“This vivid history brings alive the contradictions and hypocrisies of the land of the free.”
– David Aaronovitch, The Times

“A history for the 21st century, far more inclusive than the standard histories of the past.”
– Guardian

“Monumental…a crucial work for presenting a fresh and clear-sighted narrative of the entire story…exciting and page-turningly fascinating, in one of those rare history books that can be read with pleasure for its sheer narrative energy.”
– Simon Winchester, New Statesman

“Jill Lepore is that rare combination in modern life of intellect, originality, and style.”
– Amanda Foreman, Times Literary Supplement

“In her epic new work, Jill Lepore helps us learn from whence we came.”
– O, The Oprah Magazine


A nightmare of whopper errors of fact plus errors of interpretation

This book has been heavily touted.

That makes it all the more disconcerting to see an error as early as page 8 and a whopper to boot.

Indeed, beyond that as representative of numerous errors of fact, there’s numerous arguable errors of interpretation, and dubious decisions what to contain and what to omit.(Free PDF Books)

Behind THAT, as Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, as far as I can tell, there’s no “there” there. These Truths PDF

With that, let’s dig in.

Page 8: No, pre-Columbian American Indians did NOT herd pigs because there were none in the New World!
18: Contra Lepore, plenty of plants went from New World to Old, and quickly became common parts of Old World diets. Tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, maize and chiles are the obvious ones.
33: Kind-of sort-of on the Virginia Colony. Its original grant went to today’s Canadian border on the coast; a reformulation in 1609 changed that. Hence the worries of the Separtists fears of settling in Plimouth in 1620, even though they had no charter from the crown for anywhere.

By page 45 or so, I realized that I would find little to nothing in the book in the way of facts that were new to me.These Truths PDF

So, I started skipping and grokking. (Flame me, those who will.)

116ff. Ignores larger background of Shays Rebellion, and issues related to this in the Washington Administration, ie, the promissory notes for land offered to veterans, speculation on them and repurchase, etc.
145: America had political factions, and alliances, of various sorts long before federalists and anti-federalists. And the Founders knew that. 1790s newspapers did not spring parties into being, and the Founders should have known that.(Free PDF Books)

World War I take? Wasting pages on Germany being criticized by fundamentalists for higher criticism, and making that the intro to Bryan and Scopes, with almost zero coverage of the controversy over entry into the war itself, and Bryan’s time as Secretary of State? Horrible. As for Wilson’s health, he arguably had at least one mild-moderate stroke, and more than one mini-strokes or TIAs, a few years before the War.

242: Polk couldn’t have “wanted to acquire Florida,” as the U.S. had acquired it all by 1821
242: Russia had renounced its Oregon claims by the time Polk became President. Spain had in the Adams-Onis treaty sidebars, and thus, any later Mexican claims (contra Lepore, there surely weren’t) would be rejected by the US anyway.These Truths PDF
250: No, the Mexican War boundary line did NOT end up at the 36th parallel of latitude after Polk allegedly gave up on seeking the 26th parallel. El Paso is at the 32nd parallel. The Mexico-California border is approximately 32°30’. Also, I’ve never seen claims that Polk wanted Mexico down to the 26th parallel. Indeed, Polk even specifically mentions the 32nd parallel in his December, 1847 State of the Union. (I’ll put a URL in comments, because AMAZON!)

(I jumped back here after moving ahead to WWI, as she said little about Spanish settlement in today’s Southwest. She had little more on New Mexico of wartime Mexico’s possession.)

Even worse, on her Polk land-seeking claims, this heavily footnoted book had NO footnotes.These Truths PDF

406: No, most the world did NOT support “free trade” before WWI.
408: No, the 1924 immigration bill did not make immigrant proportional to current (of that time) population. It went back to the ethnic numbers of the 1890 Census.
410: I see no need to put “illegal alien” in scare quotes after first reference.
450: Doesn’t mention FDR playing a behind-the-scenes role in the defeat of Upton Sinclair. Doesn’t even mention that he refused to publicly endorse him. Doesn’t mention that he tried to get Sinclair to drop out and that support was offered to GOP incumbent Merriam when he refused.
452: No, the American PR factory was not democracy’s answer to fascism. In the US, it goes back at least as far as Teddy Roosevelt. And LePore even mentions Emil Hurja’s pre-1933 work. David Greenberg has the correct answers on all of this in “Republic of Spin.” (I’ll put a URL in comments, because AMAZON!) Free PDF Books
548: AFL-CIO (and big biz) opposed Truman’s national health care plan, not just AMA. The unions saw health insurance as a recruiting tool.
717: Given that Bush v Gore was the apotheosis of a further rightward shift of the Supreme Court, it gets short shrift.

Basically, after I got a little way into the book, I began wondering what her intended audience was, and what her angle was. I had in mind something like Howard Zinn’s book. Zinn had several errors of interpretation, but he had an interpretive focus.

With LePore, as noted, it seems to be no “there” there, per Gertrude Stein. Yes, she goes intellectual with the extended references to John Locke. Yes, she goes deep history with several pages about Magna Carta (without telling you it was honored by English kings more in the breach than the observance up to the time of Charles I). Free PDF Books

Then I realized: Her target audience is readers of the New Yorker plus non-social science batchelor’s level Harvard grads or something like that. Socially liberal — the repeated las Casas references as an example — but not economically leftist or close.

Wikipedia says: She has said, “History is the art of making an argument about the past by telling a story accountable to evidence”.

I’m still not sure what argument she was trying to make in the whole book. I eventually grew tired of trying to figure it out. These Truths PDF

I did learn tidbits and things, and learn enough about Lepore’s writing, not to one-star it. Plus, I thought a two-star review would be less easily dismissed. That is, until Amazon being Amazon refused to accept the initial review because it had URLs in the body of the review.

So, Amazon, one-starred it here because of THAT!

Details: These Truths PDF

  • Full Book Name – These Truths
  • Author of this Book – Jill Lepore
  • Language – English
  • Book Genre – Non-Fiction, History, Literature, Politics
  • Download Format – PDF
  • Size – 66.2 MB
  • eBook Pages – 765

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Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale in 1995. Her first book, “The Name of War,” won the Bancroft Prize; her 2005 book, “New York Burning,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2008 she published “Blindspot,” a mock eighteenth-century novel, jointly written with Jane Kamensky. Lepore’s most recent book, “The Whites of Their Eyes,” is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

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