These Truths

These Truths

Series: 20 giftable books 2020
Genre: Nonfiction

Take a closer look at American history with Jill Lepore's sweeping overview, beginning in 1492. The title comes from “these truths,” as Jefferson called them: political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. The book explores whether those truths have held up over the course of our nation's history. Lepore is a gifted writer, and her impeccable research reveals nuance behind our typical textbook version of events. Bonus: this one is in paperback! No matter which historical time period your loved one is obsessed with, this book will cover it and shed light on a new perspective.

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About the Book

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.

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