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The Brief American Pageant: A History of the Republic, 9th Edition

  • David M. Kennedy
  • Lizabeth Cohen
  • Mel Piehl
  • ISBN-10: 1285193296
  • ISBN-13: 9781285193298
  • 832 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2012, 2008, 2004
  • COPYRIGHT: 2017 Published
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About the Product

THE BRIEF AMERICAN PAGEANT presents a concise and vivid chronological narrative, focusing on the central themes and great public debates that have dominated American history. Colorful anecdotes, first-person quotations, and the text’s trademark wit are all evident throughout. The strong historical narrative is highlighted by focus questions, chapter outlines and summaries, marginal glossaries, and special features such as “Makers of America”, “Examining the Evidence”, and “Thinking Globally”. Links to additional online study aids ensure that students understand and retain the material as they read and prepare for exams. Available in the following split options: Volume I: To 1877 (Chapters 1–22), ISBN: 9781285193304; Volume II: Since 1865 (Chapters 22–41), ISBN: 9781285193311.


  • Colorful anecdotes, first-person quotations, and the text’s trademark wit contribute to the book’s reputation as one of the most popular, effective, and entertaining texts in American history. The popular “Makers of America” feature brings alive not only major ethnic and social groups (the Plains Indians, Italian Americans, the Vietnamese), but also prominent social and political groups and movements (the Oneida Community, the Environmentalists, the Feminists). These exceptionally well-written essays add depth and personality to the historical presentation in the text.

  • Quote boxes sprinkled liberally throughout the chapters take students back to the period under discussion and give them a sense of what people of the time said and thought about various events, questions, and controversies.

  • “Examining the Evidence” features give students a chance to practice the art of historical thinking by showing how historians develop interpretations of the past. They cover a wide range of sources that lead students to discover: how a letter from a black freedman to his former master illuminates his family’s hopes for a new life; what the manuscript census teaches us about immigrant households in New York in 1900; how political cartoons work to make points with satire and humor; or how the shopping mall changed consumers’ behavior and politicians’ campaign tactics after World War II.

  • The maps in the text are exceedingly clear and closely linked to the textual narrative. They provide precise topographical detail and clear labels to better communicate the text’s analytical points. In addition, a global locator map in a corner of each map provides geographical context for the area under discussion.

  • Key terms are highlighted in the text and defined in the margins where they are first introduced. Both key terms and key people lists appear at the end of the chapter to help students review chapter highlights.

  • In every chapter, focus questions, chapter outlines and summaries, marginal glossaries, and links to related primary sources ensure that students understand and retain the material as they read and prepare for exams.

About the Author

David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus and co-director of The Bill Lane Center for the Study of the North American West at Stanford University. His first book, BIRTH CONTROL IN AMERICA: THE CAREER OF MARGARET SANGER, was honored with both the Bancroft Prize and the John Gilmary Shea Prize. He has won numerous teaching awards at Stanford, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in American political, diplomatic, intellectual and social history and in American literature. Dr. Kennedy published a volume in the OXFORD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, FREEDOM FROM FEAR: THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN DEPRESSION AND WAR, 1929 – 1945, for which he was honored with the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society, and he served from 2002 – 2011 on the board of the Pulitzer Prizes.

Lizabeth Cohen

Lizabeth Cohen received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies in the History department and the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. In 2007 – 2008 she was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. Previously, she taught at New York University and Carnegie Mellon University. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The author of many articles and essays, Dr. Cohen was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her first book, MAKING A NEW DEAL: INDUSTRIAL WORKERS IN CHICAGO, 1919 – 1939, for which she later won the Bancroft Prize and the Philip Taft Labor History Award. She authored A CONSUMERS' REPUBLIC: THE POLITICS OF MASS CONSUMPTION IN POSTWAR AMERICA (2003), and will soon be publishing SAVING AMERICA'S CITIES: ED LOGUE AND THE STRUGGLE TO RENEW URBAN AMERICA IN THE SUBURBAN AGE (2019), on urban renewal in American cities after World War II. At Harvard, she has taught courses in 20th-century American History, with particular attention to the intersection of social and cultural life and politics. She now oversees the Radcliffe Institute, a major center for scholarly research, creative arts and public programs.

Mel Piehl

Mel Piehl received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is professor of Humanities and History at Valparaiso University. His scholarly interests center on American intellectual and religious history, with particular emphasis on American Catholic history and the relations between religion and social thought. His book, BREAKING BREAD: THE CATHOLIC SOCIAL WORKER AND THE ORIGIN OF CATHOLIC RADICALISM IN AMERICA, was a finalist for the Robert Kennedy National Book Award. Dr. Piehl has written numerous articles on American Catholicism and American religion and social thought. He was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Dayton in 2001–2002.

Table of Contents

Part I: FOUNDING THE NEW NATION ca. 33,000 B.C.E.–1783 C.E.
1. New World Beginnings 33,000 B.C.E.–1769 C.E.
2. The Planting of English America 1500–1733.
3. Settling the Northern Colonies 1619–1700.
4. American Life in the Seventeenth Century 1607–1692.
5. Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution 1700–1775.
6. The Duel for North America 1608–1763.
7. The Road to Revolution 1763–1775.
8. America Secedes from the Empire 1775–1783.
9. The Confederation and the Constitution 1776–1790.
10. Launching the New Ship of State 1789–1800.
11. The Triumphs and Travails of the Jeffersonian Republic 1800–1812.
12. The Second War for Independence and the Upsurge of Nationalism 1812–1824.
13. The Rise of a Mass Democracy 1824–1840.
14. Forging the National Economy 1790–1860.
15. The Ferment of Reform and Culture 1790–1860.
16. The South and the Slavery Controversy 1793–1860.
17. Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy 1841–1848.
18. Renewing the Sectional Struggle 1848–1854.
19. Drifting Toward Disunion 1854–1861.
20. Girding for War: The North and the South 1861–1865.
21. The Furnace of Civil War 1861–1865.
22. The Ordeal of Reconstruction 1865–1877.
23. Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age 1869–1896.
24. Industry Comes of Age 1865–1900.
25. America Moves to the City 1865–1900.
26. The Great West and the Agricultural Revolution 1865–1896.
27. Empire and Expansion 1890–1909.
28. Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt 1901–1912.
29. Wilsonian Progressivism in Peace and War 1913–1920.
30. American Life in the “Roaring Twenties” 1920–1929.
31. The Politics of Boom and Bust 1920–1932.
32. The Great Depression and the New Deal 1933–1939.
33. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Shadow of War 1933–1941.
34. America in World War II 1941–1945.
35. The Cold War Begins 1945–1952.
36. American Zenith 1952–1963.
37. The Stormy Sixties 1963–1973.
38. Challenges to the Postwar Order 1973–1980.
39. The Resurgence of Conservatism 1980–1992.
40. America Confronts the Post-Cold War Era 1992–2000.
41. The American People Face a New Century 2001–2014.

New to this edition

  • New “Contending Voices” features offer paired quotes from original historical sources, accompanied by questions prompting students to assess conflicting perspectives on often hotly debated subjects. This feature demonstrates how and why controversial issues (e.g., the Constitution, slavery, populism, the Cold War) were argued at the time, giving students a deeper insight into the “lived history” of the period.
  • A renewed and strengthened global focus throughout the Ninth Edition helps students appreciate the American story within a worldwide context. An expanded set of “Thinking Globally” essays demonstrates how developments in North America were part of worldwide phenomena. New essays include “Alexis de Tocqueville on Democracy in America and Europe” (Chapter 13), “America and the World in Depression and War: A Study in Contrasts” (Chapter 34), and “The Global 1960s” (Chapter 37).
  • Much of the post-World War II material (Chapters 35–41) has been revised and updated. Fresh and lively discussions examine America’s postwar power and prosperity, the “challenges to the postwar order,” the rise of political conservatism, and the post-Cold War and post-9/11 developments in foreign policy. Instructors who want to engage students with recent American history -- the last 75 years -- will find insightful and exciting treatments.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor Website  (ISBN-10: 1305857348 | ISBN-13: 9781305857346)
Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130566938X | ISBN-13: 9781305669383)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text’s test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap History, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access for Kennedy/Cohen/Piehl's The Brief American Pageant: A History of the Republic  (ISBN-10: 1305669436 | ISBN-13: 9781305669437)

MindTap History for Kennedy/Cohen/Piehl’s The Brief American Pageant, 9th Edition is the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives you complete control of your course—to provide engaging content, to challenge every individual, and to build their confidence. Empower students to accelerate their progress with MindTap. MindTap: Powered by You. MindTap goes beyond an eBook and homework solution. Students easily identify chapter’s learning objectives, improve writing skills with unit-level essay assessments, read short sections from the e-book, and test their knowledge. In addition to book-specific content, MindTap’s Instructor’s Resource Center provides 4,600 searchable, curated primary source readings for your course. Engaging assignments and primary source documentation inspire critical thinking.

Student Supplements

MindTap History, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access for Kennedy/Cohen/Piehl's The Brief American Pageant: A History of the Republic  (ISBN-10: 1305669436 | ISBN-13: 9781305669437)

MindTap History for Kennedy/Cohen/Piehl’s The Brief American Pageant, 9th Edition helps you learn on your terms. INSTANT ACCESS IN YOUR POCKET. Take advantage of the MindTap Mobile App. Read or listen to the text and study with the aid of instructor notifications, flashcards, and practice quizzes. MINDTAP HELPS YOU GEAR UP FOR ULTIMATE SUCCESS. Track your scores and stay motivated toward your goals. Whether you have more work to do or are ahead of the curve, you’ll know where you need to focus your efforts. You stay engaged with real-world assignments, such as reflection activities and the essay and People to Know unit activities that make connections across chapters. MINDTAP HELPS YOU MAKE THE TEXTBOOK YOURS. No one knows what works for you better than you. Highlight key text, add notes, and create custom flashcards that can be gathered into a study guide.