Though America is a new country by the standards of earlier civilisations, its history makes up in breadth, dynamism and sheer flamboyance what it lacks in actual duration; for only a few centuries ago the most powerful single nation in the world was nothing more than a network of trading-posts. In this acclaimed short survey, Andrew Sinclair concentrates on those qualities in the American people that made their country's rapid transition not only possible but inevitable. He combines awareness of real issues with concern for documented fact. Instead of presenting us with a mere catalogue of dates, he traces the origins of the American ideal, the rural-urban conflict, the rise of the two great political parties, and analyses the effect of Puritanism on the national character. He also explains American attitudes in the age of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Updated and fully revised, this classic guides the reader on a literary journey through America's history, from Columbus to the country's first black President.
Andrew Sinclair has studied or taught at Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and Columbia Universities. He has been a publisher and a film director (his film of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, starring Peter O'Toole, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is also a classic) and has written many successful novels. He is the author of a number of historical works including Prohibition: The Era of Excess and The Better Half: The Emancipation of the American Woman as well as Dylan the Bard, a biography of Dylan Thomas, and biographies of Warren G. Harding, Jack London, J. P. Morgan and John Ford.