A Documentary History of the United States

A Documentary History of the United States

Expanded and Updated Ninth Edition

Written by:
Written by: Alexander Heffner
Introduction by:
Introduction by: Alexander Heffner

Mass Market Paperback
Additional Formats
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • ISBN 9780451466471
  • 688 Pages
  • Signet
  • Adult


Here, in a single volume, are the documents, speeches, and letters that have forged American history, accompanied by interpretations of their significance by noted historian and broadcaster Richard D. Heffner with online journalist Alexander Heffner.
Among the important documents in this book you will find:
  • The complete text of the Declaration of Independence
  • The complete Constitution of the United States
  • The Monroe Doctrine
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” Speech
  • John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech
  • Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Addresses, 1981 and 1985
  • Documents relating to September 11, 2001
 This edition has been expanded and updated to include: 
  • A new chapter on the Bush/Cheney Administration and the First and Second Election and Inauguration of Barack Obama as the Forty-Fourth President of the United States
More Than One Million Copies Sold!


“Richard Heffner has assembled a portable canon of American documents that take us across the depth and breadth of our national experience. Here is fertile soil for exploring our past and imagining our future. Present crises notwithstanding, you cannot spend time within these pages and be skeptical of our capacity to overcome, survive, and thrive in the endless, vexing, and robust pursuit of a more perfect union.”—Bill Moyers
“For those who want the raw materials of American history, here is the invaluable source. An indispensable contribution to the understanding of our heritage.”—Robert A. Caro, author of the Pulitzer  Prize–winning The Power Broker and the #1 New York Times bestseller Master of the Senate
“Whether you are a student of American history, a casual browser, or a speaker in need of a timely quote, you will benefit from having ready access to this excellent collection of important documents from Tom Paine’s Common Sense to Bill Clinton’s 1998 State of the Union Address.”—Derek Bok, Emeritus President and the 300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University
“Words make history, and Richard Heffner has assembled the most important words that have defined America’s journey from the Revolution to the present. Imaginatively selected and judiciously annotated, the documents in this collection capture the full range of the nation’s colorful, consequential, and often contentious history. Simply the best such anthology available.”—David M. Kennedy, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Freedom from Fear
“A superb collection of documents, skillfully edited, with an edifying introduction to each chapter. An indispensable reference work for history buffs.”—Kenneth M. Stampp, author of The Causes of the Civil War
A Documentary History of the United States presents the vital documents of American history with incisive and informed commentary—an invaluable resource for the student, the teacher, and the history buff.”—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author of A Thousand Days and A Life in the 20th Century