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Readings in American History


Admission requirements

Relevant bachelor’s degree.


This course examines some of the most important scholarly debates about American history, focusing on classic and recently-published works on such topics as the American Revolution, American liberalism, the South, immigration, the Cold War, and the women’s movement. In addition to gaining an overview of American history, the course enables students to discuss important books in depth, and to examine the methodological and ideological approaches of leading historians.
This course is a required course for North American Studies students who are starting the program in February 2013, as a replacement for “Major Issues in American History and Culture.”

Course objectives

The course aims to make students familiar with a few topics of American history, the academic debates about these topics, and the theoretical issues involved in the debates.


See timetable

Mode of instruction

Literature Seminar

Assessment method

4 book reviews of 1000 words each



Reading list

  • John Ruston Pagan, Anne Orthwood’s Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia (2003)

  • Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992)

  • Melvin Patrick Ely, Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s through the Civil War (2004)

  • Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War (1970)

  • Chandra Manning, What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War (2007)

  • Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction (1992)

  • John Morton Blum,V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture during World War II(1976)

  • Richard Hofstadter, The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It(1948)

  • John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2005)



Registration Studeren à la carte

Studeren a la carte


To be announced