"Celia, A Slave" by Melton A. McLaurin. Written as fiction, but based on a true story, this is the tale of a young slave in Missouri who is raped by her master whom she then kills.
"The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family" by Annette Gordon-Reed Pulitzer Prize Winner An exploration of a sprawling multi-generation slave family that casts provocative new light on the relationship between Sally Hemings and her master, Thomas Jefferson.
"Incidents in the Life Of A Slave Girl" by Harriet Jacobs. A work that recounts the exploitation of slave women prior to the Civil War.
"The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Salome Mueller and Her Fight For Freedom in Old New Orleans" by John Bailey Great book that outlines the rights of free blacks and slaves in the South-also great description of a German immigrant's voyage to America as a Redemptioner (a form of Indentured Servant). True Story.
"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave" by Frederick Douglass. Autobiographical account of a an escaped slave who became the most celebrated African Americans of his time.
"Roots" by Alex Hailey. Classic book about slavery, written as fiction but based on family oral tradition. Well-worth the time. SEE ALSO the MOVIE/MINI-SERIES "ROOTS" based on the novel.
"Slaves In The Family" by Edward Ball A National Book Award Winner, this is part investigative journalism, part regional history and part family history. The author is descended from a prosperous slave owning family that has lived along the Cooper River just outside of Charleston, South Carolina since 1698. He investigates not only his own family, but the descendents of slaves that still live within miles of the plantations thier forefathers once worked.
"Battle Cry of Freedom" by James McPherson. A Pulitzer Prize Winner, simply the best one volume work on the Civil War. A great place to start for anyone interested in the Civil War.
"Lincoln" by David Herbert Donald. BIOGRAPHY One of the most recent and highly readable biograhies currently available on Abraham Lincoln. Great bio!
"Manhunt: The 22 Day Chase For Lincoln's Killer" by James L. Swanson Great account of the plot, assassination and pursuit of Booth. New York Times Bestseller.
"Personal Memoirs" by US Grant. Grant's AUTOBIOGRAPHY, considerd a classic of American literature, was written by Grant at the urging of his friend Mark Twain and was finished only days before Grant's death. Very factual and accurate.
"What They Fought For" by James McPherson. Great little book that uses primary accounts to establish WHY the Civil Was was fought by the common soldier.
Civil War-Historical Fiction
" Gods and Generals" by Jeff Shaara. HISTORICAL FICTION Book one of a three book trilogy, this book is a novel based on exhaustive Civil War research and traces the beginnings of the war and the opening events up to Gettysburg. Jeff Shaara wrote this book and the thrid book as a tribute to his deceased father Michael, who wrote the second book many years earlier.
"Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara. HISTORICAL FICTION A Pulitzer Prize winner for historical fiction, this is a absolutly powerful character study of the men at the battle of Gettysburg. Considerd book 2 of a 3 book triology, completed by his son, Jeff.
"Gettysburg" by Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen. HISTORICAL FICTION Great historical novel about Gettysburg and what might have been. The major players are all there, but written as an "alternate" history type book--in other words, "How might the war have been different had the Confederates won at Gettysburg?" Still, a very powerful and emotional book.
Indians and the Wild West
"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. This 1970 volume greatly changed the view of pioneers' westward advancement. Based largely on primary source materials, this volume details how white settlers forced Indian tribes off the plains, often simply by killing them.
Industrialization, Immigration and Reform
World War I
World War II
"In Harm's Way" by Douglas Stanton. On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated three hundred men were killed upon impact; close to nine hundred sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they struggled to stay alive, battered by a savage sea and fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time help arrived—nearly four days and nights later—all but 317 men had died.
"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. The story of Louis Zamperini, a wild youth, Olympic athlete, and WWII bombardier who became a Japanese POW after surviving an almost unbelievable ordeal at sea.