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The United States, 1763-2001

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The United States, 1763-2001
By John Spiller, Tim Clancey, Stephen Young, and Simon Mosely. Spotlight History series. (London & New York, Routledge: 2005. Pg. xvi, 330. Maps, Illustrations, Charts.) ISBN: 0-415-29029-5.

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - January 24, 2006

The United States, 1763-2001 is a book on American history designed specifically as a textbook and study guide for students studying to take the AS and A-level History tests. The text is designed to prepare students to take the exam module in American history offered by the OCR, AQA, and the Edexcel boards, material contained in the A2 level exam is also covered. This book not only provides students with a concise, yet in-depth overview of United States history from 1763 through 2001, but it also provides tips that will help you prepare for these various tests.

Written by John Spiller, Tim Clancey, Stephen Young, and Simon Mosely, The United States, 1763-2001 provides a superb overview of American history during this period, and although designed for students in Great Britain, American students will also find this text invaluable when it comes to study for the AP or CLEP tests in American history. It also serves as an excellent general textbook for high school classes, and for anyone wishing to study United States history.

The text begins with a general introduction that explains the organization of the book and tips on developing relevant historical and writing skills that you will need both to understand the subject matter and when taking the test. Detailed instruction is provided on how to write an effective essay, the different styles of essays, source analysis, and the types of source-based questions that students will encounter under the OCR, AQA, and Edexcel examining boards. Throughout the book, samples of each style are offered, with notations as to which board uses a particular style.

The text is resplendent with maps, charts, chronologies, illustrations, and other supplemental material that enhances the basic text. As well, the text includes brief biographies of important personalities from the period and a glossary of key terms. Most important, throughout you will find questions with worked answers, questions without answers, examples of essay plans / outlines, and sample essays tailored to each board.

For those desiring study for their AS and A-levels, this book will provide you will invaluable insights on what to expect during the test, and how best to craft your essays and answers to meet the specific requirements of the examiners. While this text does provide an extensive overview of the material covered in the exams, it is intended to supplement, not supercede, other texts on the subject. I highly recommend this text to anyone studying for their AS or A-level history exams.

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