There is a tradition of one-volume narrative histories of the United States in which the political, military, diplomatic, social, and economic strands are skillfully interwoven. Rather than add to these volumes, The Epic of America paints a sweeping picture of the diverse past that has created America's national story. In this important narrative, James Truslow Adams reviews how the ordinary American has matured over time in outlook, character, and opinion.

Adams grew increasingly conscious of how different an American is now from the man or woman of any other advanced nation. He is equally interested in the whole of American history, how it began, and what it represented in the first half of the twentieth century. Adams traces the historical origins of the American concept of "bigger and better," attitudes toward business, the American Dream, and other characteristics generally considered "typically American."

Ever since America became an independent nation, each generation has seen an uprising of its citizens to save the American Dream from forces seeking to overwhelm and dispel it. Possibly the greatest of these struggles is still ahead not a struggle of revolutionists against established order, but of the ordinary person who seeks to hold fast to the rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This classic book is valuable for a new age and as important for this new century as it was when originally written.

chapter |19 pages


chapter 1|22 pages

The Men of Destiny

chapter 2|25 pages

A Civilization Established

chapter 3|24 pages

America Secedes from the Empire

chapter 4|24 pages

The Nation Finds Itself

chapter 5|27 pages

America Secedes from the Old World

chapter 6|28 pages

The Sun Rises in the West

chapter 7|30 pages

The North Begins to Hustle

chapter 8|31 pages

Manifest Destiny Lays a Golden Egg

chapter 9|34 pages

Brothers’ Blood

chapter 10|37 pages

The End of the Frontier

chapter 11|35 pages

The Flag Outruns the Constitution

chapter 12|25 pages

The Age of the Dinosaurs

chapter 13|34 pages

America Revisits the Old World

chapter |17 pages