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History Department

Modern American Lives

Individuals and Issues in American History Since 1945 (M.E. Sharpe, 2008)

This book acquaints students with the lives of a variety of influential Americans, both famous and lesser-known, who decisively shaped the course of events in the decades following World War II. Through those lives, it provides a comprehensive examination of the critical issues that determined the course of modern American history.

The individuals presented in these narrative biographies significantly, and sometimes decisively, impacted contemporary American life in a wide range of areas, including national politics, foreign policy, social and political activism, popular and literary culture, sports, and business.

"Modern American Lives is a wonderful book. These highly readable biographies of men and women who have shaped recent U.S. history illuminate important political, diplomatic, social, and cultural trends of these decades. The introductions and other supporting materials enhance the work's value and embed the biographies firmly within their historical context. From George Kennan to Noam Chomsky, Marilyn Monroe to Tiger Woods, every biography provides a rich harvest of perceptive insights." -- Paul S. Boyer, University of Wisconsin