A Positive Collective

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Many history courses that are offered to students throughout their educational careers present historical events along with a positive or negative interpretation . The information that is taught in these classes therefore supports the accompanying analysis of the events. In Portrait of America, the covered material is given a positive spin. Although the authors chose to neglect negative interpretations, they included facts that serve to humanize the parties involved in each topic. This is an approach that gives students a point of view that is not often seen in other historical references. Portrait of America allows readers to see historical events and people in a new light. The book moves past the cause and effect approach of presenting topics. The collective of essays in Portrait of America includes many facts that would normally be considered too trivial to be included in a common history course. These facts such as the likes and dislikes of the influential parties involved in the subjects of American presidents and the changing role of women in society allow the reader to form a better understanding of each individual. Portrait of America is a worthwhile addition to the course material. In most history classes former presidents are examined through their policies and time spent in office. It is not uncommon for teachers to include general information about various presidents' early lives; however, presentations on presidential figures never fully humanize the individual. Portrait of America accomplishes the task of showing that American presidents are merely humans. It includes facts about Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and others that would normally not be included in a history course's covered material... ... middle of paper ... ...or Southern background and has become one of the most successful people in America. Oprah worked her way up the ladder of television from reporter to syndicated talk show host. She also created her own production company, Harpo, and by doing so became the third woman to own her own studio. Oprah Winfrey is the woman that fulfilled the dreams of all the women who campaigned for women's rights before her time. Portrait of America is a very useful tool for history students. It provides a new perspective on individuals that are commonly addressed in history courses. Portrait of America presents facts to the reader that most teachers ignore and these facts humanize historical figures. The collection of essays provided within the text are well written, informative, and fun to read. Using Portrait of America in the course enriches the student's experience and learning.

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