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American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Who Built America?

ASHP/CML's award-winning textbook, Who Built America? is currently being expanded and developed into a free, online fourth edition.  The Who Built America? multimedia materials are the foundation of ASHP/CML’s work. Intended for classroom use and general audiences, they are designed to reshape the way U.S. history is taught and learned. The award-winning materials include a two-volume college-level textbook; a series of ten half-hour video streaming documentaries with accompanying viewer guides; and two CD-ROMs that are now being developed into the new online edition. The Who Built America? Open Educational Resource will be available in 2021 and will incorporate a newly expanded narrative along with hundreds of primary source documents, images, maps, charts, and newly created teaching resources. The OER will be fully customizable, allowing faculty to create their own course text.

Who Built America? stands out from other textbooks in the clarity of its focus. The labor theme serves as an excellent framework, allowing the authors to synthesize most of the events in the standard chronology of history while still providing a distinctive perspective.”
– Lawrence A. Peskin, Morgan State University

Who Built America? offers a unique synthesis of U.S. history that draws upon the best scholarship on “ordinary” Americans – artisans, slaves, small proprietors, tenant farmers, women working in the home, and factory, white-collar, and service workers – and integrates their stories into a full picture of the nation’s historical development. Who Built America? represents the realization of one of ASHP/CML’s original and most important goals: the creation of an accessibly written and illustrated synthesis of U.S. history. The two volumes have been adopted over the past twenty years in hundreds of college community college courses around the country and remain popular texts for U.S. survey courses as well as labor history and immigration history courses.

Who Built America? on CD-ROM represents an astounding innovation for history textbooks. The interactive quizzes, graphics, sound (including original recordings of songs and speeches), and even early movies makes this already innovative book into an exciting new teaching tool.”
–Sara Evans, University of Minnesota

ASHP/CML is continuing its multimedia and teaching innovation with the Who Built America? Open Educational Resource. Our two earlier CD-ROM projects, Who Built America? From the Centennial Celebration of 1876 to the Great War of 1914 (Voyager, 1993), and Who Built America? From the Great War of 1914 to the Dawn of the Atomic Age in 1946 (Worth, 2001), became one of the first digital histories widely used in high school and college classrooms. Receiving  outstanding notices and reviews, the CD-ROM project won the 1994 American Historical Association James Harvey Robinson Prize for “outstanding contribution to teaching.” The new digital OER edition will offer all the primary source documents from History Matters: The U.S. History Survey Online combined with new and updated teaching resources, interactive maps and charts, and streaming video. In addition to being free and fully compatible with all mobile devices, the OER will allow faculty to create a custom textbook from the existing narrative, secondary and primary sources.

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