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Milestone Documents of American Leaders

This new edition offers a unique biographical approach to the study of primary source documents. American Leaders features important primary source documents written by the people who shaped the nation-and crucial scholarly analysis to help the documents come alive.

Conceived and produced by an expert group of teachers, librarians, and historians, Milestone Documents of American Leaders brings a unique biographical approach to the study of primary source documents. Each entry offers a number of texts from the historical figure in question as well as an in-depth, analytical essay that places the documents in their historical context. With content aligned with the National History Standards and signed essays written by a team of 60 esteemed historians, Milestone Documents of American Leaders offers an unparalleled reference tool for students conducting primary source research.

This update features influential documents written in the last 10 years including President Barack Obama's Election Night Speech in 2008, Newtown, Connecticut speech in 2012 and the State of the Union Address in 2014, plus, Chief Justice John G. Robert's Citizen's United Case of 2010, the Affordable Care Act case of 2012 and Same-sex Marriage case of 2015. In addition to the documents added to this new edition, all existing analyses have been reviewed and updated. The documents in this set cover the span of American history from the Revolutionary era to the present day, and include the most notable documents and addresses by Abraham Lincoln, Sandra Day O'Connor, Martin Luther King Jr., Abigail Adams, Ronald Reagan, and Thomas Jefferson, to name a few. 

Each entry in Milestone Documents of American Leaders begins with an overview section that outlines the importance of the historical figure and the selected documents. Subsequent sections include the following:

  • Overview provides a summary overview of the person’s output and describes his/her place in American history and his/her role as a producer of documents within the context of the time.
  • Time Line includes key events from the subject’s life and times
  • Explanation and Analysis of the Documents detailed analysis the texts of several key primary documents produced by the subject
  • Impact and Legacy Outlines the impact that the person’s writings had on his/her times and thus on American history. It also discusses the legacy of the subject and of the corresponding documents
  • Essential Quotes offers a selection of key quotes from the document 
  • Key Sources annotated bibliography of the subject’s key writings and papers 
  • Questions for Further Study includes study questions for students 
  • Bibliography lists books, articles, and Web sites for further research 
  • Full text of the primary documents
  • Glossary defines important, difficult, or unusual terms in the document texts
  • Full Text of the primary document

View All Milestone Documents Titles