American History ebooks Library
History meant nothing to me, until these two men created the phenomenal books Generations and The Fourth Turning (to learn more about Strauss and Howe, please visit them at their main web site www.lifecourse.com. Also, you can visit my generations page to see more of their work.) Once I began delving into their work I became fascinated with American History. This page is dedicated to ebooks in American History.
ebooks are a researchers dream. They are searchable and can be annotated with ease. Take Adobe Acrobat for instance. (my personal favorite). I can load an ebook in adobe and while I'm reading I can highlight passages just like a regular book. The big difference being, when I'm done with the ebook, I can tell Adobe to create a report based on my highlights. Boom. In a few seconds I have all my notes in a consolidated report. I've literally saved hours and hours of productivity time.
ebooks also provide a searching tool that is so vital in a researchers world; the ability to search text quickly. When I'm writing a paper or a book, I make statements that I usually want to back up with hard evidence. Sure, there's times I can remember which author I need to support my statement or which book the evidence is in. However, I can't remember exactly where it is in the book. The result is having to search manually through the book to look for the passage or the quote. Not my favorite task. I consider it a waste of time because I know that there's a better way.
I want to spend my time writing and reading. Not searching for a quote. With ebooks, it's instantaneous. Plug in a few words that represent the evidence I'm looking for and click search. Boom. There it is. Furthermore, I can cut and paste it into my paper without having to type it. One of the many things a researcher worries about is misquoting someone. With the cut n paste feature, it's not possible to misquote anyone. And, again. it saves so much time.
Lastly, ebooks are so cheap at the moment, it's ridiculous. I just bought 3000 for $29.95. Many are free. What I want to convey to you is that this will not last. This is a cycle and the cycle will correct itself. Many new inventions are given away or sold very cheaply to get people to try them or, like most ebooks that are in the public domain there's no one that needs to collect royalties. Many people have tried this model on the internet since its inception, especially software makers. That model is: Give it away for free. In the case of software, that is changing. Many software writers have conformed to the standard of giving away a 'lite' version or stripped down version of their software. Then, they hope you'll buy the full version at later date. No one knew that this would be the model back in the beginning of the Net. This model took years to manifest. The same model is manifesting in articles and papers on the net. Writers are giving you a piece of the article, then if you want to subscribe to the web site or pay a nominal fee for the rest of the article, you do. It's an upgrade.
The same will happen to ebooks, except in a different way.
Since the ebook itself is not proprietary, there are several things that will probably take place. 1) It won't be about the books, it'll be about the table of contents and the indexing. For example: Project Gutenberg is a massive project. It's been in place since 1970. You can read about it at their web site. It's quite fascinating. But, what this project has enabled people to do is compile massive amounts of ebooks, burn them onto CD-ROM's and sell them. Earlier I said I bought 3000 books for 29.95. That was from this project. Someone collected them, burned them, and began selling them. Then it explodes exponentially. A business opportunity is born that anyone can do from their desk top.
What hasn't been done to these CD-ROM's full of ebooks, is comprehensive organization. Something that can be used by researchers, teachers, business and everyday users. When you buy the CD-ROM it is organized with the Gutenberg index. Basically, you unzip the books and place them on your hard drive or just access them from the CD-ROM as needed. How do you access them though? How are you supposed to know what is what? Your given a searchable database. Put in the author or the book and search. The result is found and the title of the book has a corresponding number. Search again to find the number, because that's how all the books are stored: by numbers, not authors or titles. This is useless.
The true value will come from these databases when they are better organized. But that takes time. Lots and lots and lots of time. I'm currently organizing the 3000 books I bought. I'm doing 10 a day. I'll be done in three months. So, now you see what I mean about the time. The value is in having a concise, searchable and readable TOC and Index.
I have found some people who are selling ebooks on CD-ROM's, on the Internet. They are usually categorized by subject. like, American History. They may have 400 or 100 or 800, titles. The ones worth buying are the ones that are already in a searchable easy to read format and there aren't many of them. Moreover, the interesting part is that the TOC and the Indexes are copyrighted! There's the value!
The TOC on this page is copyrighted and here are the credits:
The Table of Contents for this site includes the work of "B&R Samizdat Express" Please visit their online store. I can vouch for there products! They have a TOC! Very valuable. (Copyright © 2003 Richard Seltzer)
Like I said, this cheap pricing will not last. I encourage you to get them why the goings good. They will not be around 10-15 years from now at these prices. I really wonder if it will even take that long.
Sotweed Factor by Ebenezer Cook (poem which was the source of the novel by
John Barth, set mainly in colonial Maryland)
Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay (2 of 3 volumes)
Original Writings of Samuel Adams
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
Lincoln's Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes that made Abraham Lincoln Famous as America's Greatest Story Teller, With Introduction and Anecdotes By Colonel Alexander K. McClure
Writings of Abraham Lincoln
Andersonville: a Story of Rebel Military Prisons by John McElroy
Memoirs of General William T. Sherman
Military Reminiscences of the Civil War by Jacob Cox
Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
Personal Memoirs of Philip Henry Sheridan
After Civil War
Historical Documents (all short, except Inaugural Addresses, State of the Union Speeches, and Roosevelt's Fireside Chat, which are book-length)
Articles of Confederation
After the Civil War
World War II
Combat Chronology of US Army Air Forces
After World War II
Viet Nam War
A Parody Outline of History, Wherein may be found a curiously irreverent treatment of American Historical Events, Imagining them as they would be narrated by American's most characteristic contemporary authors, by Donald Stewart
The collection and its indexes are under copyright. Please contact Richard Seltzer first if you are interested in making copies for commercial purposes. firstname.lastname@example.org
(Copyright © 2003 Richard Seltzer)
This web page is dedicated to ebooks about American History.
Feel free to download them for free. All books are in Text format and can be read with any ebook reader or word processing software program.
This TOC is the work of Richard Seltzer (Copyright © 2003 Richard Seltzer) "B&R Samizdat Express" (Excellent work Richard!)
Please visit Richard's online store at http://store.yahoo.com/samizdat. I can vouch for his products!