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Best American Classic Books Reviewed & Ranked

There are countless American Classic courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. Principles and Practice of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings (2018)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedCombining timeless readings with cutting-edge articles and essays, Principles and Practice of American Politics, Seventh Edition, enriches your understanding of the American political system by examining the strategic behavior of key players in U.S. politics. This collection of classic and contemporary readings brings concepts to life by providing you with real examples of how political actors are influenced by the strategies of others and are governed by the Constitution, the law, and institutional rules. Carefully edited by award-winning authors Samuel Kernell and…
Author(s): Samuel H. Kernell, Steven S Smith

2. Classics in American Government (2005)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedCLASSICS IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is a brief collection of many of the most important readings in American government. This set of documents were written by revolutionaries, presidents, U.S. Supreme Court judges, historians, political scientists, journalists, and politicians¿but all share the commonality of recognized importance. Each selection is generally acknowledged to be a major statement about some aspect of American government, hence their designation as “classics.”…
Author(s): Jay M. Shafritz, Lee S. Weinberg

3. The Enduring Debate: Classic and Contemporary Readings in American Politics (Seventh Edition) (2013)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedA combination of classic and contemporary readings, featuring a debate-format section in each chapter. Every chapter includes a blend of readings―from scholarly and popular sources, long and short readings, and 30 percent new to this edition. About one-fourth of the readings are classics, while the remaining three-fourths are contemporary. Each begins with a headnote explaining the significance of the piece and concludes with discussion questions that help students think critically about what they’ve just read. Finally, each chapter includes one “Debate” section, two or more readings exploring the different sides of…
Author(s): David T. Canon, John J. Coleman, et al.

4. The American (Oxford World’s Classics) (2009)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedDuring a trip to Europe, Christopher Newman, a wealthy American businessman, asks the charming Claire de Cintré to be his wife. To his dismay, he receives an icy reception from the heads of her family, who find Newman to be a vulgar example of the American privileged class. Brilliantly combining elements of comedy, tragedy, romance and melodrama, this tale of thwarted desire vividly contrasts nineteenth-century American and European manners. Oxford’s edition of The American, which was first published in 1877, is the only one that uses James’ revised 1907 text.About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford…
Author(s): Henry James, Adrian Poole

5. The American (Penguin Classics) (1981)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedChristopher Newman, a ‘self-made’ American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde. Her family, however, taken aback by his brash American manner, rejects his proposal of marriage. When Newman discovers a guilty secret in the Bellegardes’ past, he confronts a moral dilemma: Should he expose them and thus gain his revenge? James’s masterly early work is at once a social comedy, a melodramatic romance and a realistic novel of manners.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of…
Author(s): Henry James

7. Classics of American Political and Constitutional Thought, Volume 1: Origins through the Civil War (2007)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedFrom James I’s Address Before Parliament (1610) to Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s Learned Hand Dinner Address Before the American Jewish Committee (2005), this two-volume set offers an unparalleled selection of key texts from the history of American political and constitutional thought….
Author(s): Scott J. Hammond , Kevin R. Hardwick, et al.

8. Classic American Autobiographies (2014)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedA True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682), perhaps the first American bestseller, recounts this thirty-nine-year-old woman’s harrowing months as the captive of Narragansett Indians.The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1771–1789), the most famous of all American autobiographies, gives a lively portrait of a chandler’s son who became a scientist, inventor, educator, diplomat, humorist—and a Founding Father of this land.Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), the gripping slave narrative that helped change the course of American history, reveals…
Author(s): William L. Andrews, Paul John Eakin

9. American Supernatural Tales (Penguin Classics) (2007)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedAs Stephen King will attest, the popularity of the occult in American literature has only grown since the days of Edgar Allan Poe. American Supernatural Tales celebrates the richness of this tradition with chilling contributions from some of the nation’s brightest literary lights, including Poe himself, H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and—of course—Stephen King. By turns phantasmagoric, spectral, and demonic, this is a frighteningly good addition to Penguin Classics.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking…
Author(s): S. T. Joshi

10. The Puzzle of the Happy Hooligan (A Hildegarde Withers Mystery) (2018)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedAfter a screenwriter is murdered on a film set, a street-smart school teacher searches for the killer.Hildegarde Withers is just your average school teacher―with above-average skills in the art of deduction. The New Yorker often finds herself investigating crimes led only by her own meddlesome curiosity, though her friends on the NYPD don’t mind when she solves their cases for them. After plans for a grand tour of Europe are interrupted by Germany’s invasion of Poland, Miss Withers heads to sunny Los Angeles instead, where her vacation finds her working as a technical advisor on the set of a film adaptation of the Lizzie Borden…
Author(s): Stuart Palmer, Otto Penzler

11. Studies in Classic American Literature (2016)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedIn these “studies” Lawrence —with what seems an attempt at humorous criticism— mocks and insults the early creators of American literature. His capricious and snobbish prose mars what could have been serious studies of the American heart and soul of the budding nation. The perspective provided by more than a century and a half of years is not favorable to Lawrence. His “studies,” seemed today the rantings of a writer with very little self-esteem. Nevertheless, his criticism has much socially redeeming value today if we wish to understand the spirit that made the United…
Author(s): D. H. Lawrence, Marciano Guerrero

12. Classics of American Political and Constitutional Thought, Volume 2: Reconstruction to the Present (2007)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedFrom James I’s Address Before Parliament (1610) to Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s Learned Hand Dinner Address Before the American Jewish Committee (2005), this two-volume set offers an unparalleled selection of key texts from the history of American political and constitutional thought….
Author(s): Scott J. Hammond , Kevin R. Hardwick, et al.

13. American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings (Penguin Classics) (2003)

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & RankedFrom Booklist Sioux writer and activist Zitkala-Sa (1876-1938) was born in the year of the infamous Battle of Little Big Horn–her people’s last victory over the invasion forces that would soon force them onto reservations, on one of which she grew up under a regime of forced assimilation. Her writing career blossomed early, with stories published in the Atlantic Monthly when she was in her early twenties. She could have been a mere exotic, but she found a way to capture the interest of non-Indian readers, who preferred the romanticized noble savage to the often-sad reality of…
Author(s): Zitkala-Sa , Cathy N. Davidson, et al.

Best American Classic Books Reviewed & Ranked

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some american classic books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Agora Bone Well

Author(s): Maria A, Liston, Susan I. Rotroff, Lynn M. Snyder
Publisher: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Year: 2019, Size: 10 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2364440

The Anglo-American Conception of the Rule of Law

Author(s): Nadia E. Nedzel, Nicholas Capaldi
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2402625

The Early Iron Age: The Cemeteries

Author(s): coll.
Publisher: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Year: 2018, Size: 81 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2213605

Ancient Corinth: A guide to the site and museum

Author(s): Guy D.R. Sanders et al.
Publisher: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Year: 2018, Size: 59 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2214162

Cecil B. DeMille, Classical Hollywood, and Modern American Mass Culture

Author(s): David Blanke
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2250932

Sugawara Operators for Classical Lie Algebras

Author(s): Alexander Molev
Publisher: American Mathematical Society, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2268785

The Gatsby Affair: Scott, Zelda, and the Betrayal That Shaped an American Classic

Author(s): Kendall Taylor
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2279656

Ancient Greece and American Conservatism: Classical Influence on the Modern Right

Author(s): John A. Bloxham
Publisher: I.B. Tauris, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2304640

Sugawara operators for classical Lie algebras

Author(s): Molev, Alexander
Publisher: American Mathematical Society, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2359535

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are absolutely chart-busters according to The Wall Street Journal, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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