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Routledge Historical Americans

About the Series

Routledge Historical Americans is a series of short, vibrant biographies that illuminate the lives of Americans who have had an impact on the world. Each book includes a short overview of the person’s life and puts that person into historical context through essential primary documents, written both by the subjects and about them. A series website supports the books, containing extra images and documents, links to further research, and where possible, multi-media sources on the subjects. Perfect for including in any course on American History, the books in the Routledge Historical Americans series show the impact everyday people can have on the course of history.

Format for each book:

  1. These will be books of about 5-6 chapters.
  2. The first chapter places the person in context and allows the author to write about the historical period and the formation of the person’s character.
  3. The middle chapters are about the formation of the person as an adult and their contribution to the world (the ‘why we should care’ part).
  4. The last chapter would be their retirement and/or summary of their life, perhaps touching on some of the historiography.
  5. The document section is the final section, with about 8-10 good documents from a variety of types of sources both (if possible) by the person and about them.
  6. Length will be around 75,000-80,000 words plus the sources.
  7. Website materials will include links to further research, extra documents/images, and any multi-media available about the person.

28 Series Titles

Per Page

John Dewey Prophet of an Educated Democracy

John Dewey: Prophet of an Educated Democracy

1st Edition


By Philip B. Moore
October 22, 2024

This concise biography tells the story of John Dewey, a pioneer of pragmatism and the first original school of philosophy created in America. The school was born out of a specific historical context, in the wake of a country at war with itself, and in response to the rapid changes of ...

Sam Lacy and Wendell Smith The Dynamic Duo that Desegregated American Sports

Sam Lacy and Wendell Smith: The Dynamic Duo that Desegregated American Sports

1st Edition


By Wayne Dawkins
July 31, 2024

This dual biography highlights the transformative influence of Sam Lacy and Wendell Smith, two journalists who changed American sport and society through their calls to desegregate Major League Baseball and recognize Black baseball players. In a decade-long battle, Lacy and Smith tirelessly ...

Clare Boothe Luce American Renaissance Woman

Clare Boothe Luce: American Renaissance Woman

1st Edition

By Philip Nash
March 22, 2022

Clare Boothe Luce: American Renaissance Woman is a concise and highly readable political biography that examines the life of one of the most accomplished American women of the 20th century. Wife and mother, author, editor, playwright, political activist, war journalist, Congresswoman, ambassador, ...

Elie Wiesel Humanist Messenger for Peace

Elie Wiesel: Humanist Messenger for Peace

1st Edition

By Alan L. Berger
May 27, 2021

Elie Wiesel: Humanist Messenger for Peace is part biography and part moral history of the intellectual and spiritual journey of Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, human rights activist, author, university professor, and Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this concise text, Alan L. Berger portrays Wiesel...

Theodore Roosevelt A Manly President’s Gendered Personal and Political Transformations

Theodore Roosevelt: A Manly President’s Gendered Personal and Political Transformations

1st Edition

By Neil Cogan
March 18, 2020

Theodore Roosevelt explores the personal and political life of the 26th President of the United States. It considers among other things his "manliness," a gendered framework of traits for the Gilded Age and Progressive Period guiding him and other men in business, politics, and war, and shows how ...

Henry Kissinger Pragmatic Statesman in Hostile Times

Henry Kissinger: Pragmatic Statesman in Hostile Times

1st Edition

By Abraham Wagner
July 11, 2019

Henry Kissinger: Pragmatic Statesman in Hostile Times explores the influence of statesman Henry Kissinger in American foreign relations and national security during 1969 to 1977. Henry Kissinger arrived in the U.S. as a young Jewish refugee and went on to serve as National Security Advisor and ...

Joe Louis Sports and Race in Twentieth-Century America

Joe Louis: Sports and Race in Twentieth-Century America

1st Edition

By Marcy S. Sacks
April 20, 2018

This insightful study offers a fresh perspective on the life and career of champion boxer Joe Louis. The remarkable success and global popularity of the "Brown Bomber" made him a lightning rod for debate over the role and rights of African Americans in the United States. Historian Marcy S. Sacks ...

Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet Exploration, Encounter, and the French New World

Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet: Exploration, Encounter, and the French New World

1st Edition

By Laura M. Chmielewski
November 08, 2017

In this succinct dual biography, Laura Chmielewski demonstrates how the lives of two French explorers – Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Louis Jolliet, a fur trapper – reveal the diverse world of early America. Following the explorers' epic journey through the center of the American ...

Ida B. Wells Social Activist and Reformer

Ida B. Wells: Social Activist and Reformer

1st Edition

By Kristina DuRocher
September 12, 2016

Born into slavery in 1862, Ida B. Wells went on to become an influential reformer and leader in the African American community. A Southern black woman living in a time when little social power was available to people of her race or gender, Ida B. Wells made an extraordinary impact on American ...

Patrick Henry Proclaiming a Revolution

Patrick Henry: Proclaiming a Revolution

1st Edition

By John Ragosta
August 19, 2016

Often referred to as "the voice of the Revolution," Patrick Henry played a vital role in helping to launch the revolt of the American colonies against British rule. An early and compelling Revolutionary orator, Henry played an active part in the debates over the founding of the United States. As a ...

Andrew Jackson Principle and Prejudice

Andrew Jackson: Principle and Prejudice

1st Edition

By John M. Belohlavek
June 14, 2016

Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States. Known as "Old Hickory," he was the first President who championed the rights of the 'common man'. Originally from the frontier, he was known for being rough in speech and mannerisms and his fierce temper. After making his name as a ...

Sojourner Truth Prophet of Social Justice

Sojourner Truth: Prophet of Social Justice

1st Edition

By Isabelle Kinnard Richman
May 12, 2016

Although Sojourner Truth was born into bondage and oppression, in liberation she emerged as a leader in the most radical causes of her era. She travelled the country as an outspoken and riveting presence, battling for the abolition of slavery and for women’s suffrage. While her role in these ...

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