AP U.S. History is a difficult course, so all incoming students should prepare themselves by completing some summer reading. Although this might sound like another chore, this preparation can be made easier by choosing books that are well-rounded and will give you the information that you’ll need to succeed in this class. Here is a summer reading list for AP U.S. History students:
From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 by George Herring
This is perhaps one of the best “casual textbooks” you will find for U.S. history class. That’s because this particular book goes through the entire history of the United States, from its colonial days to its modern power status. Readers will find Herring’s discussion of U.S. history interesting and enlightening. Herring uses primary and secondary sources, and lists other sources at the end of the book.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 by Gordon Wood
This is a good book on the beginnings of the United States’ history. Since the same publisher of Herring’s book has also published Wood’s book, the formats are similar. Wood concentrates on the earliest period of American history, but his style is very similar to Herring’s. Also, the information is somewhat dense, and each page will require plenty of concentration.
AP U.S. History Crash Course by Larry Krieger
This may seem like a book that is more appropriate for AP U.S. History students who are nearing the test, but “AP U.S. History Crash Course” is actually very helpful if read earlier. Students will appreciate that they have an overview sense of American history. This type of knowledge will help them later when they are trying to memorize dates and events.
Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam by Princeton Review
This is another review book that will help students get a better overall understanding of important events and people in U.S. history. This is a good book to use in conjunction with Krieger’s, so that students can compare their interpretations of U.S. history.
As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution by Richard Archer
This books reads just like a fiction novel. The details are compelling, and the story tries to “tell it like it is.” A good way to learn about the earliest moments in U.S. history.