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READINGS IN THE
HISTORY OF THE
COLLECTED AND EDITED
PROFESSOR, AND HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
It is now common in all schools to require pupils to prepare papers on assigned topics or to do a certain amount of reading in addition to the lesson in the text-book. There appears to be no difference of opinion among teachers concerning the value of this collateral reading and study: it releases the pupil from bondage to the text, widens his view, and gives him training in the handling of material. There are often, however, difficulties in obtaining books to be used in this way, and it is especially difficult to get books covering a large portion of the field; moreover, even when a school is provided with a reference library, the illustrative material is not always found without unreasonable effort. This volume of selections is not offered in expectation that it will entirely take the place of the school library in American history, but with the hopes that it will be of service where schools are not possessed of reference books and that in any case the selections will wisely amplify and illuminate the text-book and will make it possible to require a certain amount of work outside the text without placing unnecessarily heavy burdens on the pupil. Even if these selections are not used as the basis of definite oral or written reports, the pupils will, it is to be hoped, find them interesting and readable.
This volume does not pretend to be a thoroughly balanced presentation of materials on American history, a volume in which each portion of the field receives its just and adequate share of attention; such a thoroughly balanced volume may be desirable, but book like this, intended to be used in connection with a text-book, rather than independently, need not be so formidable in its content or so precise in its disposition of space. In making the selections I have been influenced by several considerations: first, by the desire to include things that are really interesting and at the same time give significant information; second, by the desire to give ample opportunity for reading of industrial conditions and developments