I just picked up the new collection of historical documents: VOICES OF A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES edited by Anthony Arnove and Howard Zinn (Seven Stories Press, 2004). It is loaded with original documents and provides a rich, alternative understanding of American history (and the paperback is only 15 dollars for something like 800+ pages!)
Also check out:
The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition (superb collection of primary sources--bottom up history)
"Key documents illustrate the richness of the American radical tradition.
Radicalism is as American as apple pie. One can scarcely imagine what American society would look like without the abolitionists, feminists, socialists, union organizers, civil-rights workers, gay and lesbian activists, and environmentalists who have fought stubbornly to breathe life into the promises of freedom and equality that lie at the heart of American democracy.
The first anthology of its kind, The Radical Reader brings together more than 200 primary documents in a comprehensive collection of the writings of America's native radical tradition. Spanning the time from the colonial period to the twenty-first century, the documents have been drawn from a wealth of sources—speeches, manifestos, newspaper editorials, literature, pamphlets, and private letters. From Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" to Kate Millett's "Sexual Politics," these are the documents that sparked, guided, and distilled the most influential movements in American history. Brief introductory essays by the editors provide a rich biographical and historical context for each selection included."
• Common Sense, Thomas Paine
• Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln
• Confession, Nat Turner
• Last Speech to the Jury, John Brown
• Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, Sarah Grimke
• Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls Convention
• Life in the Iron Mills, Rebecca Harding Davis
• Speech to Striking Coal Miners, Mother Jones
• Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.
• The Ballot or the Bullet, Malcolm X
• The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
• Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
I bought it for $20 but I see that you can get it new for 15 at amazon.com:
The Cultural Resistance Reader
"From the Diggers seizing St. Georges Hill in 1649 to Hacktivists staging virtual sit-ins in the 21st century, from the retributive fantasies of Robin Hoods to those of gangsta rappers, culture has long been used as a political weapon. This expansive and carefully crafted reader brings together many of the classic texts that help to define culture as a tool of resistance. With illuminating introductions throughout, it presents a range of theoretical and historical writings that have influenced contemporary debate, providing tools for the reader's own interventions. In these pages can be found the work of Karl Marx, Matthew Arnold, Antonio Gramsci, C.L.R. James, Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Virginia Woolf, Mikhail Bakhtin, Stuart Hall, Christopher Hill, Janice Radway, Eric Hobsbawm, Abbie Hoffman, Mahatma Gandhi, Dick Hebdige, Hakim Bey, Raymond Williams, Robin Kelley, Tom Frank and more than a dozen others—including a number of new activists/authors published here for the first time. Cultural Resistance: A Reader will be an invaluable resource for instructors teaching courses in cultural studies, communications and politics. The book is also a tool for cultural activists and political organizers. But most importantly, Cultural Resistance will inspire everyday readers to resist."
I purchased it for 20, but once again I see that you can get it for $15 at amazon--damn!!! ;)
Cultural Resistance Reader