Making History

A Personal Approach to Modern American History (Revised Second Edition)
By Bruce Olav Solheim
Paperback, 340 pages
ISBN: 978-1-5165-2918-6 ©2018
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Making History

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    It’s time to take history personally. This unique text takes a personal approach to American history to get readers excited about their own roles in making history and empower them to make changes for the betterment of their country.

    Making History: A Personal Approach to Modern American History begins with the important point that while most standard textbooks refer to events that have shaped America, these events didn't happen to America – they happened to individual Americans. It is individuals who give their lives in armed conflicts and lose their homes during financial downturns.

    With this perspective in mind, students are prepared to read and think differently about post-Civil War history, including industrialization, the Spanish-American War and World Wars, the Depression, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Era, Vietnam, the rise of modern conservatism, and the country's current state of decline. This edition features a new chapter on reconstruction and an assessment of the Obama presidency and the 2016 presidential election. The first history textbook to include comic book pages, Making History features artwork by comic book artist Gary Dumm of American Splendor.

    With its non-traditional take on events and their impacts, Making History is a fresh alternative for survey courses in American history and historiography or classes in American civilization or popular culture.

    Dr. Bruce Olav Solheim has written five books and seven plays, and is a distinguished professor of history at Citrus College in Glendora, California. Dr. Solheim founded the Veterans Program at Citrus College and cofounded the Boots to Books transition course, which is the first college course aimed at returning veterans. He served for six years in the United States Army as a jail guard and helicopter pilot. Dr. Solheim earned his doctorate in history at Bowling Green State University and served as a Fulbright professor at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway.
    “Starting with early man’s cave paintings, through the ages to Harvey Pekar’s autobiographical comic book series, American Splendor, and beyond, people have always employed art and pictures to record their personal histories. With Making History, Bruce Olav Solheim melds history, autobiography, and comic art into an entirely unique literary creation.
    — Larry Jost, illustrator

    Making History offers a marvelous adaptation of texts and images to the worldview and interests of today’s college student. The “personal history” enriched so dramatically by Gary Dumm’s one-page comic art contributions, hits home where a detached, purely scholarly approach does not and cannot. Bruce Solheim is a uniquely engaged teacher and textbook author, and students will welcome his work as something dear to them as well as useful. — Paul Buhle, retired lecturer, Brown University
    Author/editor of numerous histories and non-fiction comic art volumes

    This text is inspiring, consciousness raising, thought provoking, compelling, and a pleasure to read. Making History vividly captures the last 125 years of our U.S. history and does not gloss over or slant the content of our past, but presents fairly both the good and the bad.
    — William V. Wenger, Colonel, USA (retired), business executive, college professor, actor

    This book is fair-minded, fact filled, and presented with such order and clarity that the reader’s mind is not numbed, but provoked to the discovery of how we ended up where we are now. Dr. Solheim dares the reader/student to become an active, responsible citizen and to make our world a better place by honestly confronting how we’ve gone wrong with our wars and our social policies.
    —David A. Willson, U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, retired reference librarian and professor, Vietnam War literature and film bibliographer, and author.

    Readers will find Bruce Solheim's Making History to be an engaging and innovative approach to recent American history. The author thoughtfully blends illustrative personal experiences with major changes in domestic and foreign policies, and their impact on the lives of Americans. One senses throughout the book the dedication of a thoughtful historian, who challenges his readers to learn from the past as they confront contemporary problems. Altogether,Making History is a splendid work.
    —Gary R. Hess, Ph.D., emeritus distinguished research professor of history, Bowling Green State University.