Read, White, and Blue: Books About America

Read, White, and Blue: Books About America

It’s the 4th of July, and this time of year, we’re reminded that so many authors have put pen to paper to write about life in the United States. Some have penned memoirs, others have written novels, and still others have produced nonfiction or even poetry. These books range widely in subject matter, tone, and content, but they’re all united by a common focus on life in America. If you feel like reading about the U.S.A., there’s a book for you on this list no matter what your reading preferences may be.

In this forthcoming book of essays, writers like Roxane Gay and Lin-Manuel Miranda share their stories about being Americans whose experiences and cultural identities aren’t broadly represented.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ letter to his son will grip readers and offer insight into American racial relations of the past and present.

This memoir tells the story of Diane Guerrero’s childhood in Boston, where her undocumented immigrant parents were detained and then deported.

This bestselling nonfiction book examines American democracy and the forces that could challenge and destabilize it in this day and age.

American Pastoral is a classic novel that follows the Levov family through much of the mid-20th century as they grapple with the American dream.

Claudia Rankine’s lyrical writing addresses racial tension in present-day America in this important and unforgettable book.

This book recounts U.S. history in a way you might not have heard it before: Howard Zinn focuses on less commonly-told accounts of U.S. history, including those of women, Native Americans, immigrants, workers, and the black community.

The essays in Pulphead take readers into quirky and unusual corners of American culture, ranging from the MTV show Real World to a Christian rock festival.

Want to read about the birth of the country? David McCullough’s famous work of narrative nonfiction will transport you back to 1776.

Colson Whitehead’s novel tells the story of a slave named Cora who journeys toward freedom on the Underground Railroad, which is, in this book, a literal railroad.

In this classic novel, John Steinbeck writes about the Dust Bowl and a family on its way to California in hopes of making a better life for themselves.

Alexander Chee’s essays take on a broad variety of subjects related to his identity as a Korean American and a gay man.

In these poems, Layli Long Soldier writes about her experiences as a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the intricacies of Native American identity.

In this Civil War-era romance, two Union spies fall in love. Better yet, the tale is based on real figures from American history: Mary Bowser and Timothy Webster

This important novel by Angie Thomas about racial bias and police brutality tells the story of a 16-year-old girl whose friend is shot by police in front of her.


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