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U.S. History: 1877 to present - HIST202 - Primary Sources

Primary sources available in the library or on the Internet relevant to U.S. History after 1877

Resources in Library Catalog

eBooks on this list are only available to RVCC students, faculty, and staff and require a login with your G# and password.

War and politics

Bay of Pigs declassified : the secret CIA report on the invasion of Cuba

Includes the Inspector General's report on the investigation of the Central Intelligence Agency's Bay of Pigs invasion plans as well as commentary on and a chronology of the event.

The bridges of Vietnam : from the journals of U.S. Marine intelligence officer

In 1966, Fred L. Edwards Jr. went to serve as an intelligence officer in Vietnam. This work is built around his journals, sent home during his first tour in Vietnam in 1966-67. His own research sets his individual experiences into a larger context, through postscripts, notes and a chronology (eBook).

The center; people and power in political Washington

A portrait of Washington politics during one of the most turbulent eras in American history, from post-WWII to the 1990's, by the twentieth century’s premier U.S. government insider.

The CIA & the security debate, 1971-1975

This is a compilation of materials from congressional committees, government agencies, and newspaper reports, arranged topically and chronologically, covering the concern of American citizens about the work performed by the CIA and FBI in the name of national security.

The CIA & the security debate, 1975-1976

This is a compilation of materials from congressional committees, government agencies, and newspaper reports, arranged topically and chronologically, covering the concern of American citizens about the work performed by the CIA and FBI in the name of national security.

The Cold War : a history in documents

Uses contemporary documents to explore the development of the Cold War struggle, the consequences in the 1950s and 1960s, and the lasting effects on American social and cultural patterns.

Hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Ninety-third Congress, second session, pursuant to H. Res. 803

A resolution authorizing and directing the Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America, covering the years 1971-1974.


The American diplomat's reflections of his years of government service provide insight into four decades of U.S. policy. Mr. Kennan's portraits of Stalin, William Bullitt, Alexander Kirk, Harry Hopkins, General Marshall, Ambassador Harriman and Charles Bohlen are superbly drawn. The generous excerpts from his journals reveal his sensitivity to human details and his skill at evoking scenes and incidents from his travels in many lands.

Morning and Noon

An autobiographical account of Acheson's youth and early career. Dean Acheson was a statesman and lawyer who played a significant role in Cold War policy.

Resolved: that the powers of the Presidency should be curtailed

A collection of excerpts and bibliography relating to pertinent aspects of the intercollegiate debate topic, which was selected by the Committee on Intercollegiate Debate and Discussion for 1974-75.

The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis : Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the missiles of November

Based on secret transcripts of top-level diplomacy undertaken by the number-two Soviet leader, Anastas Mikoyan, to settle the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, this book rewrites conventional history. 300 pages of documents include: telegrams, memoranda of conversations, instructions to diplomats, etc.

The strength not to fight : an oral history of conscientious objectors of the Vietnam War

The Strength Not to Fight captures the experience of conscientious objection in a moving and enthralling narrative. In their own words, conscientious objectors tell the stories behind the classification: the depth of their convictions, their efforts to prove sincere opposition in the face of persecution and criminal prosecution, the alternatives most were forced to consider, such as exile to Canada and noncombatant military service, and their feelings today about their actions during the Vietnam War.

True Faith and Allegiance : an American Paratrooper and the 1972 Battle for An Loc

The battle for An Loc, a key component in the North Vietnamese attempt to overwhelm the South, swept Mike McDermott, then the senior advisor to an elite South Vietnamese paratrooper battalion, into some of the most horrific close-quarters fighting of the war. His in-the-trenches account is augmented by detailed descriptions of a user's perspective on the parachute resupply, tactical airpower, and B-52 strikes that allowed the An Loc garrison to survive (eBook).

United States foreign policy for the 1970's; the emerging structure of peace

A report to Congress in 1972 outlining foreign policy and new approaches to peace.

The US Army's first, last, and only all-black rangers : the 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951

This book covers the first eight months of 2d Airborne Ranger Company's experiences during the Korean conflict. The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) was the first and only all-black Ranger unit in the history of the United States Army. Its ten-month lifespan included selection, training, and seven months of combat deployment in Korea, after which the unit was deactivated (eBook).

When we walked above the clouds : a memoir of Vietnam

Barnes tells what it was like to be a Green Beret, first in the Dominican Republic during the civil war of 1965, and then at A-107, Tra Bong, Vietnam (eBook).

Witness to History

Memoirs of the author, telling of thirty-five years of Soviet-American relationships.

Social issues

The Abortion controversy : a documentary history

Presents the history of the abortion issue in the United States, using primary documents such as position papers, government reports, and biographical accounts.

The abortion debate in the United States and Canada : a source book

Primary sources related to the debate on abortion in the U.S. and Canada.

Black dog of fate : a memoir

Poet Peter Balakian relates the story of his childhood in New Jersey, where the American culture of the 1950s and 60s collided with his family's memories of the extermination of Armenians by the Turkish government in 1915 (eBook).

Blue Ridge harvest : a region's folklife in photographs

An essay from the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project conducted by the American Folklife Center, in cooperation with the National Park Service in August and September 1978.

False witness

At the heart of the book is the hearing before the Committee on Un-American Activities of the Washington State Legislature in 1948, in which the author and several of his colleagues on the faculty of the University of Washington were accused of membership in the Communist Party.

Kennedy, Johnson, and the quest for justice : the civil rights tapes

This book includes actual transcripts of the secret recordings that Presidents Kennedy and Johnson made of their meetings and telephone conversations between the fall of 1962 and the groundbreaking passage of the Civil Rights Act in the summer of 1964. By setting these transcripts in an historical narrative, the authors present a seamless account of two tumultuous years in America's struggle for racial justice and highlight the pivotal role played by Kennedy and Johnson in ending legal segregation.

Linus Pauling : scientist and peacemaker

A wide variety of original material by Pauling, an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, educator, and husband of American human rights activist Ava Helen Pauling--much of it never before published--as well as contributions from his contemporaries and students.

Man's role in changing the face of the earth

This is the first large-scale evaluation of what has happened and what is happening to the earth under man's impress. Presented at an international symposium organized by the Werner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and held at Princeton in June 1955, these papers focus viewpoints from nearly all fields of knowledge upon man's capacity to transform his physical-biological environment and upon his cumulative and irreversible alterations of the earth.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s : a brief history with documents

This work brings together some of the best primary sources on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Through their writings and speeches, we can appreciate the roles they played in the freedom crusade of the 1950s and 1960s. We not only get a good summary of their essential teachings but we also get insight into their individual styles and personalities.

The Mississippi civil rights movement and the Kennedy administration, 1960-1964 : a history in documents

This annotated document reader is a selection of interviews conducted in the South and Washington, D.C.; New York; Boston; and New Haven, Connecticut, in 1965-66, along with documents collected from 1960 to 1964 in the South and 1963 to 1966 in New York, and documents from the Kennedy administration examined at the John F. Kennedy Library National Archives.

Open wide the freedom gates : a memoir

Height marched at major civil rights rallies, sat through tense White House meetings, and witnessed every significant victory in the struggle for racial equality. Yet as the sole woman among powerful, charismatic men, and as someone whose personal ambition was always secondary to her passion for her cause, she has received little mainstream recognition ... In this memoir, she reflects on a life of service and leadership.

Palante : Young Lords Party

In 1969, a group of young, primarily Puerto Rican activists founded a chapter of the Young Lords Organization in New York City. The Young Lords organized directly in Latino/a communities, challenging slum housing conditions, providing "serve the people programs" that offered food, health services, and child care, and staging dramatic takeovers of neighborhood institutions. Here is the first book by and about the Young Lords.

Skylab EREP investigations summary

Skylab, the first manned space station placed in low Earth orbit, was launched in 1973 and carried into space the Earth Resources Experiment Package (EREP). The problems in the areas of agriculture, range and forestry; land use and cartography; geology and hydrology; oceans atmosphere, and data analysis techniques were investigated and summarized using EREP data.

The Vietnamese American 1.5 generation : stories of war, revolution, flight, and new beginnings

The conflict that Americans call the "Vietnam War" was only one of many incursions into Vietnam by foreign powers. However, it has had a profound effect on the Vietnamese people who left their homeland in the years following the fall of Saigon in 1975. Collected here are fifteen first-person narratives written by refugees who left Vietnam as children and later enrolled as students at the University of California, where they studied with the well-known scholar and teacher Sucheng Chan (eBook).

Waiting for snow in Havana : confessions of a Cuban boy

In 1962, at the age of eleven, Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba--exiled from his family, his country, and his own childhood by the revolution. The memories of Carlos's life in Havana are at the heart of this stunning, evocative, and unforgettable memoir.

Resources in Library Databases

Off campus, these resources are available only to RVCC students, staff, and faculty and require a login with your G# and password.

Perform a keyword search, then select Primary Sources from the tabbed results.

Primary sources

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Primary Sources       

Resources on the Internet