History in the Making

An Absorbing Look at How American History Has Changed in the Telling over the Last 200 Years

A fascinating reminder of how contemporary prejudices color the way each generation looks at the nation’s past

”To understand history we have to examine how history is written. Students, teachers, and general readers will learn more about the past from these passages than from any single work, however current, that purports to monopolize the truth.” —Ray Raphael, author of Founding Myths

In this “thought-provoking study” (Library Journal ), historian Kyle Ward—the widely acclaimed co-author of History Lessons—gives us another fascinating look at the biases inherent in the way we learn about our history. Juxtaposing passages from U.S. history textbooks from different eras, History in the Making provides us with intriguing new perspectives on familiar historical events and the ways in which they have been represented over time.

The hardcover edition of History in the Making struck a chord among readers of popular history, and Ward was featured on NPR’s popular series “How the Understanding of U.S. History Changes.” “Interesting and useful,” according to Booklist, the book “convincingly illustrates how texts change as social and political attitudes evolve.”

With excerpts that span two hundred years, from Columbus’s arrival to the Boston Massacre, from women’s suffrage to Japanese internment, History in the Making exposes the stark contrasts between the lessons different generations have been taught about our past. “A good starting point for anyone interested in history and subjectivity” (Kirkus), this immensely readable book is proof positive that your history is not your grandparent’s history and won’t be your children’s history.


“This thought-provoking study is ideal for history buffs and the general public; for public libraries and teachers’ college collections.”
Library Journal
“A nation’s guiding assumptions must be continually re-examined . . . [Ward] shows that looking back and reconsidering history is a prerequisite of the very possibility of moving forward.”
History News Network

Books by Kyle Ward

History Lessons
How Textbooks from Around the World Portray U.S. History

Dana Lindaman, Kyle Ward

Not Written in Stone
Learning and Unlearning American History Through 200 Years of Textbooks

Kyle Ward

Goodreads Reviews