Introductory United States History Courses to Remove All Textbook Costs in February 2016

United We Win
US Propaganda “United we win” Poster. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.

Bogged down by textbook costs? Consider taking HIS101: United States History I or HIS102: United States History II in the Spring II 2016 term and afterward.

Beginning in the Spring II term, students in HIS101: United States History I and HIS102: United States History II will no longer need to make any textbook purchases. Instead, students will use the free, online textbook The American Yawp (available at along with free online primary sources.

The American Yawp is an innovative new textbook written collaboratively by hundreds of historians. The editors, Professors Joseph Locke and Ben Wright, maintain a commitment to rigorous academic standards and democratic, unrestricted access to knowledge. They have pledged to keep the text freely accessible online and removed from any profit motives. The book includes 30 chapters divided into two volumes, split chronologically in 1877. It also includes rich visuals and works on any device, including ipads and mobile phones.

HIS101: United States History I is an introductory survey of American history from the era before European contact up through the end of Civil War and Reconstruction. HIS102: United States History II begins in the post-Reconstruction era and explores American history up through the current day. In both courses, students go beyond the textbook to examine primary sources like letters, political cartoons, and speeches to understand American history from the perspective of those who lived it. They also focus on issues of diversity and cross-cultural encounters that contributed to the creation and growth of the United States. Students are not required to take HIS101 before taking HIS102.

You can find more information about the new versions of HIS101 and 102, including a sample syllabus, through the Course Search on our website. Both courses fulfill a lower-level social sciences credit.

Any Excelsior student seeking to minimize their textbook costs should speak to their advisor about whether HIS101 and/or HIS102 will fit into their degree plan.

Mary Berkery, Faculty Program Director, History
Mary Berkery, Faculty Program Director, History