Jane Dailey's new history of the United States is one of the first textbooks published by a university press that is free in digital form.


“Offering Building the American Republic free to all students aligns perfectly with the mission of the University of Chicago Press,” said Garrett Kiely, director of the press. “We always seek new ways of extending the availability and accessibility of knowledge. At a time when textbook prices continue to rise, we are honored and pleased to make these outstanding, peer-reviewed volumes freely available in digital form.”

Dailey stressed the need for affordable, scholarly introductions to American history, and that the free digital version can provide an alternative to the typical textbook which can be financially prohibitive for many students: “The largest number of Americans in college today go to community college. When I was writing I had this kind of student in my mind—a little older, holding down a job, maybe with some kids. A lot are veterans, immigrants, older people who have come back to school—adults who are really motivated to learn. Both books emphasize what individuals and groups of individuals can accomplish, whether it’s the American Revolution or the civil rights movement.”

Dailey's Building the American Republic: A Narrative History from 1877 (Chicago, 2018) is the companion volume to Building the American Republic: A Narrative History to 1877 (Chicago, 2018) by Harry L. Watson, Atlanta Alumni Distinguished Professor of Southern Culture, University of North Carolina. Jane Dailey is an associate professor in the Department of History, the Law School, and the College.

Extract of a longer story by Andrew Bauld, published by the University of Chicago's news office on February 16, 2018.