The publication American Historical Sources from 1945 to 2016, which is divided chronologically, contains eighty-eight documents. It is preceded by a set of the most fundamentally important documents for the United States, on which its whole political system was built: The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States of America. The texts gathered in this book vary in size and significance; some are reproduced in their entirety, others in fragments, but their selection was meant to illustrate the complexity of contemporary U.S. history. The book is a collection of various types of primary sources, including bills, treaties, resolutions, statements, reports, minutes, transcripts from Congress Committee meetings, records of lawsuits, speeches by dignitaries, presidential speeches, election debate transcripts, letters, memoirs, excerpts of books, magazines and newspapers.
The theory behind the selection of texts for this volume was that through appropriate selection and arrangement of primary sources, it would be possible to show the dynamic nature of the events occurring in the United States over the last century. The chosen texts should also contribute to a better understanding of the important role played by the United States on the international stage from the end of World War II to the present.
This publication is mainly addressed to students of International Relations, Political Science, American Studies and History. From the experience gained through lecturing on Foreign and Security Policy of the United States and International Relations at the Institute of History and Political Sciences at the University of Bialystok, I believe that an analysis of primary sources is one of the most important tasks in the process of gaining scientific knowledge in this field.
Białystok, February 2017