I went to DC this weekend and toured many of the art galleries. The American Art and Portrait Gallery really stuck out to me. They had portraits/paintings of important people from the Revolutionary War, to The Civil War, US Government figures, Mark Twain, and many others. I like seeing an image of the person and the bio provided; the museum had a quick read bio to the side of the painting. Are there are any books out there that cover this type of thing? What is a good comprehensive book? Open to all ideas.
What is a good American history book?
Added 3+ months ago:
I also want to add, this book could certainly, and should, have info about certain key events etc. I would think most of these type of books would. SO, in summary, a good book that gives a bio and an image and how they contributed to key events in our nation.
There are many good general histories, but beware - the field is in a political struggle to assert a patriotic and nationalist narrative that dismisses decades of criticism about America's treatment of Native Americans, our imperialist crimes like the Spanish-American war and the horrendous war against the native Filipinos, the true story of the Reconstruction period, etc. It's best to take American history by periods. One of the best treatments of the Civil War is Ken Burn's documentary on PBS. If you have ADD it will be much too slow for you, but the material is very valuable nonetheless.
A really good approach is to read autobiographies and biographies of famous people. Ben Franklin's autobiography is a gold mine. Thomas Jefferson could hardly be any more interesting, and btw he was so critical of the Bible that he produced his own edited version of the New Testament in which he eliminated all those passages which he felt Jesus couldn't possibly have said. The biographies of Susan B. Anthony and Dorothy Dix are also fascinating.