Posted by: ushistoryfiles | March 21, 2012

Could it be? A Free Textbook?

Early in March I received an email from Dr. David Trowbridge, History Professor at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.  Dr. Trowbridge remembers what it is like to be a college student struggling with the high costs of textbooks and decided to do something about it.  He has written a free peer-reviewed textbook for American History.  You can examine it online here:

In addition to the online format, there are low cost print, Kindle, and audio versions.

If you are interested in the process Dr. Trowbridge took in creating the textbook you can read this piece from HNN:

Today I visited and read through parts of the textbook and it is quite good.  I’ve taught out of various textbooks over the years and this work certainly compares.

I’ve been giving this some thought and I like this as an option for my students.  I’m currently developing an online American History I (think Exploration to Reconstruction) class where I teach, and think that an online textbook would work nicely with the course.  When the volume Dr. Trowbridge created for that period is released I’ll certainly be checking it out.

(Don’t forget there are only 10 days left to enter USHistoryFiles’ book giveaway.  Details can be found here.)



  1. As a writer of work set in history, I think textbooks are so “vanilla” and dumbed-down that maybe it’s better to just work from a pastiche of original sources?

  2. […] this: Be the first to like this post. « Could it be? A Free Textbook?   #mdr-e1 .percent { color: #e4000b; } /* intrigued */ .spark1 { background-color: #e4000b; […]

  3. That is so cool!!!!!!

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