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The Made in America by Bill Bryson consists of noon-fiction story of America as a nation. Chapter five to ten concern American events and various changes that took place such as invention and transportation. There are some phrases and words that were incorporated in English language as immigrants kept coming to America. Some of the factors that contributed to the growth of America as a nation and its tremendous changes include the California Gold rush that attracted many immigrants especially from the East (Bryson 163). There was also the age of invention that saw the nation develop and modernize through establishment of urban centers and opening doors to trade. In addition, several suburban areas were established as young people went to the cities to look for jobs and improve their lives. This is explained in chapter 6 titled the ‘Age of Invention’. Of course, there were negative effects of technology such as emergence of pollution due to disposal of wastes and loss of jobs due to machine use leading to low living standards to some groups among others.
America is a nation that underwent several changes to become the one it is today. It saw the expansion of railroad that facilitated trade, the popularity of shopping malls and departmental stores due to increase in consumption of manufactured goods and many other changes. Other important changes explained in the section include the invention of automobile that facilitated movement of people too their destinations (Bryson 189). Other important inventions highlighted include television, radio, and advertising among others. All these were great inventions explained in a manner that allows the reader to relate with the nation during the time. The book is very interesting especially the chapters that talk about travelling in America and modernization. Bryson knows how to set the stage for the reader and continues to capture the attention by ensuring that the events flow as they occurred. Everybody especially the young generation may be interested in knowing his or her country and the far it has reached. American developed and experienced several changes over decades and each had something to differentiate it from the under-developed nations. The chapters paint a beautiful picture of the American nation as it developed and became the world’s most powerful nation. The development of language to the Standard English names was a great transformation and the author. He analyses each topic in a manner that makes the reader want more even after reaching the end. Surely, the five chapters are amazing since they make one to love America more and appreciate its history.
The chapters are not funny as people would expect but they are quite captivating by hooking the reader to every sentence. The sentences are easy to read and although some natives words are used frequently explanation of their meanings follow and make it easy to understand. The contents can teach the young generation of the modern era about things they take for granted. America has experienced transformations as the stories in the five chapters indicate. The topic on travel in America explained the development of the transportation system that enabled convenient movement of humans and cargos across the nation (Bryson 190). Comparing transportation now and that of the previous generation is quite interesting because of the tremendous changes that have occurred. The author had researched very well before deciding to put anything on paper. Chapter five to ten gives the picture of America from forming a nation identity to travelling in America giving details of every development. The topic of names was great since it shows the importance of various places, important people, town, and their origins (Bryson 112). Understanding such vital names and their source can be quite fascinating to the current generation. Many of them do not know why places possess names of people and reading the chapter would inform them.
Immigration in America is another one that was very interesting due to the reasons such as mining and job search by people from developing nations. The immigrants influenced the culture of Americans as they continued to practice their own traditions. However, they were blamed for taking America’s jobs leading to unemployment. Although they were not well-paid they still worked and accepted the low wages and the poor working conditions. However, America has laws that protect everyone today regardless of their nativity since they contribute to its development. The era of economic activity is adequately covered in which America became quite productive such as steel and paper production (112). America is a unique nation and several people have written about its development over the ages but Bryson’s work is excellent. It is detailed and the information flows from one vent to the other in a manner that is easy to follow. The materials are well researched with figures such as sales volumes indicated in each period thus everything is reliable and credible. Bryson’s work is a good source of history and can be used by history teachers and learners to help them in understanding more about America especially its growth and development.
Bryson, Bill. Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, 1994. Print.
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