"But I hope that you know something already of the history of your own country. For, after all, you know, this is only a play book. It is not a book which you need knit your brows over, or in which you will find pages of facts, or politics, and long strings of dates. But it is a book, I hope, which when you lay it down will make you say, 'I'm glad that I was born an American. I'm glad that I can salute the stars and stripes as my flag.'"From the preface of "This Country of Ours", H. E. Marshall's expansive history of the United States.