Buying the Required Textbook 

If you look at this information and still have a question, just email me at


This link covers:

Name of the Required Textbook, Edition, and ISBN for the Current Edition in Paperback  1

3 Tips for Cheaper Alternatives. 1

If You Need a Cheaper Alternative: How to Get a Book That You Can Use—and How to Avoid Getting One You CanNOT Use. 1


Name of the Required Textbook, Edition, and ISBN for the Current Edition in Paperback

This information should help you buy a book you can use for class.

1.       In the History Department, we require a specific textbook. In this course, you use that specific textbook in your work, and I use it when I grade your work.

2.       That specific textbook is:
Edward Ayers, Lewis Gould, David Oshinsky, and Jean Soderlund. American Passages: A History of the United States. 4th edition. The ISBN for the current  4th edition in paperback is ISBN: 9780547166469.

3.       The above is all you need to know:

a.        If you are going to buy that specific ISBN

b.       Or if you are going to buy that textbook at the WCJC online bookstore or at one of the WCJC campus bookstores.

You can get to the online bookstore from the link from several places at WCJC’s website. As of 7/31/2014, this link was also accurate: - You then click on a campus such as Wharton, Fort Bend Technical Center, Sugar Land Campus at the University of Houston, or Bay City.


If you are not going to do either of those things, then you need to use the information at the bottom of this webpage so you have a book you can use.

3 Tips for Cheaper Alternatives

·         Buying used is great. The cheapest purchase seems to be a used 2nd edition paperback. - If you do buy over the Internet, you need be sure it can arrive in time for you to work in class. We will use it immediately in our work.

·         Borrowing from a relative or friend is even better as long as you have reliable, consistent access.

·         If you are near a library that has this textbook, using it in the library is very fine as long as you plan ahead.

If You Need a Cheaper Alternative: How to Get a Book That You Can Use—and How to Avoid Getting One You CanNOT Use

I know what it is like to have to squeeze money to stay in school. This information is for you if you want to save money on the textbook BUT get the specific textbook you need for class.

How to Buy or Borrow a Book That You Can Use

There are so many possible ISBNs that can work for you that I gave up on listing them. If you buy a book on your own, you MUST  follow these guidelines:

  1. You MUST use American Passages by Ayers. (No other textbook.)


  1.  If you want a textbook that covers both US History I and US History II, the American Passages that you use MUST have 32 chapters (No textbooks with only 30 chapters.)

    On the other hand, if you already had either US History I (early exploration to 1877) or US History II (1860s to the present), you  may be able to get cheaply the 1st  volume (chapters 1 to 16) or 2nd volume (chapters 16 to 32).


  1. You MAY use the 2nd or 3rd or 4th Edition. You MAY even use the very first publication of this textbook that does not even list an edition number. Students have told me it is in some local public libraries.

  2. You MAY use an edition that has a paper cover (called a paperback or soft cover) or one that has a hardcover (called a hardback).
    A lot of students don’t know those terms paperback and hardback so this statement might help:  If you “thump” hard on the hardback, it makes a loud sound.

How to Avoiding Buying a Book That You CanNOT Use

On the other hand, you MUST NOT use what the publisher calls the BRIEF, 4th edition. It has only 30 chapters. It has compressed and rearranged the content of several chapters and now has 2 fewer chapters than the other editions. The content that is eliminated includes sections used for written assignments in the first time period that we cover.


You cannot use it in any of its forms:

·         Do NOT buy ISBN: 978-0-495-90921-7 (Chapters 1-30)

·         Do NOT buy ISBN: 978-0-495-91520-1, Volume I: To 1877 (Chapters 1-15)

·         Do NOT buy ISBN: 978-0-495-91521-8, Volume II: Since 1865 (Chapters 15-30)



WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or

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