Landmark Books

Landmark Books (American history) and World Landmarks (world history) are accurate, in-depth stories for young people nine to fifteen years old. These living histories were written by award-winning authors or by men and women who experienced the events first-hand. Written during the 1950's and 60's and illustrated either with two-color drawings or clear photographs, the books are informative, enjoyable, and well worth collecting and reading.

Reading level and content vary from book to book. Some are relatively simply written and are very appropriate for middle to upper elementary children. Other books, because their reading level is higher and the subjects they cover require a mature reader, may be best suited for young adults.

To pique your interest in this fine series, I have compiled a list of short reviews of the Landmark books.

The Landmark Books and World Landmarks were first published by Random House in the 1950's. E. M. Hale, The Young Readers of America Book Club, and Spencer Press produced nice hardcover reprints of many Landmark titles.

Copies of the original Random House Landmark Books typically are colored on the top edge of the page block to protect it from dust and stains, and they typically will state their place in the print history--First Printing, Second Printing, Eighth Printing, etc.

Reprints generally do not demonstrate these points. E. M. Hale reprints can be identified by the word "Hale" printed at the base of the spine where the words "Random House" appeared on the original issues. The value of these reprints is currently not significantly less than the same titles in the original printings.

The Young Readers of America Book Club editions can be identified by two points. First, they do not list an edition or printing on the copyright page. Second, the front inside flap is marked "Young Readers of America Selection." These volumes were shipped with facsimiles of letters from the author. These are sometimes found laid in the books. At this time, the value of these letters is low, but they are fun to find and read! The value of these book club editions is currently, again, just about the same as the value of the original printings.

Spencer Press Editions were printed with forest green cloth covers and gorgeous four-color endpapers. The production quality of these volumes is high but as the covers don't match the Random House printings, they are less desired by some collectors and generally have a slightly lower market value.

Condition and title scarcity determine the value of any Landmark book. Books with attractive, original dust jackets or unblemished pictorial covers command higher prices, typically. At this time, perhaps because most collectors are readers, there seems to be no premium placed on First Edition Landmark books.

Note that I have included footnotes for some titles.

Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to White House by Sterling North³
The Adventures & Discoveries of Marco Polo by Richard J. Walsh
The Adventures of Ulysses by Gerald Gottlieb
The Alaska Gold Rush by May McNeer
Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr by Anna & Russell Crouse
Alexander the Great by John Gunther
The American Revolution by Bruce Bliven Jr.³
Americans into Orbit: The Story of Project Mercury by Gene Gurney
America's First World War: General Pershing by Henry Castor
Andrew Carnegie & the Age of Steel by Katherine B. Shippen
Balboa: Swordsman & Conquistador by Felix Riesenberg
The Barbary Pirates by C. S. Forester
The Battle for Iwo Jima by Robert Leckie
The Battle for the Atlantic by Jay Williams
The Battle of Britain by Quentin Reynolds
The Battle of the Bulge by John Toland--abridged¹
Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia by Margaret Cousins³
Ben-Gurion and the Birth of Israel by Joan Comay
Betsy Ross & the Flag by Jane Mayer
Buffalo Bill's Great Wild West Show by Walter Havighurst
The Building of the First Transcontinental Railroad by Adele Nathan
The California Gold Rush by May McNeer³
Captain Cook Explores the South Seas by Armstrong Sperry
Captain Cortes Conquers Mexico by William Johnson
Catherine the Great by Katherine Scherman
Chief of the Cossacks by Harold Lamb
Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross by Helen Boylston
Cleopatra of Egypt by Leonora Hornblow
Clipper Ship Days by John Jennings
Combat Nurses of World War II by Wyatt Blassingame
The Coming of the Mormons by Jim Kjelgaard
The Commandos of World War II by Hodding Carter
Commodore Perry & the Opening of Japan by Ferdinand Kuhn
The Conquest of the North & South Poles by Russell Owen
The Copper Kings of Montana by Marian T. Place
The Crusades by Anthony West
Custer's Last Stand by Quentin Reynolds
Daniel Boone and the Opening of the Wilderness Road by John Mason Brown
Davy Crockett by Stewart H. Holbrook
Disaster at Johnstown: the Great Flood by Hildegarde Dolson
The Doctors Who Conquered Yellow Fever by Ralph Nading Hill
Dolly Madison by Jane Mayer
Dwight D. Eisenhower by Malcom Moos
The Early Days of Automobiles in America by Elizabeth Janeway
The Erie Canal by Samuel Hopkins Adams
Ethan Allen & the Green Mountain Boys by Slater Brown
Evangeline & the Acadians by Robert Tallant
The Exploits of Xenophon by Geoffrey Household
The Explorations of Pere Marquette by Jim Kjelgaard
Exploring the Himalaya by William O. Douglas
The F.B.I. by Quentin Reynolds
The Fall of Constantinople by Bernadine Kielty
Famous Pirates of the New World by A. B. C. Whipple
Ferdinand Magellan: Master Mariner by Seymour Gates Pond
The First Men in the World by Anne Terry White
The First Overland Mail by Robert Pinkerton
The First Transatlantic Cable by Adele Gutman Nathan
Flat Tops by Edmund Castillo
The Flight and Adventures of Charles II by Charles Norman
Florence Nightingale by Ruth Fox Hume
The Flying Aces of World War I by Gene Gurney³
The Flying Tigers by John Toland
The French Foreign Legion by Wyatt Blassingame
From Casablanca to Berlin by Bruce Bliven, Jr.
From Pearl Harbor To Okinawa by Bruce Bliven Jr.
Garibaldi: Father of Modern Italy by Marcia Davenport
General Brock and Niagara Falls by Samuel Hopkins Adams
Genghis Kahn & the Mongol Horde by Harold Lamb
George Washington Carver by Anne Terry White
George Washington: Frontier Colonel by Sterling North
Geronimo: Wolf of the Warpath by Ralph Moody
Gettysburg by MacKinlay Kantor³
The Golden Age of Railroads by Stewart H. Holbrook
Great American Fighter Pilots of World War II by Robert D. Loomis
Great Men of Medicine by Ruth Fox Hume
Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis--abridged¹
Hawaii, Gem of the Pacific by Oscar Lewis
Hero of Trafalgar by A. B. C. Whipple
Heroines of the Early West by Nancy Wilson Ross
Hudson's Bay Company by Richard Morenus
Jesus of Nazareth by Harry Emerson Fosdick²
Joan of Arc by Nancy Wilson Ross³
John F. Kennedy & PT 109 by Richard Tregaskis
John James Audubon by Margaret & John Kieran
John Paul Jones, Fighting Sailor by Armstrong Sperry
Julius Caesar by John Gunther
King Arthur & His Knights by Mabel Louise Robinson
Kit Carson & the Wild Frontier by Ralph Moody
The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty³
Lawrence of Arabia by Alistair MacLean
Lee and Grant at Appomattox by MacKinlay Kantor
Leonardo da Vinci by Emily Hahn³
The Lewis and Clark Expedition by Richard L. Neuberger³
The Life of Saint Patrick by Quentin Reynolds
The Life of Saint Paul by Harry Emerson Fosdick²
Lincoln & Douglas: The Years of Decision by Regina Z. Kelly
The Louisiana Purchase by Robert Tallant
The Magna Charta by James Daugherty³
The Man Who Changed China: The Story of Sun Yat-sen by Pearl S. Buck
Marie Antoinette by Bernadine Kielty
Marquis de Lafayette: Bright Sword of Freedom by Hodding Carter
Martin Luther by Harry Emerson Fosdick²
Mary, Queen of Scots by Emily Hahn
Medal of Honor Heroes by Colonel Red Reeder
Medical Corps Heros of World War II by Wyatt Blassingame
Midway, Battle for the Pacific by Edmund L. Castillo
The Mississippi Bubble by Thomas B. Costain
The Moniter and the Merrimac by Fletcher Pratt
Mr. Bell Invents the Telephone by Katherine B. Shippen³
The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by ABC Whipple (the rarest of all)
Napoleon & the Battle of Waterloo by Frances Winwar
Old Ironsides, the Fighting Constitution by Harry Hansen
Our Independence and the Constitution by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
The Panama Canal by Bob Considine
Paul Revere & the Minute Men by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Peter Stuyvesant of Old New York by Anna & Russell Crouse
The Pharoahs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne³
The Pirate Lafitte & the Battle of New Orleans by Robert Tallant
Pocahontas & Captain John Smith by Marie Lawson
The Pony Express by Samuel Hopkins Adams
Prehistoric America by Anne Terry White
Queen Elizabeth & the Spanish Armada by Frances Winwar
Queen Victoria by Noel Streatfeild
Remember the Alamo! by Robert Penn Warren
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler by William L. Shirer
Robert E. Lee & the Road of Honor by Hodding Carter
Robert Fulton & the Steamboat by Ralph Nading Hill
Rogers' Rangers & the French & Indian War by Bradford Smith
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police by Richard L. Neuberger
Sam Houston, the Tallest Texan by William Johnson
The Santa Fe Trail by Samuel Hopkins Adams
The Seabees of World War II by Edmund Castillo
Sequoyah: Leader of the Cherokees by Alice Marriott
Simon Bolivar, the Great Liberator by Arnold Whitridge
The Sinking of the Bismarck by William L. Shirer
The Slave Who Freed Haiti: The Story of Toussaint Louverture by Katherine Scherman
Stonewall Jackson by Jonathan Daniels
The Story of Albert Schweitzer by Anita Daniel
The Story of Atomic Energy by Laura Fermi
The Story of Australia by A. Grove Day
The Story of D-Day: June 6, 1944 by Bruce Bliven Jr.
The Story of Oklahoma by Lon Tinkle
The Story of San Francisco by Charlotte Jackson
The Story of Scotland Yard by Laurence Thompson
The Story of Submarines by George Weller
The Story of the Air Force by Robert Loomis
The Story of the Naval Academy by Felix Riesenberg Jr.
The Story of the Paratroops by George Weller
The Story of the Secret Service by Ferdinand Kuhn
The Story of the Thirteen Colonies by Clifford Lindsey Alderman
The Story of the U.S. Coast Guard by Eugene Rachlis
The Story of the U.S. Marines by George Hunt
The Story of Thomas Alva Edison by Margaret Cousins³
The Swamp Fox of the Revolution by Stewart H. Holbrook
Teddy Roosevelt & the Rough Riders by Henry Castor
The Texas Rangers by Will Henry
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted Lawson & Bob Considine--abridged¹
Thomas Jefferson, Father of Democracy by Vincent Sheean
Tippecanoe & Tyler, Too!
by Stanley Young
To California by Covered Wagon by George R. Stewart³
Trappers & Traders of the Far West by James Daugherty
The United Nations in War and Peace by T. R. Fehrenback
The U.S. Border Patrol by Clement Hellyer
The U.S. Frogmen of World War II by Wyatt Blassingame
Up the Trail From Texas by J. Frank Dobie
The Vikings by Elizabeth Janeway³
The Voyages of Christopher Columbus by Armstrong Sperry
The Voyages of Henry Hudson by Eugene Rachlis
Walk in Space: the Story of Project Gemini by Gene Gurney
Walter Raleigh by Henrietta Buckmaster
The War Chief of the Seminoles by May McNeer
The War in Korea: 1950 - 1953 by Robert Leckie
The West Point Story by Col. Red Reeder & Nardi Reeder Campion
Wild Bill Hickok Tames the West by Stewart H. Holbrook
Will Shakespeare and the Globe Theater by Anne Terry White
William Penn: Quaker Hero by Hildegarde Dolson
William the Conqueror by Thomas B. Costain
Winston Churchill by Quentin Reynolds
The Winter at Valley Forge by Van Wyck Mason
The Witchcraft of Salem Village by Shirley Jackson³
Women of Courage by Dorothy Nathan
The World's Greatest Showman: P.T. Barnum by J. Bryan III
The Wright Brothers by Quentin Reynolds³
Wyatt Earp: U.S. Marshall by Stewart H. Holbrook
Young Mark Twain & the Mississippi by Harnett T. Kane

¹These are special Landmark abridgements of longer adult books with the very same titles. If you buy these titles sight unseen, be sure to verify that what you are buying is a genuine Landmark Book--if that is what you want!

²If you are a theologically conservative Christian, you may want to read my page on Harry Emerson Fosdick before purchasing any of the Landmark books by him. (That page also includes reading recommendations for Christian homeschooling families studying First Century history or the Reformation.)

³These titles have been or are currently reprinted as softcovers.

With the exception of the abridged Bell Telephone issue of Mr. Bell Invents the Telephone, these paperback Landmark reprints are identical to the original Landmark issues. This is my belief, based on my comparison of copies and my interviews with collectors who own them.

Random House has just released three new "Landmark" titles. The following are all ©2001:


new title ~ reprinted title

These three books are not reprints of old Landmark Books and are not comparable in content or reading level. They are more simple books, written for younger readers, and are reprints from another old Landmark series, The Step-Up Books. (This older series is not covered on this pages because I prefer Discovery Books and have briefly reviewed those here.)

For information on the old Random House Reading program, click here.

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