The standard U.S. History course (AP or otherwise) spans 400 years. There are so many names and dates and battles and laws to memorize that, by the end of the year, history becomes an accumulation of random bits of data. In reality, most students probably know a lot more about the United States than they realize, because history affects almost every aspect of our daily lives: where we live, what we eat, and even whom we befriend. This course won’t be about memorizing. Instead, we’ll zoom out so that students have a solid understanding of the big picture before starting classes in the fall. We will not be reading from a textbook about a bunch of boring dead guys. We’ll learn about the chaos, the action, and the behind-the-scenes schemes.