Joy Hakim

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Joy Hakim is an American author who has written a ten-volume history of the United States, A History of US, and Freedom: A History of US (a trade book to accompany a 16-part PBS series), all published by Oxford University Press. Hakim is also the author of The Story of Science, three volumes co-published by Smithsonian Books and the National Science Teachers Association.


Hakim is a graduate of Rutland High School Rutland, Vermont. She has earned a Bachelor's Degree from Smith College and a Master's Degree and honorary doctorate from Goucher College.[1]

She was a schoolteacher in Syracuse, NY, Omaha, Nebraska, and Virginia Beach, VA. Hakim was also an assistant editor of McGraw-Hill's World News in New York City, a reporter for the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, VA and a business writer for the Virginian-Pilot, also located in Norfolk. In 1978, she became the first woman to be an associate editor and editorial writer for the Virginian-Pilot.

Published work

Hakim's first published work was the ten-volume A History of US, from Oxford University Press in 1993. The book is written as a narrative history intended for young readers. The Story of Science is co-published by Smithsonian Books and NSTA, the National Science Teachers Association. The first volume, Aristotle Leads the Way was published in 2004; Newton at the Center was published in 2005; and Einstein Adds a New Dimension followed in 2007. A History of US was turned into a 16-part PBS television series.[2] Teachers materials to accompany the books are available from the teacher/educator CSOS team at Johns Hopkins University.[3] NSTA has also made teaching materials available on their website.[4]


Hakim's books earned her the first James A. Michener Award for Writing by the National Council for Social Studies.[1] and two Parents' Choice awards.[5]

Now in a revised third and fourth editions, incorporating new materials and corrections, books from A History of US have been recommended to accompany the Common Core curriculum. The books are also used in some home school curricula.[6] In 1995, Pulitzer-prize winning historian David McCullough went before the Senate Education Committee in support of a bill sponsored by Lamar Alexander and Ted Kennedy intended to improve the teaching and learning of history. McCullough gave a scathing attack on the state of textbooks, but cited Hakim's book as an exception: "Joy Hakim's new...multi-volume History of the United States is superb. But others are dismal almost beyond describing.".[7]

Hakim is currently writing a storyteller's book on evolutionary biology, which includes new research into symbiotic biology and presents the three domains that currently describe the biological world.

Her book, The Story of Science was:

  • Winner of 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award for Education/Teaching/Academic
  • Awarded Selector's Choice 2008 CBC/NSTA's Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
  • Selected as a nonfiction finalist in the 2008 Colorado Book Awards


Hakim's treatment of pre-modern Western history and the New World colonial period in History of Us: Making Thirteen Colonies has been criticized by the president of the Textbook League, William J. Bennetta. In particular, the concept of multiculturalism, including an asserted Chinese influence on European culture in The First Americans, has been criticized by Bennetta for its supposed lack of support by archaeological or historical records. She has also been accused of being overly patriotic to the point of inaccuracy. Some older middle school aged students could find the books graded towards a lower level, and therefore frustrating.[8][9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Joy Hakim Site - Press Release
  2. "Freedom: A History of US. Home". PBS. Retrieved 2013-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "U.S. History". Retrieved 2013-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Science Teaching Materials - NSTA Press Extras: Einstein Adds a New Dimension". Retrieved 2013-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Award-Winning History Series Takes Students by Storm! Education World e-Interview with author Joy Hakim
  6. American History Before 1865 - K12 curriculum
  7. "FDsys - Browse CHRG". Retrieved 2013-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 'Multi-Culti Joy', by William J. Bennetta - criticism of A History of US
  9. 'More Hokum from Hakim' by William J.Bennetta - criticism of A History of US

External links