Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Release Date: 2003-12-16
In this landmark work of history and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Joseph J. Ellis explores how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed individuals—Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison—confronted the overwhelming challenges before them to set the course for our nation. The United States was more a fragile hope than a reality in 1790. During the decade that followed, the Founding Fathers—re-examined here as Founding Brothers—combined the ideals of the Declaration of Independence with the content of the Constitution to create the practical workings of our government. Through an analysis of six fascinating episodes—Hamilton and Burr’s deadly duel, Washington’s precedent-setting Farewell Address, Adams’ administration and political partnership with his wife, the debate about where to place the capital, Franklin’s attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery and Madison’s attempts to block him, and Jefferson and Adams’ famous correspondence—Founding Brothers brings to life the vital issues and personalities from the most important decade in our nation’s history.
Author: Barbara S. Mahoney
Release Date: 2017
"During the decade of the 1850s, the Oregon Territory progressed toward statehood in an atmosphere of intense political passion and conflict. Editors of rival newspapers blamed a group of young men whom they named the 'Salem Clique' for the bitter party struggles of the time. Led by Asahel Bush, editor of the Oregon Statesman, the Salem Clique was accused of dictatorship, corruption, and the intention of imposing slavery on the Territory. The Clique, critics maintained, even conspired to establish a government separate from the United States, conceivably a 'bigamous Mormon republic.' While not in agreement with some of the more extreme contemporary accusations against the Clique, many historians have concluded that its members were vicious and unscrupulous men who were able, because of their command of the Democratic Party, to impose their hegemony on the Oregon Territory's inhabitants. Other scholars have seen them as merely another manifestation of the contentious politics of the period. Although the Salem Clique has been given considerable prominence in nearly every account of Oregon's Territorial period, there has not been a detailed study of its role until now. What sort of people were these men? What was their impact on the issues, events, and movements of the period? What role did they play in the years after Oregon became a state? Historian Barbara Mahoney sets out to answer these and many other questions in this comprehensive and deeply researched history"--Publisher description.
Author: Mark K. Updegrove
Release Date: 2009-01-06
Genre: Political Science
Americans have long been defined by how they face adversity. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in how the nation's chief executive has tackled myriad issues upon entering the White House. The ways that U.S. presidents handle the vast responsibilities of the Oval Office determine the fate of the nation---and, in many cases, the fate of the world. In this fascinating narrative, presidential historian Mark Updegrove looks at eight U.S. presidents who inherited unprecedented crises immediately upon assuming the reigns of power. George Washington led a fragile and fledgling nation while defining the very role of the presidency. When Thomas Jefferson entered the White House, he faced a nation bitterly divided by a two-party schism far more severe than anything encountered today. John Tyler stepped into the office of the presidency during the constitutional crisis left by the first death of a sitting president. Abraham Lincoln inherited a divided nation on the brink of war. Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to quell America's fears during the depths of the Great Depression. His successor, Harry S. Truman, was sworn in as commander in chief at the close of World War II, and John F. Kennedy stepped into the increasingly heated atmosphere of the cold war. In the wake of Watergate, the first unelected president, Gerald R. Ford, aimed to end America's "long national nightmare." As the forty-fourth president takes office, Updegrove presents a timely look at these chief executives and the challenges they faced. In examining the ways in which presidents have addressed crises, Baptism by Fire illustrates the importance of character in leadership—and in the resilience of America itself.
Author: Steven Conn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-08-02
Americans love to hate their government, and a long tradition of anti-government suspicion reaches back to debates among the founders of the nation. But the election of Barack Obama has created a backlash rivaled only by the anti-government hysteria that preceded the Civil War. Lost in all the Tea Party rage and rhetoric is this simple fact: the federal government plays a central role in making our society function, and it always has. Edited by Steven Conn and written by some of America's leading scholars, the essays in To Promote the General Welfare explore the many ways government programs have improved the quality of life in America. The essays cover everything from education, communication, and transportation to arts and culture, housing, finance, and public health. They explore how and why government programs originated, how they have worked and changed--and been challenged--since their inception, and why many of them are important to preserve. The book shows how the WPA provided vital, in some cases career-saving, assistance to artists and writers like Jackson Pollock, Dorothea Lange, Richard Wright, John Cheever, and scores of others; how millions of students from diverse backgrounds have benefited and continue to benefit from the G.I. Bill, Fulbright scholarships, and federally insured student loans; and how the federal government created an Interstate highway system unparalleled in the world, linking the entire nation. These are just a few examples of highly successful programs the book celebrates--and that anti-government critics typically ignore. For anyone wishing to explore the flip side of today's vehement attacks on American government, To Promote the General Welfare is the best place to start.
Author: Mark Fiege
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Release Date: 2012-03-20
In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light. Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience. For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/
Author: Mark E. Kann
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2013-04-01
“Kann's latest tour de force explores the ambivalence, during the founding of our nation, about whether political freedom should augur sexual freedom. Tracing the roots of patriarchal sexual repression back to revolutionary America, Kann asks highly contemporary questions about the boundaries between public and private life, suggesting, provocatively, that political and sexual freedom should go hand in hand. This is a must-read for those interested in the interwining of politics, public life, and sexuality.”—Ben Agger, University of Texas at Arlington The American Revolution was fought in the name of liberty. In popular imagination, the Revolution stands for the triumph of populism and the death of patriarchal elites. But this is not the case, argues Mark E. Kann. Rather, in the aftermath of the Revolution, America developed a society and system of laws that kept patriarchal authority alive and well—especially when it came to the sex lives of citizens. In Taming Passion for the Public Good, Kann contends that that despite the rhetoric of classical liberalism, the founding generation did not trust ordinary citizens with extensive liberty. Through the policing of sex, elites sought to maintain control of individuals' private lives, ensuring that citizens would be productive, moral, and orderly in the new nation. New American elites applauded traditional marriages in which men were the public face of the family and women managed the home. They frowned on interracial and interclass sexual unions. They saw masturbation as evidence of a lack of self-control over one’s passions, and they considered prostitution the result of aggressive female sexuality. Both were punishable offenses. By seeking to police sex, elites were able to keep alive what Kann calls a “resilient patriarchy.” Under the guise of paternalism, they were able simultaneously to retain social control while espousing liberal principles, with the goal of ultimately molding the country into the new American ideal: a moral and orderly citizenry that voluntarily did what was best for the public good.
Author: Ian W. Toll
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2008-03-17
"A fluent, intelligent history...give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea."—New York Times Book Review Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders—particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams—debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships. From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian.
Author: Julie M. Jensen
Publisher: Arcadia Pub
Release Date: 2013
Founded in 1855, when Minnesota was still a territory, Hutchinson is named for a New Hampshire family of minstrels and social activists who sang for emancipation, women's rights, temperance, and other causes of their day. In its early years, the town survived a Dakota War and a grasshopper plague to evolve into a thriving community. Documenting this evolution through six chapters are period photographs--the vast majority from the collections of the McLeod County Historical Society. Images of America: Hutchinson chronicles the town's beginnings, then presents a city tour across time, with a primary focus on Main Street. It illustrates public services and the livelihoods of local citizens, and it reveals a lifestyle that was, and is, enriched by an array of diversions, many centered on the Crow River, surrounding lakes, and an extensive park system. Concluding photographs, spanning the arts, serve as a reminder of the legacy of the founders.
Author: Irving Goldman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2004-07-06
Genre: Social Science
The societies of the Vaupés region are now among the most documented indigenous cultures of the New World, in part because they are thought to resemble earlier civilizations lost during initial colonial conflict. Here at last is the eagerly awaited publication of a posthumous work by the man widely regarded as the preeminent authority on Vaupés Amazonian societies. Cubeo Hehénewa Religious Thought will be the definitive account of the religious worldview of a significant Amazonian culture. Cubeo religious thought incorporates ideas about the nature of the cosmos, society, and human life; the individual's orientation to the world; the use of hallucinogenic substances; and a New World metaphysics. This volume was substantially completed before Irving Goldman’s death, but Peter Wilson has edited it for publication, providing a thorough introduction to Goldman’s work. Stephen Hugh-Jones has contributed an afterword, setting the work in the context of contemporary Vaupés ethnography.
Author: Alfred F. Young
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2011-09-01
"This moving account of a key figure in American history contributes greatly to our understanding of the past. It also informs our vision of the servant leader needed to guide the 1990s movement." --Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund "First-rate intellectual and political history, this study explores the relations between the practical objectives of SNCC and its moral and cultural goals." --Irwin Unger, Author of These United States and Postwar America "Robert Moses emerges from these pages as that rare modern hero, the man whose life enacts his principles, the rebel who steadfastly refuses to be victim or executioner and who mistrusts even his own leadership out of commitment to cultivating the strength, self-reliance, and solidarity of those with and for whom he is working. Eric Burner's engrossing account of Robert Moses's legendary career brings alive the everyday realities of the Civil Rights Movement, especially the gruelling campaign for voter registration and political organization in Mississippi." --Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Eleonore Raoul Professor of the Humanities, Emory University, author of Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South Next to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, Bob Moses was arguably one of the most influential and respected leaders of the civil rights movement. Quiet and intensely private, Moses quickly became legendary as a man whose conduct exemplified leadership by example. He once resigned as head of the Council of Federated Organizations because "my position there was too strong, too central." Despite his centrality to the most important social movement in modern American history, Moses' life and the philosophy on which it is based have only been given cursory treatment and have never been the subject of a book-length biography. Biography is, by its very nature, a complicated act of recovery, even more so when the life under scrutiny deliberately avoids such attention. Eric Burner therefore sets out here not to reveal the "secret" Bob Moses, but to examine his moral philosophy and his political and ideological evolution, to provide a picture of the public person. In essence, his book provides a primer on a figure who spoke by silence and led through example. Moses spent almost three years in Mississippi trying to awaken the state's black citizens to their moral and legal rights before the fateful summer of 1964 would thrust him and the Freedom Summer movement into the national spotlight. We follow him through the civil rights years -- his intensive, fearless tradition of community organizing, his involvements with SNCC and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and his negotiations with the Department of Justice --as Burner chronicles both Moses' political activity and his intellectual development, revealing the strong influence of French philosopher Albert Camus on his life and work. Moses' life is marked by the conflict between morality and politics, between purity and pragmatism, which ultimately left him disillusioned with a traditional Left that could talk only of coalitions and leaders from the top. Pursued by the Vietnam draft board for a war which he opposed, Moses fled to Canada in 1966 before departing for Africa in 1969 to spend the next decade teaching in Tanzania. Returning in 1977 under President Carter's amnesty program, he was awarded a five-year MacArthur genius grant in 1982 to establish and develop an innovative program to teach math to Boston's inner-city youth called the Algebra Project. The success of the program, which Moses has referred to as our version of Civil Rights 1992, has landed him on the cover of The New York Times Magazineemphasizing the new, central dimension that math and computer literacy lends to the pursuit of equal rights. And Gently He Shall Lead Them is the story of a remarkable man, an elusive hero of the civil rights movement whose flight from adulation has only served to increase his reputation as an intellectual and moral leader, a man whom nobody ever sees, but whose work is always in evidence. From his role as one of the architects of the civil rights movement thirty years ago to his ongoing work with inner city children, Robert Moses remains one of America's most courageous, energetic, and influential leaders. Wary of the cults of celebrity he saw surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and fueled by a philosophy that shunned leadership, Moses has always labored behind the scenes. This first biography, a primer in the life of a unique American, sheds significant light on the intellectual and philosophical worldview of a man who is rarely seen but whose work is always in evidence.
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011-02-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
“Passionate Sage is [Ellis’s] best book.”—Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review A fresh look at this astute, likably quirky statesman, by the author of the Pulitzer Award-winning Founding Brothers and the National Book Award winning American Sphinx. "The most lovable and most laughable, the warmest and possibly the wisest of the founding fathers, John Adams knew himself as few men do and preserved his knowledge in a voluminous correspondence that still resonates. Ellis has used it with great skill and perception not only to bring us the man, warts and all, but more importantly to reveal his extraordinary insights into the problems confronting the founders that resonate today in the republic they created."—Edmund S. Morgan, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University.