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Founding Brothers

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: Vintage
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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.


Founding Brothers

Author: Joseph Ellis
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"In this landmark work of history, the National Book Award—winning author of American Sphinx 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." -- Amazon.com


American Dialogue

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: Knopf
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The award-winning author of Founding Brothers and The Quartet now gives us a deeply insightful examination of the relevance of the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams to some of the most divisive issues in America today. The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today's political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions--and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice--Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.


American Creation

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: Vintage
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From the first shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Joseph J. Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically, an evolution–and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government was eventually embraced by the American people, and details the emergence of the two-party system, which stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy. Ellis is equally incisive about their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is an audiobook that delineates an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever. From the Trade Paperback edition.


American Sphinx

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: Vintage
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Following Thomas Jefferson from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to his retirement in Monticello, Joseph J. Ellis unravels the contradictions of the Jeffersonian character. He gives us the slaveholding libertarian who was capable of decrying mescegenation while maintaing an intimate relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings; the enemy of government power who exercisdd it audaciously as president; the visionarty who remained curiously blind to the inconsistencies in his nature. American Sphinx is a marvel of scholarship, a delight to read, and an essential gloss on the Jeffersonian legacy.


Passionate Sage

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: W. W. Norton
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Passionate Sage is [Ellis s] best book. Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review "


Fighting Over the Founders

Author: Andrew M. Schocket
Publisher: NYU Press
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The American Revolution is all around us. It is pictured as big as billboards and as small as postage stamps, evoked in political campaigns and car advertising campaigns, relived in museums and revised in computer games. As the nation’s founding moment, the American Revolution serves as a source of powerful founding myths, and remains the most accessible and most contested event in U.S. history: more than any other, it stands as a proxy for how Americans perceive the nation’s aspirations. Americans’ increased fascination with the Revolution over the past two decades represents more than interest in the past. It’s also a site to work out the present, and the future. What are we using the Revolution to debate? In Fighting over the Founders, Andrew M. Schocket explores how politicians, screenwriters, activists, biographers, jurists, museum professionals, and reenactors portray the American Revolution. Identifying competing “essentialist” and “organicist” interpretations of the American Revolution, Schocket shows how today’s memories of the American Revolution reveal Americans' conflicted ideas about class, about race, and about gender—as well as the nature of history itself. Fighting over the Founders plumbs our views of the past and the present, and illuminates our ideas of what United States means to its citizens in the new millennium. Instructor's Guide


Thomas Jefferson

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: Viking Press
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Written to accompany the Library of Congress bicentennial exhibition, this lively biography of Thomas Jefferson explores the private and public life of the former president and author of Declaration of Independence, candidly confronting the conflicts between his ideals and his lifestyle. 25,000 first printing.


The Founding Gardeners

Author: Andrea Wulf
Publisher: Random House
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A follow-up to Andrea Wulf's award-winning and critically acclaimed history of British gardening, this is the story of how George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison's passion for nature, plants, agriculture and gardens shaped the birth of America. Through a series of vignettes spanning the Declaration of Independence to the death of Adams and Jefferson exactly fifty years to the day afterwards, these stories that weave the political, the personal and the botanical and are in turns funny, fascinating and moving. The Founding Gardeners shows that it is impossible to understand these visionary men and the American nation without considering their love of gardening.


His Excellency

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
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Joseph Ellis follows Washington from his military career to his presidency, illuminating the difficulties the first executive faced as he worked to keep the emerging country united in the face of adversarial factions. He details aspects of Washington's private life - his marriage and subsequent entrance into the upper echelons of Virginia's plantation society, his large debts, his attitude towards slavery, his relationship with his profligate stepson - that shaped the public figure. Throughout, Ellis reveals to us Washington in the context of 18th-century America, allowing us to comprehend the magnitude of his accomplishments and the character of his heart and mind as they might have been perceived in his own time. Brilliantly conceived, His Excellency is a revelatory biography, likely to be one of the seminal American history books of the decade.