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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.


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.


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 "


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.


What Did the Declaration Declare

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: Macmillan
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What did the Declaration declare? An enduring mythology has grown up around the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Generations of Americans believe that Jefferson wrote it in his Philadelphia study, influenced only by the stirring of great events around him. Challenging this romantic ideal, the five historians included here find that the document was the result of many influences and that it may have even been a collaborative writing effort on the congressional floor. Investigating various angles of the argument, the authors pose a variety of opinions on the Declaration's authorship, influences, and ultimate impact.


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


Writing the Declaration of Independence

Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Publisher: Vintage
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A colorful, enlightening account of how Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the road to July 4: a selection from Joseph J. Ellis’s American Sphinx, winner of the National Book Award. How did the newest and youngest member of Virginia’s delegation to the Constitutional Congress come to write the founding document of the American project? In “Writing the Declaration of Independence,” Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Joseph J. Ellis outlines the life of the document and the road to its adoption on July 4. From Jefferson’s arrival in Philadelphia in 1775 in an ornate carriage along with four horses and three slaves, to a fascinating guided tour of the drafts and discussions (including the importance of a good speaking voice, the theatricality of Patrick Henry, and Jefferson’s tortured, ultimately discarded section blaming the king for American slavery), this is the true history of Independence Day.


Crisis Point

Author: Trent Lott
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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With a new afterword on the 2016 election Trent Lott and Tom Daschle, two of the most prominent senators of recent time, served as leaders of their respective parties from the 1990s to the current century. Their congressional tenure saw the Reagan tax cuts, the Clinton impeachment, 9/11, and the Iraq War. Despite stark ideological differences, the two have always maintained a positive working relationship--even a warm friendship--the kind that in today's hyper-partisan climate has become unthinkable. In Crisis Point, Lott and Daschle come together to sound an alarm on the current polarization that has made governing all but impossible; never before has faith in government been so dismally low. The senators itemize damaging forces--the permanent campaign, unprecedented money, the 24/7 news cycle--and offer practical recommendations, pointing the way forward. Most crucially, they recall the American people, especially our leaders, to the principles enshrined in the Constitution, and to the necessity of debate but also the imperative of compromise--which will take vision and courage to bring back. Illustrated with personal stories from their eminent careers and events cited from deeper in American history, Crisis Point is an invaluable work--one of conscience as well as duty, written with passion and eloquence by two men who have dedicated their lives to public service and share the conviction that all is far from lost.


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.


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