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American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republicby Joseph J Ellis
Synopses & Reviews
In the early 1770s, the men who invented America were living quiet, provincial lives in the rustic backwaters of the New World, devoted primarily to family, craft, and the private pursuit of wealth and happiness. None set out to become “revolutionary” by ambition, but when events in Boston escalated, they found themselves thrust into a crisis that moved quickly from protest to war. InRevolutionaries, Jack Rakove shows how the private lives of these men were suddenly transformed into public careershow Washington became a strategist, Franklin a pioneering cultural diplomat, Madison a sophisticated constitutional thinker, and Hamilton a brilliant policymaker.
From the Boston Tea Party to the First Continental Congress, from Trenton to Valley Forge, from the ratification of the Constitution to the disputes that led to our two-party system, Rakove explores the competing views of politics, war, diplomacy, and society that shaped our nation. We see the founders before they were fully formed leaders, ordinary men who became extraordinary, altered by history.
From the first shots fired at Lexington to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Ellis guides readers through the decisive issues of the nation's founding. The author strips the mythic veneer of America's iconic founders to reveal men possessed of both brilliance and blindness.
Acclaimed historian Joseph J. Ellis brings his unparalleled talents to this riveting account of the early years of the Republic.
The last quarter of the eighteenth century remains the most politically creative era in American history, when a dedicated group of men undertook a bold experiment in political ideals. It was a time of both triumphs and tragedies—all of which contributed to the shaping of our burgeoning nation. Ellis casts an incisive eye on the gradual pace of the American Revolution and the contributions of such luminaries as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, and brilliantly analyzes the failures of the founders to adequately solve the problems of slavery and the treatment of Native Americans. With accessible prose and stunning eloquence, Ellis delineates in American Creation an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever.
About the Author
Joseph Ellis is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers. His portrait of Thomas Jefferson, American Sphinx, won the National Book Award. He is the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, Ellen, and their youngest son, Alex.
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History and Social Science » Politics » Political Science