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American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the prize-winning author of the best-selling Founding Brothers and American Sphinx, a masterly and highly ironic examination of the founding years of our country. The last quarter of the eighteenth century remains the most politically creative era in American history, when a dedicated and determined group of men undertook a bold experiment in political ideals. It was a time of triumphs; yet, as Joseph J. Ellis makes clear, it was also a time of tragedies — all of which contributed to the shaping of our burgeoning nation.

From the first shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, 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 shows us why the fact that it was brought about by a group, rather than by a single individual, distinguished it from the bloodier revolutions of other countries, and ultimately played a key role in determining its success. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government, championed by Washington, was eventually embraced by the American people, the majority of whom had to be won over, as they feared an absolute power reminiscent of the British Empire. And he details the emergence of the two-party system — then a political novelty — which today stands as the founders' most enduring legacy.

But 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. He demonstrates how these misjudgments, now so abundantly evident, were not necessarily inevitable. We learn of the negotiations between Henry Knox and Alexander McGillivray, the most talented Indian statesman of his time, which began in good faith and ended in disaster. And we come to understand how a political solution to slavery required the kind of robust federal power that the Jeffersonians viewed as a betrayal of their most deeply held principles.

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 a book that delineates an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever.

Synopsis:

From the prizewinning author of the bestselling "Founding Brothers" and "American Sphinx" comes this masterly and highly ironic examination of the founding years of our country.

Synopsis:

A masterful examination of the early years of the American Republic analyzes the eventful last quarter of the eighteenth century, the accomplishments of the American founders, and the triumphs and failures that shaped the early nation and the American character. 650,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

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 thenation'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. Hecasts 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 itoccurred. 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 enduringlegacy.

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 importantrole 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 TradePaperback edition.

Table of Contents

The founding — The year — The winter — The argument — The treaty — The conspiracy — The purchase.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307267740
Subtitle:
Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic
Publisher:
A. A. Knopf
Author:
Joseph J. Ellis
Author:
Ellis, Joseph J.
Subject:
History : United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
United States - 18th Century
Subject:
Statesmen
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - Antebellum Era
Subject:
National characteristics, american
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Subject:
United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
Subject:
Audio Books-US History
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Subject:
US History-Revolution and Constitution Era
Subject:
US History-18th Century
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20071030
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
283

Related Subjects

Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
History and Social Science » World History » General

American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic
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Product details 283 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307267740 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From the prizewinning author of the bestselling "Founding Brothers" and "American Sphinx" comes this masterly and highly ironic examination of the founding years of our country.
"Synopsis" by , A masterful examination of the early years of the American Republic analyzes the eventful last quarter of the eighteenth century, the accomplishments of the American founders, and the triumphs and failures that shaped the early nation and the American character. 650,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , 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 thenation'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. Hecasts 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 itoccurred. 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 enduringlegacy.

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 importantrole 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 TradePaperback edition.

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