The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin's life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America's best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders. He explores the wit behind Poor Richard's Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nation's alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution. In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, showing how he helped to forge the American national identity and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.
A Washington Post Notable Book
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year
The summer months of 1776 witnessed the most consequential events in the story of our country's founding. While the thirteen colonies came together and agreed to secede from the British Empire, the British were dispatching the largest armada ever to cross the Atlantic to crush the rebellion in the cradle. The Continental Congress and the Continental Army were forced to make decisions on the run, improvising as history congealed around them.
A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods. Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography "Truly magnificent... a] well-researched, well-written and absolutely definitive biography"--Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street Journal "Superb... the best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written."--Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books "A truly gripping biography of George Washington... I can't recommend it highly enough--as history, as epic, and, not least, as entertainment. It's as luxuriantly pleasurable as one of those great big sprawling, sweeping Victorian novels."--Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash Broadway musical Hamilton has sparked new interest in the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. In addition to Alexander Hamilton, the production also features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr, Lafayette, and many more. Ron Chernow's latest biography, Grant, is now available in paperback.
From acclaimed historian John Ferling, the story of how Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe championed the most radical ideas of the American and French Revolutions.
Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe were in the vanguard of revolutionary ideas in the 18th century. As founding fathers, they risked their lives for American independence, but they also wanted more. Each wished for profound changes in the political and social fabric of pre-1776 America and hoped that the American Revolution would spark republican and egalitarian revolutions throughout Europe, sweeping away the old monarchical order. Ultimately, each rejoiced at the opportunity to be a part of the French Revolution, a cause that became untenable as idealism gave way to the bloody Terror.
Apostles of Revolution spans a crucial period in Western Civilization ranging from the American insurgency against Great Britain to the Declaration of Independence, from desperate engagements on American battlefields to the threat posed to the ideals of the Revolution by the Federalist Party. With the French Revolution devolving into anarchy in the background, the era culminates with the "Revolution of 1800," Jefferson's election as president.
Written as a sweeping narrative of a pivotal epoch, Apostles of Revolution captures the turbulent spirit of the times and the personal dangers experienced by Jefferson, Paine, and Monroe. It reminds us that the liberty we take for granted is ours only because we, both champions and common citizens, have fought for it.
The American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire. It's a stirring narrative, and one the founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock shows in this deeply researched and elegantly written account of America's founding, the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war--one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand. In Scars of Independence, Hoock writes the violence back into the story of the Revolution. American Patriots persecuted and tortured Loyalists. British troops massacred enemy soldiers and raped colonial women. Prisoners were starved on disease-ridden ships and in subterranean cells. African-Americans fighting for or against independence suffered disproportionately, and Washington's army waged a genocidal campaign against the Iroquois. In vivid, authoritative prose, Hoock's new reckoning also examines the moral dilemmas posed by this all-pervasive violence, as the British found themselves torn between unlimited war and restraint toward fellow subjects, while the Patriots documented war crimes in an ingenious effort to unify the fledgling nation. For two centuries we have whitewashed this history of the Revolution. Scars of Independence forces a more honest appraisal, revealing the inherent tensions between moral purpose and violent tendencies in America's past. In so doing, it offers a new origins story that is both relevant and necessary--an important reminder that forging a nation is rarely bloodless.
A treasure hunt for the hidden meaning of the symbols that appear on the most revered national icon.
With gorgeous four-color reproductions of an amazing array of art from diverse cultures and eras, Inventing the American Flag explores the symbolism of the national flag and investigates why the founding fathers chose the images they did to represent the new nation. Looking at the flag from an art-historical background, Inventing the American Flag is radically different from the patriotic-tract, antiquarian-records and Masonic-mystery approaches with which this topic is usually treated. Author Henry W. Moeller weaves together seemingly disparate strands of history to offer a new understanding of the forces that contributed to the thirteen-star flag.