U.s. History - Constitutional
The Jefferson Transformation
Passages from the "History"
Paperback ISBN: 1590172159
A New York Review Books Original The ideal introduction and companion to Adams’s "massive and magisterial" history of the administrations of Jefferson and Madison, presenting an indelible picture of America’s startling rise to world power. Henry Adams’s nine-volume History of the United States During the Administrations of Jefferson and Madison is the first great history of America as well as the first great American work of history, a work that rivals Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in its eloquence and sweep. But where Gibbon told of imperial collapse, Adams recorded the rise of a new, unanticipated power, America, a state that, he shows, beat every odd to expand in a mere sixteen years–1800 to 1817–from a backward provincial outpost to international eminence. What made this transformation all the more remarkable was that it occurred under the watch of two presidents who were frankly skeptical about its benefits, and yet whose policies served to promote it. Thus America not only found its footing in the world, but took on a divided identity–at once isolationist and interventionist–that it continues to display to this day. Famed historian and political commentator Garry Wills’s recent, widely reviewed, and well-received Henry Adams and the Making of America introduced readers to the splendors of Adams’s history and the rigors of its analysis. This ample new selection from Adams’s History is the first to bring together its powerful opening and concluding sections. Together with Wills’s thoughtful introduction, it offers readers a chance to experience the magnum opus of one of America’s outstanding writers and thinkers.
History of the United States of America During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson
Hardcover ISBN: 0940450348
One of the greatest histories ever written in English, Henry Adams’s History of the United States is remarkable for its fullness of detail, its penetrating insight, and above all its strong, lively, and ironic style. First published in nine volumes from 1889 to 1891, this classic work was out of print for several decades until The Library of America reissued it in two volumes: the first volume on the years of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency and the second devoted to those of James Madison. With a cast of characters including Aaron Burr, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Gallatin, John Randolph, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and the complex, brilliantly delineated character of Thomas Jefferson, the first volume is unrivaled in its handling of diplomatic intrigue and political factionalism. Upon assuming office, Jefferson discovers that his optimistic laissez-faire principles—designed to prevent American government from becoming a militaristic European "tyranny"—clash with the realities of European war and American security. The party of small government presides over the Louisiana Purchase, the most extensive use of executive power the country has yet seen. Jefferson’s embargo—a high-minded effort at peaceable coercion—breeds corruption and smuggling, and the former defender of states’ rights is forced to use federal power to suppress them. The passion for peace and liberty pushes the country toward war. In the center of these ironic reversals, played out in a Washington full of diplomatic intrigue, is the complex figure of Jefferson himself, part tragic visionary, part comic mock-hero. Like his contemporary Napoleon Bonaparte, he is swept into power by the rising tide of democratic nationalism; unlike Bonaparte, he tries to avert the consequences of the wolfish struggle for power among nation-states. The grandson of one president and the great-grandson of another, Adams gained access to hitherto secret archives in Europe. The diplomatic documents that lace the history lend a novelistic intimacy to scenes such as Jefferson’s conscientious introduction of democratic table manners into stuffily aristocratic state dinner parties. Written in a strong, lively style pointed with Adams’s wit, the History chronicles the consolidation of American character, and poses questions about the future course of democracy.
Paperback ISBN: 0143034758
The personal life of Alexander Hamilton, an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who rose to become George Washington's aide-de-camp and the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, is captured in a definitive biography by the National Book Award-winning author of The House of Morgan. Reprint.
Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and the Future of America
Paperback ISBN: 0465017371
Describes the events that led up to the fatal duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, offers profiles of each man, and recounts Jefferson's attempts to ruin Burr after Hamilton's death. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
The Real Life and the Many Legends of Davy Crockett
Hardcover ISBN: 0688096565
Debunks commonly held myths about Crockett, depicting him as an impoverished farmer who depended on his wife's money and skill and a rustic member of the House of Representatives who incurred the wrath of President Jackson. 30,000 first printing. $20,000 ad/promo.
The Grand Idea
George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West
Hardcover ISBN: 0684848570
Chronicles retired general George Washington's adventurous 680-mile trek down the Potomac River, a journey during which he endeavored to prevent disunion, collected key frontier and real-estate data, tangled with squatters and the natural elements, and inspired engineering achievements. 40,000 first printing.
History of the United States of America During the Administrations of James Madison
Hardcover ISBN: 0940450356
This monumental work, the second of two Library of America volumes, culminated Henry Adams’s lifelong fascination with the American past. Writing at the height of his powers, Adams understood the true subject as the consolidation of the American nation and character, and his treatment has never been surpassed. Covering the eight years spanning the presidency of James Madison, this volume chronicles “Mr. Madison’s War”—the most bungled war in American history. The President and Congress delay while the United States is bullied and insulted by both England and France; then they plunge the country into the War of 1812 without providing the troops, monies, or fleets to wage it. The incompetence of the commanders leads to a series of disasters—including the burning of the White House and Capitol while Madison and his cabinet, fleeing from an invading army, watch from the nearby hills of Maryland and Virginia. The war has its heroes, too: William Henry Harrison at Tippecanoe and Andrew Jackson at New Orleans, Commodores Perry and Decatur and the officers and crew of the Constitution. As Adams tells it, though, disgrace, is averted by other means: the ineptitude of the British, the skill of the American artillerymen and privateers, and the diplomatic brilliance of Albert Gallatin and John Quincy Adams, who negotiated the peace treaty at Ghent. The history, full of reversals and paradoxes, ends with the largest irony of all: the United States, the apparent loser of the war, emerges as a great new world power destined to eclipse its European rivals.