U.s. History - Constitutional
The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West
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 data, and inspired engineering achievements.

Henry Adams: History of the United States Vol. 2 1809-1817 (Loa #32): The Administrations of James Madison
Henry Adams: History of the United States Vol. 2 1809-1817 (Loa #32)
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.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
100 Essential Lincoln Books
100 Essential Lincoln Books
Paperback      ISBN: 158182369x

Few politicians have fascinated the American people as much as Abraham Lincoln. The 1990s witnessed heightened interest in the sixteenth president and a flood of books about him that continues to the present. A recent tally indicates that at least 14,000 books and pamphlets have been written about him. The last guide to the best Lincoln books was produced in 1946. Since then several thousand more titles have been published. As a result, anyone interested in reading about him faces a daunting task in seeking out the books that offer the keenest insights into the man and the legend and lore that surround him. Michael Burkhimer's "100 Essential Lincoln Books offers a guide to this vast body of Lincoln literature. He chooses books that are indispensable for both book collectors and readers intent on learning more about Lincoln. The importance of each work is outlined with an emphasis on how it has contributed to Lincoln studies. Burkhimer's criteria for selection are based on the book's originality, sources, interpretations, writing style, and overall contribution. Titles are arranged chronologically in order of their first publication, ranging from 1866 (Francis B. Carpenter's "Six Months at the While House with Abraham Lincoln) to 2002 (William Lee Miller's "Lincoln's Virtues). The recent resurgence of interest in Lincoln is reflected in that almost one-third of the books described here have appeared since 1990. To further aid the curious Lincoln reader, each title is classified under a general heading, such as assassination, biography, family and genealogy, and reminiscences. Indexes of authors and headings are also included.

1816: America Rising
1816
America Rising
Paperback      ISBN: 0813192102

"The year 1816 found America on the cusp of political, social, cultural, and economic modernity. Celebrating its fortieth year of independence, the country's sense of self was maturing. Americans, who had emerged from the War of 1812 with their political systemsintact, embraced new opportunities. For the first time, citizens viewed themselves not as members of a loose coalition of states but as part of a larger union. This optimism was colored, however, by bizarre weather. Periods of extreme cold and severe drought swept the northern states and the upper south throughout 1816, which was sometimes referred to as "The Year Without a Summer." Faced with thirty-degree summer temperatures, many farmers migrated west in search of better weather and more fertile farmlands. In 1816, historian C. Edward Skeen illuminates this unique year of national transition. Politically, the "era of good feelings" allowed Congress to devise programs that fostered prosperity. Social reform movements flourished. This election year found the Federalist party in its death throes, seeking cooperation with the nationalistic forces of the Republican party. Movement west, maturation of political parties, and increasingly contentious debates over such issues as slavery characterized this pivotal year. 1816 marked a watershed in American history. This provocative new book vividly highlights the stresses that threatened to pull the nation apart and the bonds that ultimately held it together.

A. Lincoln, Esquire
A. Lincoln, Esquire
Hardcover      ISBN: 0865547394

After considerable scouring of musty and dusty files in courtroom storage cellars, the research project in Springfield, Illinois discovered more than 70,000 documents directly linked to Abraham Lincoln's twenty-four years as a practicing lawyer. Having access to that wealth of information, A. Lincoln Esquire: A Shrewd, Sophisticated Litigator presents unique insight into Lincoln's legal career in a distinctive book that presents detailed stories about Lincoln's cases using actual trial document, uses Lincoln's cases to examine the social and political climate of the time, shows how relationships between Lincoln and his clients changed over time, and is the first book to use the newly discovered Lincoln Legal Papers primary source data.

In contrast to the mythical image of Lincoln as a country lawyer, he was actually among the top leaders of the Illinois bar. This book details more than fifty of Lincoln's legal cases and activities such as assault and battery, bestiality, a wrongful dismissal, medical malpractice uncollected debts, the insanity plea in a murder case, divorce, the selection of expert witnesses, patent infringement, sexual slander, personal damages, corporate clients, and the first use of the temporary insanity plea in a US courtroom, and set the precedent for using expert witnesses. Lincoln even defended an Illinois Supreme Court justice against an impeachment charge.

A. P. Hill: Lee's Forgotten General
A. P. Hill
Lee's Forgotten General
Paperback      ISBN: 0807845485
A. P. Hill: Lee's Forgotten General is the first biography of the Confederacy's long-neglected hero whom Lee ranked next to Jackson and Longstreet. Although the name and deeds ot this gallant Virginian conspicuously punctuate the record of every major campaign of the Army of Northern Virginia, the man himself has persistently remained what Douglas Southall Freman termed an elusive personality. William Woods Hassler, through careful and persistent research, has compiled an interesting documentary study from which emerges a balanced portrait of this distinguished but complex character.

Here for the first time is detailed the romantic triangle which enmeshed Hill and McClellan, former roommates at West Point, with beauteous Nelly Marcy, reigning queen of pre-war Washington's younger set. Hill lost this contest to Nelly's parents, but he later won the hand of General John Hunt Morgan's lovely and talented sister, Dolly. And at Sharpsburg, Hill wreaked vengeance upon McClellan by his timely arrival which saved Lee from defeat at the same time it spelled McClellan's subsequent dismissal from command of the Army of the Potomac.

The author traces Hill's meteoric rise from Colonel of the redoubtable Thirteenth Virginia Regiment to Major General in command of the famed Light Division. Against a you are there background of intimate detail, the reader follows the exploits of tempestous Ambrose Powell Hill as he welds his officers and men into fierce striking units. Where the fighing is thickests there is the red-haired, red-shirted Hill brandishing his sword and exhorting his men to victory. Sometimes the issue ends ignominiously as at Bristoe Station, but more often the outcome is glorious as at Second Manassas and Reams Station.

Gray greats and near-greats stalk through these pages with vivid reality as one meets Jeb Stuart, Dorsey Pender, John Hood, Heros von Borcke, Ham Chamerlayne, Willie Pegram, Rev. J. Wm. Jones, Cadmus Wilcox, Harry Heth, J. R. Anderson, Lawrence O'Brien Branch, James Archer, Jim Lane, Thomas Wooten, Charles Field, George Tucker, Kyd Douglas, Johnston Pettigrew, Moxley Sorrel, William H. Palmer, Wade Hampton, Jube Early, Lindsay Walker, Maxcy Gregg, Sam McGowan, and others.

Accompanying Hill and his commands from pre-Manassas to the final breakthrough at Petersburg, the reader relives the campaigns in the Eastern theater. At the same time the reader gains a deeper insight into the problems of command, together with an appreciation of the hardships which the Confederate soldiers endured during even the early days of the conflict.

Although Powell Hill's consideration and ability won for him the unbounded respect and devotion of his troops, his proud, sensitive nature continually embroiled him with his superiors. His dispute with Longstreet following the Seven Days Battles almost culminated in a duel. Transferred to Jackson's command, Hill outspokenly quarreled with Old Jack until the latter's mortal wounding at Chancellorsville effected a dramatic battlefield reconciliation. As Jackson's successor, Hill performed irregularly. The author analyzes objectively the various factors which may have caused the changes in Hill's fortunes following his elevation to corps command.

Abraham Lincoln, Public Speaker
Abraham Lincoln, Public Speaker
Paperback      ISBN: 0807118524

In Abraham Lincoln, Public Speaker, Waldo W. Braden presents a thought-provoking study of the sixteenth president's rhetorical style. In his discussion of Lincoln's speaking practices from 1854 through 1865, Braden draws extensively on Lincoln's papers and the reports of those who knew him and heard him speak. He portrays Lincoln in his various shows how Lincoln adapted to the public's growing recognition of his political abilities.

In separate chapters devoted to Lincoln's three most famous speeches--the First Inaugural Address, the Gettysburg Address, and the Second Inaugural Address--Braden Analyzes the ways in which each demonstrated Lincoln's persuasive abilities during the difficult years of the Civil War. Braden does not claim that Lincoln was an orator in the grand, classical style of Daniel Webster, Edward Everett, and Charles Summer. But he shows that Lincoln was a gifted speaker in his own right, able to win support by demonstrating that he was a man of common sense and good moral character.
The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams
The Adams-Jefferson Letters
The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams
Paperback      ISBN: 0807842303

An intellectual dialogue of the highest plane achieved in America, the correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson spanned half a century and embraced government, philosophy, religion, quotidiana, and family griefs and joys. First meeting as delegates to the Continental Congress in 1775, they initiated correspondence in 1777, negotiated jointly as ministers in Europe in the 1780s, and served the early Republic--each, ultimately, in its highest office. At Jefferson's defeat of Adams for the presidency in 1800, they became estranged, and the correspondence lapses from 1801 to 1812, then is renewed until the death of both in 1826, fifty years to the day after the Declaration of Independence.

Lester J. Cappon's edition, first published in 1959 in two volumes, provides the complete correspondence between these two men and includes the correspondence between Abigail Adams and Jefferson. Many of these letters have been published in no other modern edition, nor does any other edition devote itself exclusively to the exchange between Jefferson and the Adamses. Introduction, headnotes, and footnotes inform the reader without interrupting the speakers. This reissue of The Adams-Jefferson Letters in a one-volume unabridged edition brings to a broader audience one of the monuments of American scholarship and, to quote C. Vann Woodward, 'a major treasure of national literature.'

Adams-Jefferson Letters
Adams-Jefferson Letters
Hardcover      ISBN: 0807818070

An intellectual dialogue of the highest plane achieved in America, the correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson spanned half a century and embraced government, philosophy, religion, quotidiana, and family griefs and joys. First meeting as delegates to the Continental Congress in 1775, they initiated correspondence in 1777, negotiated jointly as ministers in Europe in the 1780s, and served the early Republic--each, ultimately, in its highest office. At Jefferson's defeat of Adams for the presidency in 1800, they became estranged, and the correspondence lapses from 1801 to 1812, then is renewed until the death of both in 1826, fifty years to the day after the Declaration of Independence.

Lester J. Cappon's edition, first published in 1959 in two volumes, provides the complete correspondence between these two men and includes the correspondence between Abigail Adams and Jefferson. Many of these letters have been published in no other modern edition, nor does any other edition devote itself exclusively to the exchange between Jefferson and the Adamses. Introduction, headnotes, and footnotes inform the reader without interrupting the speakers. This reissue of The Adams-Jefferson Letters in a one-volume unabridged edition brings to a broader audience one of the monuments of American scholarship and, to quote C. Vann Woodward, 'a major treasure of national literature.'

The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800
The Age of Federalism
The Early American Republic, 1788-1800
Paperback      ISBN: 019509381x

When Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office for the presidency in 1801, America had just passed through twelve critical years, years dominated by some of the towering figures of our history and by the challenge of having to do everything for the first time. Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, and Jefferson himself each had a share in shaping that remarkable era--an era that is brilliantly captured in The Age of Federalism.
Written by esteemed historians Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism gives us a reflective, deeply informed analytical survey of this extraordinary period. Ranging over the widest variety of concerns--political, cultural, economic, diplomatic, and military--the authors provide a sweeping historical account, keeping always in view not only the problems the new nation faced but also the particular individuals who tried to solve them. As they move through the Federalist era, they draw subtly perceptive character sketches not only of the great figures--Washington and Jefferson, Talleyrand and Napoleon Bonaparte--but also of lesser ones, such as George Hammond, Britain's frustrated minister to the United States, James McHenry, Adams's hapless Secretary of War, the pre-Chief Justice version of John Marshall, and others. They weave these lively profiles into an analysis of the central controversies of the day, turning such intricate issues as the public debt into fascinating depictions of opposing political strategies and contending economic philosophies. Each dispute bears in some way on the broader story of the emerging nation. The authors show, for instance, the consequences the fight over Hamilton's financial system had for the locating of the nation's permanent capital, and how it widened an ideological gulf between Hamilton and the Virginians, Madison and Jefferson, that became unbridgeable. The statesmen of the founding generation, the authors believe, did "a surprising number of things right." But Elkins and McKitrick also describe some things that went resoundingly wrong: the hopelessly underfinanced effort to construct a capital city on the Potomac (New York, they argue, would have been a far more logical choice than Washington), and prosecutions under the Alien and Sedition Acts which turned into a comic nightmare. No detail is left out, or left uninteresting, as their account continues through the Adams presidency, the XYZ affair, the naval Quasi-War with France, and the desperate Federalist maneuvers in 1800, first to prevent the reelection of Adams and then to nullify the election of Jefferson.
The Age of Federalism is the fruit of many years of discussion and thought, in which deep scholarship is matched only by the lucid distinction of its prose. With it, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick have produced the definitive study, long awaited by historians, of the early national era.