U.s. Political History
Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero
Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman
Portrait of an American Hero
Paperback      ISBN: 0345456289
The essential, "richly researched"* biography of Harriet Tubman, revealing a complex woman who "led a remarkable life, one that her race, her sex, and her origins make all the more extraordinary" (*The New York Times Book Review).

Harriet Tubman is one of the giants of American history--a fearless visionary who led scores of her fellow slaves to freedom and battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War. Now, in this magnificent biography, historian Kate Clifford Larson gives us a powerful, intimate, meticulously detailed portrait of Tubman and her times. Drawing from a trove of new documents and sources as well as extensive genealogical data, Larson presents Harriet Tubman as a complete human being--brilliant, shrewd, deeply religious, and passionate in her pursuit of freedom. A true American hero, Tubman was also a woman who loved, suffered, and sacrificed.

Praise for Bound for the Promised Land

" Bound for the Promised Land] appropriately reads like fiction, for Tubman's exploits required such intelligence, physical stamina and pure fearlessness that only a very few would have even contemplated the feats that she actually undertook. . . . Larson captures Tubman's determination and seeming imperviousness to pain and suffering, coupled with an extraordinary selflessness and caring for others."--The Seattle Times

"Essential for those interested in Tubman and her causes . . . Larson does an especially thorough job of . . . uncovering relevant documents, some of them long hidden by history and neglect."--The Plain Dealer

"Larson has captured Harriet Tubman's clandestine nature . . . reading Ms. Larson made me wonder if Tubman is not, in fact, the greatest spy this country has ever produced."--The New York Sun
When Republicans Were Progressive
When Republicans Were Progressive
Paperback      ISBN: 168134078x

The Republican Party has dominated Minnesota's politics for much of the state's history. Today's party, though, is very different from the progressive Republican Party that came to power with Harold Stassen in 1938, had its heyday in the middle of the twentieth century, and faded into near-obscurity by the 1990s. But from the ideas and ideals of that dynamic political movement sprang modern Minnesota's success story.

Minnesota's progressive Republican Party stood not for big or small government but for effective government. Issues that are anathema to today's GOP--environmental protection, assistance for vulnerable citizens, and economic opportunity for low-wage workers and the middle class--were at the heart of the party's agenda. Minnesota Republicans held that working across the aisle was a mark of strength, not of weakness or disloyalty.

Senator Dave Durenberger grew up in and helped build that party. In this powerful work of history and witness, he explains how Minnesota's progressive Republicans earned voters' trust and delivered on their promises--and how progressive ideas fell out of favor when an increasingly anti-government, anti-tax national party shifted Minnesota Republican thinking to the right. In the ensuing partisan realignment, both the Republican and the Democratic parties have lost public trust. With eloquence and insight, Durenberger argues that the principles and practices of progressive Republicanism are a fitting remedy for what ails American democracy today.

American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good
American Character
A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good
Paperback      ISBN: 0143110004

The author of American Nations examines the history of and solutions to the key American question: how best to reconcile individual liberty with the maintenance of a free society

The struggle between individual rights and the good of the community as a whole has been the basis of nearly every major disagreement in our history, from the debates at the Constitutional Convention and in the run up to the Civil War to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the New Dealers, the civil rights movement, and the Tea Party. In American Character, Colin Woodard traces these two key strands in American politics through the four centuries of the nation's existence, from the first colonies through the Gilded Age, Great Depression and the present day, and he explores how different regions of the country have successfully or disastrously accommodated them. The independent streak found its most pernicious form in the antebellum South but was balanced in the Gilded Age by communitarian reform efforts; the New Deal was an example of a successful coalition between communitarian-minded Eastern elites and Southerners.

Woodard argues that maintaining a liberal democracy, a society where mass human freedom is possible, requires finding a balance between protecting individual liberty and nurturing a free society. Going to either libertarian or collectivist extremes results in tyranny. But where does the "sweet spot" lie in the United States, a federation of disparate regional cultures that have always strongly disagreed on these issues? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing journey through four centuries of struggle, experimentation, successes and failures to provide an answer. His historically informed and pragmatic suggestions on how to achieve this balance and break the nation's political deadlock will be of interest to anyone who cares about the current American predicament--political, ideological, and sociological.
Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream
Songs of the Doomed
More Notes on the Death of the American Dream
Paperback      ISBN: 0743240995

First published in 1990, Songs of the Doomed is back in print -- by popular demand In this third and most extraordinary volume of the Gonzo Papers, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson recalls high and hideous moments in his thirty years in the Passing Lane -- and no one is safe from his hilarious, remarkably astute social commentary.
With Thompson's trademark insight and passion about the state of American politics and culture, Songs of the Doomed charts the long, strange trip from Kennedy to Quayle in Thompson's freewheeling, inimitable style. Spanning four decades -- 1950 to 1990 -- Thompson is at the top of his form while fleeing New York for Puerto Rico, riding with the Hell's Angels, investigating Las Vegas sleaze, grappling with the Dukakis problem, and finally, detailing his infamous lifestyle bust, trial documents, and Fourth Amendment battle with the Law. These tales -- often sleazy, brutal, and crude -- are only the tip of what Jack Nicholson called the most baffling human iceberg of our time.
Songs of the Doomed is vintage Thompson -- a brilliant, brazen, bawdy compilation of the greatest sound bites of Gonzo journalism from the past thirty years.

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
Drift
The Unmooring of American Military Power
Paperback      ISBN: 0307460991
The #1 New York Times bestseller that charts America's dangerous drift into a state of perpetual war.

Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse.

Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift reinvigorates a loud and jangly political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.
The Jeffersonian Transformation: Passages from the
The Jeffersonian 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 of America During the Administrations of Jefferson and Madison is the first great history of America as well as the first great American work of history, one 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 an unprecedented new power, America, which, he shows, beat nearly inconceivable odds to expand in a mere seventeen years --1800 to 1817--from a backward provincial outpost to an imperial power. What made this transformation all the more unexpected was that it occurred under the watch of two presidents who were in principle dead set against it, but whose policies promoted it energetically. A masterpiece not only of research and analysis but of style and art, Adams's history is a splendid coming-of-age story, with romantic and even comic overtones, recording a young nation's amazed awakening to its own unsuspected promise.

The Jeffersonian Transformation presents a new selection from Adams's History, the first to bring together in one volume the opening and closing sections of the work, with an introduction by the historian and political commentator Garry Wills. The two sections of Adams's History included here present a bold picture of America before and after the Jeffersonian transformation. Together they define the scope and argument of the History as a whole, while raising still-provocative questions about the relationship between American democracy and American empire.
Coming of Age in Mississippi: The Classic Autobiography of a Young Black Girl in the Rural South
Coming of Age in Mississippi
The Classic Autobiography of a Young Black Girl in the Rural South
Paperback      ISBN: 0385337817
The unforgettable memoir of a woman at the front lines of the civil rights movement--a harrowing account of black life in the rural South and a powerful affirmation of one person's ability to affect change.

"Anne Moody's autobiography is an eloquent, moving testimonial to her courage."--Chicago Tribune

Born to a poor couple who were tenant farmers on a plantation in Mississippi, Anne Moody lived through some of the most dangerous days of the pre-civil rights era in the South. The week before she began high school came the news of Emmet Till's lynching. Before then, she had "known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil. But now there was . . . the fear of being killed just because I was black." In that moment was born the passion for freedom and justice that would change her life.

A straight-A student who realized her dream of going to college when she won a basketball scholarship, she finally dared to join the NAACP in her junior year. Through the NAACP and later through CORE and SNCC, she experienced firsthand the demonstrations and sit-ins that were the mainstay of the civil rights movement--and the arrests and jailings, the shotguns, fire hoses, police dogs, billy clubs, and deadly force that were used to destroy it.

A deeply personal story but also a portrait of a turning point in our nation's destiny, this autobiography lets us see history in the making, through the eyes of one of the footsoldiers in the civil rights movement.

Praise for Coming of Age in Mississippi

"A history of our time, seen from the bottom up, through the eyes of someone who decided for herself that things had to be changed . . . a timely reminder that we cannot now relax."--Senator Edward Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review

"Something is new here . . . rural southern black life begins to speak. It hits the page like a natural force, crude and undeniable and, against all principles of beauty, beautiful."--The Nation

"Engrossing, sensitive, beautiful . . . so candid, so honest, and so touching, as to make it virtually impossible to put down."--San Francisco Sun-Reporter
Coming of Age in Mississippi: The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South
Coming of Age in Mississippi
The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South
Paperback      ISBN: 0440314887
The unforgettable memoir of a woman at the front lines of the civil rights movement--a harrowing account of black life in the rural South and a powerful affirmation of one person's ability to affect change.

"Anne Moody's autobiography is an eloquent, moving testimonial to her courage."--Chicago Tribune

Born to a poor couple who were tenant farmers on a plantation in Mississippi, Anne Moody lived through some of the most dangerous days of the pre-civil rights era in the South. The week before she began high school came the news of Emmet Till's lynching. Before then, she had "known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil. But now there was . . . the fear of being killed just because I was black." In that moment was born the passion for freedom and justice that would change her life.

A straight-A student who realized her dream of going to college when she won a basketball scholarship, she finally dared to join the NAACP in her junior year. Through the NAACP and later through CORE and SNCC, she experienced firsthand the demonstrations and sit-ins that were the mainstay of the civil rights movement--and the arrests and jailings, the shotguns, fire hoses, police dogs, billy clubs, and deadly force that were used to destroy it.

A deeply personal story but also a portrait of a turning point in our nation's destiny, this autobiography lets us see history in the making, through the eyes of one of the footsoldiers in the civil rights movement.

Praise for Coming of Age in Mississippi

"A history of our time, seen from the bottom up, through the eyes of someone who decided for herself that things had to be changed . . . a timely reminder that we cannot now relax."--Senator Edward Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review

"Something is new here . . . rural southern black life begins to speak. It hits the page like a natural force, crude and undeniable and, against all principles of beauty, beautiful."--The Nation

"Engrossing, sensitive, beautiful . . . so candid, so honest, and so touching, as to make it virtually impossible to put down."--San Francisco Sun-Reporter
American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence
American Scripture
Making the Declaration of Independence
Paperback      ISBN: 0679779086

Pauline Maier shows us the Declaration as both the defining statement of our national identity and the moral standard by which we live as a nation. It is truly "American Scripture," and Maier tells us how it came to be -- from the Declaration's birth in the hard and tortuous struggle by which Americans arrived at Independence to the ways in which, in the nineteenth century, the document itself became sanctified.

Maier describes the transformation of the Second Continental Congress into a national government, unlike anything that preceded or followed it, and with more authority than the colonists would ever have conceded to the British Parliament; the great difficulty in making the decision for Independence; the influence of Paine's Common Sense, which shifted the terms of debate; and the political maneuvers that allowed Congress to make the momentous decision.

In Maier's hands, the Declaration of Independence is brought close to us. She lets us hear the voice of the people as revealed in the other "declarations" of 1776: the local resolutions -- most of which have gone unnoticed over the past two centuries -- that explained, advocated, and justified Independence and undergirded Congress's work. Detective-like, she discloses the origins of key ideas and phrases in the Declaration and unravels the complex story of its drafting and of the group-editing job which angered Thomas Jefferson.

Maier also reveals what happened to the Declaration after the signing and celebration: how it was largely forgotten and then revived to buttress political arguments of the nineteenth century; and, most important, how Abraham Lincoln ensured its persistence as a living force in American society. Finally, she shows how by the very act of venerating the Declaration as we do -- by holding it as sacrosanct, akin to holy writ -- we may actually be betraying its purpose and its power.
The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign
The Road to Camelot
Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign
Hardcover      ISBN: 1501105566
"A must-read for fans of presidential history." --USA TODAY

"Splendid...a gripping, authoritative campaign history." --The Boston Globe

"Terrific...a tougher and more balanced account of the long campaign than anybody's written yet." --The Christian Science Monitor

A behind-the-scenes, revelatory account of John F. Kennedy's wily campaign to the White House, beginning with his bold, failed attempt to win the vice presidential nomination in 1956. A young and undistinguished junior plots his way to the presidency and changes the way we nominate and elect presidents.

John F. Kennedy and his young warriors invented modern presidential politics. They turned over accepted wisdom that his Catholicism was a barrier to winning an election and plotted a successful course to that constituency. They hired Louis Harris--a polling entrepreneur--to become the first presidential pollster. They twisted arms and they charmed. They lined up party bosses, young enthusiasts, and fellow Catholics and turned the traditional party inside out. The last-minute invitation to Lyndon B. Johnson for vice president in 1956 surprised them only because they had failed to notice that he wanted it. They invented The Missile Gap in the Cold War and out-glamoured Richard Nixon in the TV debates.

Now acclaimed, award-winning journalists Tom Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie provide the most comprehensive account, based on a depth of personal reporting, interviews, and archives. The authors have examined more than 1,600 oral histories at the John F. Kennedy library; they've interviewed surviving sources, including JFK's sister Jean Smith, and they draw on their own interviews with insiders including Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

From the start of the campaign in 1955 when his father tried to persuade President Johnson to run with JFK as his running mate, The Road to Camelot reveals him as a tough, shrewd political strategist who kept his eye on the prize. This is one of the great campaign stories of all time, appropriate for today's political climate.