The great documents in this important collection helped form the foundation of American democratic government. Compelling, influential, and often inspirational, they range from Patrick Henry's dramatic Give me liberty or give me death speech at the start of the American Revolution to Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, issued in the closing weeks of the Civil War. Also included are the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson's classic rationale for rejecting allegiance to the government of King George III; the Monroe Doctrine, the cornerstone of American foreign policy; and these other landmark statements: The Constitution of the United States; James Madison's The Federalist, No. 10; George Washington's First Inaugural Address and Farewell Address; Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address; William Lloyd Garrison's Prospectus for The Liberator; Andrew Jackson's Veto of the Bank Bill; and Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, Emancipation Proclamation, and Gettysburg Address.
An introductory note precedes the text of each document, providing fascinating background history and information about the author. An indispensable reference for students, this handy compendium will also serve as an invaluable introduction for general readers to American political writing.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts comes New York Times bestseller Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families-and their country-proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.
While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts brings us women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favoured recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed and Martha Washington-proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might have never survived.
Combining firsthand scholarship and material drawn from the Jefferson Papers, Willard Sterne Randall calls on his skills as an investigative journalist to challenge long-held assumptions about the reasoning, motives, and works of this sage, philosopher, politician, and romantic. Exploring both Jefferson's interior and public struggles, Randall sheds important light on Jefferson's thoughts on slavery and his relationship with the slave Sally Hemmings, as well as Revolutionary and diplomatic intrigues.
From the author who Nick Hornby calls smart, funny, soulful, and even educational--a smart, funny, soulful, and even educational collection of first-person experiences about life in America. Vowell captures the hilarious and moving things that happen when she confronts history.
Rough Crossings turns on a single huge question: if you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, whom would you want to win? In response to a declaration by the last governor of Virginia that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the King would be emancipated, tens of thousands of slaves -- Americans who clung to the sentimental notion of British freedom -- escaped from farms, plantations and cities to try to reach the British camp. This mass movement lasted as long as the war did, and a military strategy originally designed to break the plantations of the American South had unleashed one of the great exoduses in American history.
With powerfully vivid storytelling, Schama details the odyssey of the escaped blacks through the fires of war and the terror of potential recapture at the war's end, into inhospitable Nova Scotia, where thousands who had served the Crown were betrayed and, in a little-known hegira of the slave epic, sent across the broad, stormy ocean to Sierra Leone.
In this dazzling work of history, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author follows Benjamin Franklin to France for the crowning achievement of his career
"In December of 1776 a small boat delivered an old man to France." So begins an enthralling narrative account of how Benjamin Franklin--seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French--convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America's experiment in democracy.
When Franklin stepped onto French soil, he well understood he was embarking on the greatest gamble of his career. By virtue of fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues; engineered the Franco-American alliance of 1778; and helped to negotiate the peace of 1783. The eight-year French mission stands not only as Franklin's most vital service to his country but as the most revealing of the man.
In A Great Improvisation, Stacy Schiff draws from new and little-known sources to illuminate the least-explored part of Franklin's life. Here is an unfamiliar, unforgettable chapter of the Revolution, a rousing tale of American infighting, and the treacherous backroom dealings at Versailles that would propel George Washington from near decimation at Valley Forge to victory at Yorktown. From these pages emerges a particularly human and yet fiercely determined Founding Father, as well as a profound sense of how fragile, improvisational, and international was our country's bid for independence.
"Tourtellot's book is the best account we have of the day of Lexington and Concord. The actions of each individual who played a conspicuous part in the day's work are minutely traced but Mr. Tourtellot never loses the main thread of his narrative and the wealth of detail he has included gives substance and color to an exciting story." J. C. Miller, New York Herald Tribune Book Review "Tourtellot does not let his 19th of April float up in the spring air unconnected with a past or a future. He has built in very skillfully the story of the months before that day and then sends its echoes rolling on through time and into distant states and nations....No other book generally available performs an even remotely comparable job....Makes full use of old material, adds a good deal that has come to light in the intervening years and, standing firmly on its own base, presents magnificently for the general reader and the specialist this immortal opening chapter of our beginnings as a nation." Bruce Lancaster, The Saturday Review "The result of thoughtful examination of the evidence and clear writing." Walter Muir Whitehill, New England Quarterly "An absorbing and vital history, containing much newly published information about a crucial week in the history of the United States. " J.M. Goodsell, Christian Science Monitor
Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Anisfield-Wolf Award WinnerIn New York Burning, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events of 1741, when ten fires blazed across Manhattan and panicked whites suspecting it to be the work a slave uprising went on a rampage. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.
Even back in the seventeenth century, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.