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.
Women and Indians on the Frontier, 1825-1915
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 0826307809
Pioneer women going west carried distinct images of themselves and of American Indians. Their views reflected stereotypes pervading the popular literature and journalism of the nineteenth century: women were weak and defenseless, their westward trek was a noble mission, and American Indians were savages. But as a result of their frontier experience, many women changed or discarded their earlier opinions. This book is the first account of how and why pioneer women altered their self-images and their views of American Indians. In Women and Indians on the Frontier, Riley substantially revises the conventional melodramatic picture of pioneer women cowering when confronted with Indians. Frontier life required women to be self-reliant, independent, and hardy: as they learned to adapt, frontierswomen also learned to reexamine stereotypes in the light of experience. Interestingly, Riley explains, while pioneer women frequently changed their beliefs about Indians, they did not often revise their attitudes toward Mormon or Mexican women following contact with them. Frontierswomen also differed from men, whose unfavorable impression of Indians seldom changed. Riley's work is an important addition to Western history, women's studies, and American Indian studies. She examines in detail images and myths of both women and Indians, using examples from history, literature, and film, complemented by period photographs and illustrations. Her comparative account will interest a variety of scholars concerned with cultures in conflict and transition.
Barbs, Prongs, Points, Prickers, and Stickers
A Complete and Illustrated Catalogue of Antique Barbed Wire
Paperback ISBN: 0806108762
On the Great Plains, a land barren of wood and rock for the traditional rail and stone fences, the wire fence was a logical invention. Hundreds of barded-wire designs were invented, and the more practical patents were manufactured and shipped west at great profit. Today collectors are carefully searching out that wire for both enjoyment and historical interest. This book was designed to provide a well-organized identifying, classifying, and cataloguing system for the many designs and variations of barded wire. Nearly one thousand drawings and three indexes to patents, inventors, and manufacturers provide an immediate means of identification.
Old Rail Fence Corners
Frontier Tales Told by Minnesota Pioneers
Paperback ISBN: 0873511093
Old Rail Fence Corners is the story of Minnesota's early settlers in their own words—hardship and happiness on the frontier. These simple, direct accounts, collected at the beginning of the twentieth century, paint vivid pictures of life in Minnesota from the 1840s to the 1860s. A new introduction by Marjorie Kreidburg describes the life and times of the book and of Lucy Leavenworth Wilder Morris, its remarkable editor. Praise for Old Rail Fence Corners: "These personal anecdotes are the stuff of social history—the testimony of ordinary, everyday people, which, when pieced together, give us a picture of pioneer life." —Marilyn J. Lass, Minnesota Reviews
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.