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.
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains
Paperback ISBN: 0806113286
In 1872, Isabella Bird, daughter of a clergyman, set off alone to the Antipodes 'in search of health' and found she had embarked on a life of adventurous travel. In 1873, wearing Hawaiian riding dress, she rode her horse through the American Wild West, a terrain only newly opened to pioneer settlement. The letters that make up this volume were first published in 1879. They tell of magnificent, unspoiled landscapes and abundant wildlife, of encounters with rattlesnakes, wolves, pumas and grizzly bears, and her reactions to the volatile passions of the miners and pioneer settlers. A classic account of a truly astounding journey.
The Free Women of Petersburg
Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784-1860
Paperback ISBN: 0393952649
In this book, which has important implications for our vision of thefemale past, Suzanne Lebsock examines the question, Did the position ofwomen in America deteriorate or improve in the first half of thenineteenth century?
Dakota Cowboy My Life in the Old Days
Paperback ISBN: 0803250150
When the most romantic of cow outfits, the British-owned Matador, shipped out from Texas with 3,000 head of cattle bound for Dakota and the Cheyenne Indian Reservation, an observant young bronc twister named Ike Blasingame rode with them. Dakota Cowboy—which the New York Times calls “warm, human, flavorful”—is the story of Ike’s eight years (1904-1912) on the last of the great open ranges. Its pages “take the reader across the treacherous Missouri as the spring-softened ice goes out under the horses’ feet, into the still wild cow towns, through the roundups, the prairie fires, and to the gatherings of the Frenchmen, breeds and Indians, and their gay spirited daughters” (Mari Sandoz). Perceptive and circumstantial—“the author paints a big picture without omitting details” (New York Herald Tribune)—Dakota Cowboy is a mine of information about western life.