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 Puzzle Palace
A Report on America's Most Secret Agency
Paperback ISBN: 0140067485
Describes and assesses the activities of the National Security Agency, the nation's most secret government agency--established in secrecy, many times larger than the CIA, and in control of a huge budget and a vast technology
Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839
Paperback ISBN: 0820307076
Originally published in 1863, out-of-print and unavailable for almost a century, Frances Anne Kemble's Journal has long been recognized by historians as unique in the literature of American slavery and invaluable for obtaining a clear view of the "peculiar institution" and of life in the antebellum South. Fanny Kemble was one of the leading lights of the English stage in the nineteenth century. During a tour of America in the 1830s she met and married a wealthy Philadelphian, Pierce Butler, part of whose fortune derived from his family's vast cotton and rice plantation on the Sea Islands of Georgia. After their marriage she spent several months living on the plantation. Profoundly shocked by what she saw, she recorded her observations of plantation life in a series of journal entries written as letters to a friend. But she never sent the letters, and not until the Civil War was on and Fanny was divorced from Pierce Butler and living in England were they published. This Brown Thrasher edition incorporates the valuable introduction written by John A. Scott for the 1961 edition published by Alfred A. Knopf, together with the editor's appendices to that edition. It provides the modern reader with the historical and biographical background to move freely and with ease in Mrs. Kemble's world.