Presidency
Featured Items
Mr. Jefferson's Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase
Mr. Jefferson's Lost Cause
Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195153472

Thomas Jefferson advocated a republic of small farmers--free and independent yeomen. And yet as president he presided over a massive expansion of the slaveholding plantation system--particularly with the Louisiana Purchase--squeezing the yeomanry to the fringes and to less desirable farmland. Now Roger Kennedy conducts an eye-opening examination of that gap between Jefferson's stated aspirations and what actually happened.
Kennedy reveals how the Louisiana Purchase had a major impact on land use and the growth of slavery. He examines the great financial interests (such as the powerful land companies that speculated in new territories and the British textile interests) that beat down slavery's many opponents in the South itself (Native Americans, African Americans, Appalachian farmers, and conscientious opponents of slavery). He describes how slaveholders' cash crops (first tobacco, then cotton) sickened the soil and how the planters moved from one desolated tract to the next. Soon the dominant culture of the entire region--from Maryland to Florida, from Carolina to Texas--was that of owners and slaves producing staple crops for international markets. The earth itself was impoverished, in many places beyond redemption.
None of this, Kennedy argues, was inevitable. He focuses on the character, ideas, and ambitions of Thomas Jefferson to show how he and other Southerners struggled with the moral dilemmas presented by the presence of Indian farmers on land they coveted, by the enslavement of their workforce, by the betrayal of their stated hopes, and by the manifest damage being done to the earth itself. Jefferson emerges as a tragic figure in a tragic period.

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom
The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Paperback      ISBN: 0316548189
"Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history - and then go out and change it." -President Barack Obama Nelson Mandela was one of the great moral and political leaders of his time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. After his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela was at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is still revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

Long Walk to Freedom is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela told the extraordinary story of his life -- an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph. The book that inspired the major motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America
Duel
Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America
Paperback      ISBN: 0465017371

All school children know the story of the fatal duel between Hamilton and Burr - but do they really? In this remarkable retelling, Thomas Fleming takes the reader into the post-revolutionary world of 1804, a chaotic and fragile time in the young country as well as a time of tremendous global instability. The success of the French Revolution and the proclamation of Napoleon as First Consul for Life had enormous impact on men like Hamilton and Burr, feeding their own political fantasies at a time of perceived Federal government weakness and corrosion. Their hunger for fame spawned antagonisms that wreaked havoc on themselves and their families and threatened to destabilize the fragile young American republic. From that poisonous brew came the tangle of regret and anger and ambition that drove the two to their murderous confrontation in Weehawken, New Jersey. Readers will find this is popular narrative history at its most authoritative, and authoritative history at its most readable.

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
An Unfinished Life
John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
Paperback      ISBN: 0316907928
Drawing on previously unavailable material and never-before-opened archives, An Unfinished Life is packed with revelations large and small -- about JFK's health, his love affairs, RFK's appointment as Attorney General, what Joseph Kennedy did to help his son win the White House, and the path JFK would have taken in the Vietnam entanglement had he survived.

Robert Dallek succeeds as no other biographer has done in striking a critical balance -- never shying away from JFK's weaknesses, brilliantly exploring his strengths -- as he offers up a vivid portrait of a bold, brave, complex, heroic, human Kennedy.
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
The Home Front in World War II
Paperback      ISBN: 0684804484

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, No Ordinary Time is a monumental work, a brilliantly conceived chronicle of one of the most vibrant and revolutionary periods in the history of the United States.

With an extraordinary collection of details, Goodwin masterfully weaves together a striking number of story lines--Eleanor and Franklin's marriage and remarkable partnership, Eleanor's life as First Lady, and FDR's White House and its impact on America as well as on a world at war. Goodwin effectively melds these details and stories into an unforgettable and intimate portrait of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and of the time during which a new, modern America was born.
For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush
For the President's Eyes Only
Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush
Paperback      ISBN: 0060921781

The co-author of KGB: The Inside Story offers a thorough and revealing examination of how presidents have used or misused secret intelligence. A fascinating narrative that shows how only four presidents proved equal to the challenge of using the often controversial service of U.S. Intelligence: Washington and Eisenhower, two former career soldiers; Kennedy, after he recovered from the Bay of Pigs fiasco; and Bush. Among the book's final revelations is the intelligence that changed Reagan's policy toward the -Evil Empire, ' and new information on Bush and Desert Storm.

Eleanor Roosevelt As I Knew Her
Eleanor Roosevelt As I Knew Her
Paperback      ISBN: 093900996x

The only living person who as an adult worked closely with Mrs. Roosevelt, Somerville was an aide and friend to the First Lady. Her chronicle of a decade with the Roosevelts focuses on the woman whose compassion reshaped the world.

Remembering Jack: Intimate and Unseen Photographs of the Kennedys
Remembering Jack
Intimate and Unseen Photographs of the Kennedys
Hardcover      ISBN: 0821228498

A stirring collection of never-before-seen photographs of the Kennedy family presented in this seminal work by JFK's personal photographer, Jacques Lowe.

Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams
Dearest Friend
A Life of Abigail Adams
Hardcover      ISBN: 0743229177

Rich with excerpts from her incomparable letters and alive with the ferment of a new nation, Dearest Friend is the first full biography of Abigail Adams, the unschooled minister's daughter who became the most influential woman in Revolutionary America.

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
American Sphinx
The Character of Thomas Jefferson
Paperback      ISBN: 0679764410

Following Thomas Jefferson from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to his retirement in Monticello, Joseph J. Ellis unravels the contradictions of the Jeffersonian character. He gives us the slaveholding libertarian who was capable of decrying mescegenation while maintaing an intimate relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings; the enemy of government power who exercisdd it audaciously as president; the visionarty who remained curiously blind to the inconsistencies in his nature. American Sphinx is a marvel of scholarship, a delight to read, and an essential gloss on the Jeffersonian legacy.