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Common Sense
Thomas Paine
0486296024
Apr 1997
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
"These are the times that try men's souls," begins Thomas Paine's first Crisis paper, the impassioned pamphlet that helped ignite the American Revolution. Published in Philadelphia in January of 1776, Common Sense sold 150,000 copies almost immediately. A powerful piece of propaganda, it attacked the idea of a hereditary monarchy, dismissed the chance for reconciliation with England, and outlined the economic benefits of independence while espousing equality of rights among citizens. Paine fanned a flame that was already burning, but many historians argue that his work unified dissenting voices and persuaded patriots that the American Revolution was not only necessary, but an epochal step in world history. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From...


The Enlightenment: 1650-1800 (History SparkNotes)
SparkNotes Editors
1411404297
July 2005
Paperback
·
 


The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
Sean Wilentz
0393058204
October 24, 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
As the revolutionary fervor of the war for independence cooled, the new American republic, says Princeton historian Wilentz, might easily have hardened into rule by an aristocracy. Instead, the electoral franchise expanded and the democratic creed transformed every aspect of American society. At its least inspired, this ambitious study is a solid but unremarkable narrative of familiar episodes of electoral politics. But by viewing political history through the prism of democratization, Wilentz often discovers illuminating angles on his subject. His anti-elitist sympathies make for some lively interpretations, especially his defense of the Jacksonian revolt against the Bank of the United States. Wilentz unearths the roots of democratic radicalism in the campaigns for popular reform of state constitutions during...


Rough Crossings : Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution
Simon Schama
006053916X
May 1, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Adam HochschildHas there ever been a patch of history more celebrated than the American Revolution? The torrent is endless: volume after volume about the glory of 1776, the miracle of 1787 and enough biographies of the Founding Fathers to stretch from the Liberty Bell to Bunker Hill and back again. The Library of Congress catalogue lists 271 books or other items to do with George Washington's death and burial alone. Enough!By contrast with the usual hagiography, distinguished historian Schama has found a little-known story from this era that makes the Founding Fathers look not so glorious. The Revolution saw the first mass emancipation of slaves in the Americas—an emancipation, however, not done by the revolutionaries but by their enemies. Many American rebel leaders were slave...


His Excellency
Joseph J. Ellis
1400032539
Nov 2005
Paperback
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Review
" [Ellis has done it again. This is an important and challenging work: beautifully written, lively, serious and engaging.” –The Boston Globe

“Absorbing. . . . An incisive portrait [that] eloquently conveys the magnitude of Washington’s accomplishments.” –The New York Times


“Absolutely fascinating. . . . Underscores how extraordinary Washington’s accomplishments really were.” –The Christian Science Monitor

“Lively and engaging. . . . An accessible portrait. . . . Ellis writes simply but eloquently. His prose is lucid, graceful and witty, his book is hard to put down. . . . Should be required reading.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review

Book Description
To...


Washington's Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History Series)
David Hackett Fischer
0195170342
February 2004
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
At the core of an impeccably researched, brilliantly executed military history is an analysis of George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in December 1776 and the resulting destruction of the Hessian garrison of Trenton and defeat of a British brigade at Princeton. Fischer's perceptive discussion of the strategic, operational and tactical factors involved is by itself worth the book's purchase. He demonstrates Washington's insight into the revolution's desperate political circumstances, shows how that influenced the idea of a riposte against an enemy grown overconfident with success and presents Washington's skillful use of what his army could do well. Even more useful is Fischer's analysis of the internal dynamics of the combatants. He demonstrates mastery of the character of the American, British and...


Thomas Paine and the Promise of America
Harvey J. Kaye
080908970X
Aug 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Kaye offers a masterful and eloquent study of the man he reestablishes as the key figure in the American Revolution and the radical politics that followed it. Focusing on close readings of Paine's major writings, Kaye devotes the first half of the book to Paine's role in the seething fervor for American liberty and independence and his influence on the French Revolution. In Common Sense (1763), which sold 150,000 copies in just a few months, Paine advocated self-government and democracy in the colonies, accused the British of corruption and tyranny, and urged "Americans" to rebel. He championed representative democracy and argued that government should act for the public good. Paine's contributions were not limited to his own time; Kaye traces Paine's influence on American rebels and reformers...


Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism
Eric Burns
158648334X
March 1, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Considering the many noble accomplishments of early American culture, Burns observes, the levels of vulgarity and partisanship in colonial newspapers should strike modern readers as shocking. Given the ideological jousting taking place on talk radio and in the blogosphere today, he may be overstating the case, and at times the condemnation feels as if it's laid on a bit thick, but Burns's historical examples of journalistic excess—rabid language, character assassination, even outright fabrication—never bore. From the sniping feuds among Boston's first papers to sex scandals involving Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, the snappy patter gives clear indication of how much Burns, a Fox News anchor and accomplished historian (The Spirits of America), relishes telling his story. With so much...


The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War
Fred Anderson
0670034541
December 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The author of the award-winning, scholarly account of the French and Indian War Crucible of War (2000) offers a scaled-down, popular version of that history in this companion volume to the January 2006 PBS documentary. It is an excellent introduction to a conflict that most Americans know little about, and that Winston Churchill called the first worldwide war. Anderson focuses on the North American theater, the outcome of which he claims "transformed the colonists' world forever" and, in effect, "made America." He shows how the conflict encouraged colonials "to conceive of themselves as equal partners in the [British] empire," a concept that Britain did not share and that led inexorably to postwar strife and revolution. In a departure from earlier accounts, Anderson gives unprecedented coverage to the role of...


Dark Bargain
Lawrence Goldstone
0802714609
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This superficial account advances the unoriginal thesis that "sectionalism and slavery are key to understanding" the Constitutional Convention. Goldstone (The Friar and the Cipher) recreates the convention, focusing in particular on four delegates: George Mason, a Virginia planter who ultimately refused to sign the Constitution; John Rutledge, a South Carolina lawyer and statesman; Oliver Ellsworth, a dour Connecticut attorney turned judge; and Roger Sherman, a Massachusetts native transplanted to Connecticut, who had risen from cobbler and almanac maker to respected politician. Sherman was the architect of the so-called Connecticut Compromise, which included the plan that states' representation in the House, but not the Senate, would be based on population. Goldstone rehearses the genesis of the three-fifths...


Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Walter Isaacson
074325807X
June 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
Benjamin Franklin, writes journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson, was that rare Founding Father who would sooner wink at a passer-by than sit still for a formal portrait. What's more, Isaacson relates in this fluent and entertaining biography, the revolutionary leader represents a political tradition that has been all but forgotten today, one that prizes pragmatism over moralism, religious tolerance over fundamentalist rigidity, and social mobility over class privilege. That broadly democratic sensibility allowed Franklin his contradictions, as Isaacson shows. Though a man of lofty principles, Franklin wasn't shy of using sex to sell the newspapers he edited and published; though far from frivolous, he liked his toys and his mortal pleasures; and though he sometimes gave off a simpleton image, he was a shrewd and even...


The Divided Ground : Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution
Alan Taylor
0679454713
February 21, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The study of borderlands is hot; Pulitzer and Bancroft prize–winning historian Taylor (William Cooper's Town) offers a rich, sprawling history focusing on the Iroquois Six Nations of New York and Upper Canada during the era of the American Revolution. Taylor examines Indians' wise but unsuccessful attempts to hold onto their land as colonists encroached on it. One of Taylor's great insights is that historians have taken at face value what European settlers said about the "preemption rights" by which colonists and imperial governments claimed Indian territory. Taylor recovers Indians' reactions to those "rights." Many Indian leaders, recognizing that they couldn't reverse European settlement, tried to at least dictate how that settlement would unfold—they wished to lease, rather than sell, their land,...


Washington's Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History Series)
David Hackett Fischer
019518159X
February 2006
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
At the core of an impeccably researched, brilliantly executed military history is an analysis of George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in December 1776 and the resulting destruction of the Hessian garrison of Trenton and defeat of a British brigade at Princeton. Fischer's perceptive discussion of the strategic, operational and tactical factors involved is by itself worth the book's purchase. He demonstrates Washington's insight into the revolution's desperate political circumstances, shows how that influenced the idea of a riposte against an enemy grown overconfident with success and presents Washington's skillful use of what his army could do well. Even more useful is Fischer's analysis of the internal dynamics of the combatants. He demonstrates mastery of the character of the American, British and...


The Glorious Cause
Robert Middlekauff
0195162471
Feb 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
Many histories of the American Revolution are written as if on stained glass, with George Washington's forces of good battling King George III's redcoat devils. The actual events were, of course, far more complex than that, and Robert Middlekauff undertakes the difficult task of separating the real from the mythic with great success. From him we learn that England taxed the colonials so heavily in an attempt to retire the massive debt incurred in defending those very colonials against other powers, notably France; that the writing of the Constitution was delayed for two years while states argued among themselves in the face of massive military losses; and that demographic shifts during the Revolution did much to increase America's ethic diversity at an early and decisive time. Vividly told, this is a superb account of the...


The Courtier and the Heretic
Matthew Stewart
0393058980
Jan 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. According to Nietzsche, "Every great philosophy is... a personal confession of its creator and a kind of involuntary and unperceived memoir.". Stewart affirms this maxim in his colorful reinterpretation of the lives and works of 17th-century philosophers Spinoza and Leibniz. In November 1676, the foppish courtier Leibniz, "the ultimate insider... an orthodox Lutheran from conservative Germany," journeyed to The Hague to visit the self-sufficient, freethinking Spinoza, "a double exile... an apostate Jew from licentious Holland." A prodigious polymath, Leibniz understood Spinoza's insight that "science was in the process of rendering the God of revelation obsolete; that it had already undermined the special place of the human individual in nature." Spinoza embraced this new world. Seeing the...


Dangerous Liaisons : Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century (Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications)
Harold Koda, et al
0300107145
April 17, 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
During the reigns of Louis XV (1723-74) and Louis XVI (1774-92), fashion and furniture were not simply meant to be beautiful but were also intended to arouse, attract, and seduce.  Published in response to the critically acclaimed and hugely popular exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum in the fall of 2004, Dangerous Liaisons focuses on fashion and its interplay with the paintings, furniture, and decorative arts of eighteenth-century France. Featuring beautiful color photographs of the exhibition’s installation, details of the garments, and supplementary historical material, the book demonstrates how the extravagant clothing of the period reiterated the splendor of Rococo and Neoclassical interiors. 
 



Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge
Thomas Fleming
0060829621
October 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Fleming enhances his position as a leading general-audience historian of the American Revolution in this convincing argument for the importance of internal diplomacy in the conflict's development. Like David McCullough's 1776, Fleming's volume depicts Valley Forge as the revolution's turning point, with the fulcrum being George Washington's ability to develop "a new kind of leadership" that combined military and political elements. Recognizing the limited applicability of European precedents in the new republic, Washington simultaneously had to revitalize an army on the point of collapse and energize a Continental Congress ignorant of how to conduct a war. He performed both feats while maintaining both his authority as commander-in-chief and the principle of military subordination to political...


Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
Susan Jacoby
0805077766
January 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Is America really one nation under God? Not according to Pulitzer Prize–finalist Jacoby (Wild Justice, etc.), who argues that it is America's secularist "freethinkers" who formed the bedrock upon which our nation was built. Jacoby contends that it's one of "the great unresolved paradoxes" that religion occupies such an important place in a nation founded on separation of church and state. She traces the role of "freethinkers," a term first coined in the 17th century, in the formation of America from the writing of the Constitution to some of our greatest social revolutions, including abolition, feminism, labor, civil rights and the dawning of Darwin's theory of evolution. Jacoby has clearly spent much time in the library, and the result is an impressive literary achievement filled with an array of both major...


Young Patriots
Charles Cerami
1402202350
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This engaging if shallow history of the making of the Constitution salutes Madison and Hamilton as the leaders of a coterie of dynamic young men battling a sclerotic old guard to construct a vigorous national government. This interpretation is not quite borne out in the text. Hamilton played a secondary role, and the new Constitution was actually championed by such pillars of the old guard as George Washington, on whom the author lavishes much adulation. And there's the question of whether Madison's crafting of the Constitution, an undoubtedly masterful political balancing act, was quite the work of visionary genius the author considers it. Historian Cerami, author of the excellent Jefferson's Great Gamble, gives an astute rundown of the political antagonisms and compromises embedded in the Constitution, noting...


Washington's Spies : The Story of America's First Spy Ring
Alexander Rose
0553804219
April 25, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The unfamiliar terrain of Britain's American colonies made it vital for both sides to gain knowledge of enemy troop movements during the Revolutionary War. But acquiring that information called for a level of espionage that neither side was prepared for, requiring both to make up many of their operational procedures as they went along. Rose (Kings in the North) focuses on a small band of Americans, longtime friends who created an intelligence network known as the Culper Ring to funnel information to George Washington about the British troops in and around New York City. The author quotes extensively from their correspondence, showing how contentious the relationship between the general and his spies could get, especially when Washington thought they were underperforming. Rose also delves into technical aspects of...


His Excellency
Joseph J. Ellis
1402544766
Oct 2004
Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged
·
 
Book Review
As commander of the Continental army, George Washington united the American colonies, defeated the British army, and became the world's most famous man. But how much do Americans really know about their first president? Today, as Pulitzer Prize-winner Joseph J. Ellis says in this crackling biography, Americans see their first president on dollar bills, quarters, and Mount Rushmore, but only as "an icon--distant, cold, intimidating." In truth, Washington was a deeply emotional man, but one who prized and practiced self-control (an attribute reinforced during his years on the battlefield).

Washington first gained recognition as a 21-year-old emissary for the governor of Virginia, braving savage conditions to confront encroaching French forces. As the de facto leader of the American Revolution, he not only won the...



An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, 1607-2001
John Steele Gordon
0060505125
October 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The word "epic" in the subtitle is a tip-off that instead of a critical history of the American economy, this book is a celebration of it. Nothing wrong with that, especially when the tale's told breezily and accurately. In fact, Gordon (The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street) notes the many stumbles and the frequent foolishness and corruption that attended the nation's rise as an economic powerhouse. The larger story of success is, in fact, an extraordinary one. The trouble is that the American economy, like every other, bends much out of shape. It has always provided opportunity but always with too much inequality. A full history of the American economy would take this into consideration—in the past as well as the present, and Gordon's doesn't. Also, his book sometimes wanders off into irrelevant subjects, like...


The Favored Child : A Novel
Philippa Gregory
0743249305
July 2, 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This impassioned sequel to the page-turning Wideacre carries the fortunes of the Lacey family, now decaying country gentry, into the late 18th century. "Gregory's galloping plot leads to a savage but satisfying conclusion that piques anticipation for the trilogy's conclusion," commented PW. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal
Written with sensitivity, this is a sequel to New York Times best-seller Wideacre . The story, set in 18th-century Sussex, England, revolves arouond Julia Lacey; Richard, her cousin and joint heir; and Wideacre, the once-great Lacey estate. As Wideacre again prospers under Julia's almost magical agricultural ability, superstitious villagers who glimpse her...


Leviathan
Thomas Hobbes
0140431950
Feb 1982
Paperback
·
 
George Wright, University of Wisconsin
Internationally renowned Hobbes scholar A.P. Martinich has produced the definitive version of Leviathan for student use... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Kinch Hoekstra, Balliol College, Oxford University
An admirably accessible edition of Hobbes's masterpiece... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Editorial Reviews


Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics)
John Milton, John Leonard
0140424393
April 29, 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Edited with an introduction and notes by John Leonard.


The Constitution of the United States with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation
R. B. Bernstein (Introduction)
076072833X
September 2004
Hardcover
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Crucible of War
Fred Anderson
0375706364
Jan 2001
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Histories of the American Revolution tend to start in 1763, the end of the Seven Year's War, a worldwide struggle for empire that pitted France against England in North America, Europe, and Asia. Fred Anderson, who teaches history at the University of Colorado, takes the story back a decade and explains the significance of the conflict in American history. Demonstrating that independence was not inevitable or even at first desired by the colonists, he shows how removal of the threat from France was essential before Americans could develop their own concepts of democratic government and defy their imperial British protectors. Of great interest is the importance of Native Americans in the conflict. Both the French and English had Indian allies; France's defeat ended a diplomatic system in which Indian nations, especially the...


Charles Dickens Four Complete Novels (Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities)
Charles Dickens
0517053608
October 3, 1990
Leather Bound
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Book Description
Includes the major works by one of the greatest names in literature. Namely, Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities. This Library of Literary Classics edition is bound in padded leather with luxurious gold-stamping on the front and spine, satin ribbon marker and gilded edges. Other titles in this Library of Literary Classics series include: Charlotte & Emily Bronte: The Complete Novels; Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Works; Mark Twain: Selected Works; Jane Austen: The Complete Novels: Lewis Carroll: The Complete, Fully Illustrated Works; and William Shakespeare: The Complete Works.

From the Inside Flap
Includes the major works by one of the greatest names in literature. Namely, Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas...


A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Charles Dickens
1593083327
November 2004
Hardcover
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