One of the most vivid, influential, and controversial figures of the American founding, Alexander Hamilton was an unusually prolific and vigorous writer. As a military aide to George Washington, forceful critic of the Articles of Confederation, persuasive proponent of ratification of the Constitution, first Secretary of the Treasury, and leader of the Federalist party, Hamilton devoted himself to the creation of a militarily and economically powerful American nation guided by a strong republican government. His public and private writings demonstrate the perceptive intelligence, confident advocacy, driving ambition, and profound concern for honor and reputation that contributed both to his rise to fame and to his tragic early death.
Arranged chronologically, Writings contains more than 170 letters, speeches, essays, reports, and memoranda written between 1769 and 1804. Included are all 51 of Hamilton's contributions to The Federalist, as well as subsequent writing calling for a broad construction of federal power under the Constitution; his famous speech to the Constitutional Convention, which gave rise to accusations that he favored monarchy; early writings supporting the Revolutionary cause and a stronger central government; his visionary reports as Treasury secretary on the public credit, a national bank, and the encouragement of American manufactures; a detailed confession of adultery made by Hamilton in order to defend himself against charges of official misconduct; and his self- destructive attack on John Adams during the 1800 campaign. An extensive selection of private letters illuminates Hamilton's complex relationship with George Washington, his deep affection for his wife and children, his mounting fears during the 1790s regarding the Jeffersonian opposition and the French Revolution, and his profound distrust of Aaron Burr. Included in an appendix are conflicting eyewitness accounts of the Hamilton-Burr duel. Continue reading →
With a new introduction by David McCullough, 1776: The Illustrated Edition brings 140 powerful images and 37 removable replicas of source documents to this remarkable drama.
In 1776, David McCullough's bestselling account of a pivotal year in our nation's struggle, readers learned of the greatest defeats, providential fortune, and courageous triumphs of George Washington and his bedraggled army. Now, in 1776: The Illustrated Edition, the efforts of the Continental Army are made even more personal, as an excerpted version of the original book is paired with letters, maps, and seminal artwork. More than three dozen source documents — including a personal letter George Washington penned to Martha about his commission, a note informing the mother of a Continental soldier that her son has been taken prisoner, and a petition signed by Loyalists pledging their allegiance to the King — are re-created in uniquely designed envelopes throughout the book and secured with the congressional seal. Continue reading →
The first book to include Thomas Jefferson’s writings and writings about him—from his era and ours.This Norton Critical Edition seeks to give readers a full understanding of Thomas Jefferson’s importance to the intellectual development of the United States, particularly in political theory and scientific learning; of Jefferson’s role in the expansion of the territory and sovereignty of the United States; and of Jefferson’s controversial relation to slavery and race as key issues in American history.
The editor has selected Jefferson’s most important published texts—A Summary View of the Rights of British America, the Declaration of Independence, and Notes on the State of Virginia—along with An Appendix to the Notes on Virginia Relative to the Murder of Logan’s Family and his Message to Congress on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In addition, more than one hundred of Jefferson’s letters (1760–1826) have been judiciously selected from his rich body of correspondence, allowing readers to see Jefferson as a person as well as a public figure. All texts are accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations. Continue reading →
Washington and Cornwallis is a gripping narrative of the defeats and narrow victories that won the States' independence from the English crown. Patterson chronicles the battles waged between General George Washington and Lieutenant General Charles Lord Cornwallis, and examines their methods of command and their controversial military decisions, and ultimately brings into focus the personalities of these two pivotal Revolutionary War generals.
In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the most moving love stories in American history.
This is history on a grand scale — a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
In 1775 General George Washington secretly armed a handful of small ships and sent them to sea against the world's mightiest navy.
From the author of the critically acclaimed Benedict Arnold's Navy, here is the story of how America's first commander-in-chief–whose previous military experience had been entirely on land–nursed the fledgling American Revolution through a season of stalemate by sending troops to sea. Mining previously overlooked sources, James L. Nelson's swiftly moving narrative shows that George Washington deliberately withheld knowledge of his tiny navy from the Continental Congress for more than two critical months, and that he did so precisely because he knew Congress would not approve.
Mr. Nelson has taken an episode that occupies no more than a few paragraphs in other histories of the Revolution and, with convincing research and vivid narrative style, turned it into an important, marvelously readable book."
–Thomas Fleming, author of The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle to Survive after Yorktown
"A gripping and fascinating book about the daring and heroic mariners who helped George Washington change the course of history and create a nation. Nelson wonderfully brings to life a largely forgotten but critically important piece of America's past."
–Eric Jay Dolin, author of Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America
"The political machinations are as exciting as the blood-stirring ship actions in this meticulously researched story of the shadowy beginnings of American might on the seas."
–John Druett, author of Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
Includes A Summary View of the Rights of British America and Notes on the State of Virginia complete; seventy-nine letters; "Response to the Citizens of Albemarle," 1790; "Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank," 1791; and many other writings.
Confronting the critics who say George Washington's victories were due to luck, not skill, Palmer proves why the father of our country also deserves the title of America's pre-eminent military strategist.