Among Thomas Jefferson's flaws, according to Patrick Henry, was the manner in which "he has abjured his native victuals in favor of French cuisine." While Jefferson's years in Paris enhanced his fondness for French food, the offerings at Monticello incorporated Continental cuisine with more common Virginian fare, yielding a celebrated blend of cultures and traditions.
Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance combines recipes, background essays, and lush illustrations to provide an inviting view of the renowned hospitality offered at Thomas Jefferson's table. Ten introductory essays by Monticello scholars and by outside experts illuminate all areas of food and drink at Jefferson's home, ranging from the groceries and wine imported from Europe, to the recently revealed kitchen restoration, to the African Americans who participated in this rich food culture at every stage. Following these essays are seventy-five recipes found in the family manuscripts, some written in Jefferson's own hand. Updated by Damon Lee Fowler, author of Classical Southern Cooking, the recipes are authentic to the period yet accessible to the home cook. Filled with anecdotes, recipes, solid information, and beautiful color photography, this book satisfies both hunger and curiosity.
Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers’ approach to government and this history’s impact on today. Delving into the forgottenand often luridfacts of the Revolutionary War, Logan Beirne focuses on the nation’s first commander in chief, George Washington, as he shaped the very meaning of the United States Constitution in the heat of battle.
Key episodes illustrate how the Founders dealt with thorny wartime issues: Who decides war strategy? When should we use military tribunals over civilian trials? Should we inflict harsh treatment on enemy captives if it means saving American lives? How do we protect citizens’ rights when the nation is struggling to defend itself? Beirne finds evidence in previously-unexplored documents such as General Washington’s letters debating torture, an eyewitness account of the military tribunal that executed a British prisoner, Founders’ letters warning against government debt, and communications pointing to a power struggle between Washington and the Continental Congress. Continue reading →
George Washington Carver (ca. 1864–1943) is at once one of the most familiar and misunderstood figures in American history. In My Work Is That of Conservation, Mark D. Hersey reveals the life and work of this fascinating man who is widely—and reductively—known as the African American scientist who developed a wide variety of uses for the peanut.
Carver had a truly prolific career dedicated to studying the ways in which people ought to interact with the natural world, yet much of his work has been largely forgotten. Hersey rectifies this by tracing the evolution of Carver’s agricultural and environmental thought starting with his childhood in Missouri and Kansas and his education at the Iowa Agricultural College. Carver’s environmental vision came into focus when he moved to the Tuskegee Institute in Macon County, Alabama, where his sensibilities and training collided with the denuded agrosystems, deep poverty, and institutional racism of the Black Belt. It was there that Carver realized his most profound agricultural thinking, as his efforts to improve the lot of the area’s poorest farmers forced him to adjust his conception of scientific agriculture. Continue reading →
In George Washington, John R. Alden traces the interwoven histories of Washington and the nation he helped to create, defend, and guide toward the future. Alden recreates the major events of Washington's personal and professional life, including his boyhood in rural Virginia, his early careers as a surveyor and then a soldier in the French and Indian War, and his staid but enduring marriage. The core of the biography is devoted to Washington's leadership roles-his assumption of the post of commander in chief of the Continental Army, his part in the Constitutional Convention, and his presidency. As Alden reveals, Washington's greatness lay in his total devotion to the cause of the American nation and in his wisdom as a leader. "This is the best single-volume biography of Washington ever written. . . . [Alden] is judicious in his judgments, balanced in his presentation, and always interesting in his portrayal."-Library Journal (starred review) "Alden has drawn on his extensive knowledge of the era to produce a straightforward, anecdotal, often lively account of Washington and his times."-New York Times Book Review
No history of racism in America can be considered complete without taking into account the role that George Washington—the principal founding father—played in helping to mold the racist cast of the new nation. Because General Washington—the universally acknowledged hero of the Revolutionary War—in the postwar period uniquely combined the moral authority, personal prestige, and political power to influence significantly the course and the outcome of the slavery debate, his opinions on the subject of slaves and slavery are of crucial importance to understanding how racism succeeded in becoming an integral and official part of the national fabric during its formative stages.
The successful end of the War for Independence in 1783 brought George Washington face-to-face with a fundamental dilemma: how to reconcile the proclaimed ideals of the revolution with the established institution of slavery. So long as black human beings in America could legally be considered the chattel property of whites, the rhetoric of equality and individual freedom was hollow. Progressive voices urged immediate emancipation as the only way to resolve the contradiction; the Southern slaveowners, of course, stood firm for the status quo. Washington was caught squarely in the middle. Continue reading →
With this revelatory and painstakingly researched book, Martha Washington, the invisible woman of American history, at last gets the biography she deserves. In place of the domestic frump of popular imagination, Patricia Brady resurrects the wealthy, attractive, and vivacious young widow who captivated the youthful George Washington. Here are the able landowner, the indomitable patriot (who faithfully joined her husband each winter at Valley Forge), and the shrewd diplomat and emotional mainstay. And even as it brings Martha Washington into sharper and more accurate focus, this sterling life sheds light on her marriage, her society, and the precedents she established for future First Ladies.
A dramatic portrait of George Washington's presidential years, Patriarch is a gripping story of politics and statecraft. Smith describes Washington's struggle to preside over the bitter feud between Jefferson and Hamilton–two brilliant members of his cabinet–while attempting to distinguish the first presidency.
George Washington defined progressivism and provided the rationale for its constitutional basis in a vision of self-government: a nation dedicated to and capable of sustaining civil and religious liberty, the intertwined ends of politics as he saw it. For Washington, religious liberty was not a side benefit of independence but rather the objective for which independence was sought. Washingtons political philosophyradical for his timewas a commitment to the belief that law can never make just what is in its nature unjust. Before the close of the Revolutionary War, he had conceived of a union based on the progressive principle that the American people would qualify for self-government in the sense of free institutions in proportion to their moral capacity to govern themselves by the light of reason. Washington managed the conflicts over the spoils of victory that threatened to fracture the union. Containing this discord within the walls of the Constitution may be considered his single greatest achievement. This overview traces Washingtons political development through the war years, describes his contributions to the Constitution and the founding of America, debunks misrepresentations of Washingtons relationship to slavery, and touches his presidential administration, including his precedent-setting decision to retire from the presidency after two terms. This book will be useful in courses on the American founding era, American studies, political philosophy and leadership, as well as of interest and value to the general reader.
Based on remarkable new research, acclaimed historian Alexander Rose brings to life the true story of the spy ring that helped America win the Revolutionary War. For the first time, Rose takes us beyond the battlefront and deep into the shadowy underworld of double agents and triple crosses, covert operations and code breaking, and unmasks the courageous, flawed men who inhabited this wilderness of mirrors—including the spymaster at the heart of it all.
In the summer of 1778, with the war poised to turn in his favor, General George Washington desperately needed to know where the British would strike next. To that end, he unleashed his secret weapon: an unlikely ring of spies in New York charged with discovering the enemy’s battle plans and military strategy. Continue reading →