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This book sat on my shelf for nearly five years, it appears… don’t know why. It is a fascinating, new approach, to the American Revolution, that I enjoy so much! The author, a history professor, has written several books on the period.
Book Description from Amazon:
Before there could be a revolution, there was a rebellion; before patriots, there were insurgents. Challenging and displacing decades of received wisdom, T. H. Breen's strikingly original book explains how ordinary Americans--most of them members of farm families living in small communities--were drawn into a successful insurgency against imperial authority. This is the compelling story of our national political origins that most Americans do not know. It is a story of rumor, charity, vengeance, and restraint. American Insurgents, American Patriots reminds us that revolutions are violent events. They provoke passion and rage, a willingness to use violence to achieve political ends, a deep sense of betrayal, and a strong religious conviction that God expects an oppressed people to defend their rights. The American Revolution was no exception. A few celebrated figures in the Continental Congress do not make for a revolution. It requires tens of thousands of ordinary men and women willing to sacrifice, kill, and be killed. Breen not only gives the history of these ordinary Americans but, drawing upon a wealth of rarely seen documents, restores their primacy to American independence. Mobilizing two years before the Declaration of Independence, American insurgents in all thirteen colonies concluded that resistance to British oppression required organized violence against the state. They channeled popular rage through elected committees of safety and observation, which before 1776 were the heart of American resistance. American Insurgents, American Patriots is the stunning account of their insurgency, without which there would have been no independent republic as we know it.
This is the final book from Christmas, off my Wish List, from my family. I’ve read a James Madison biography, before, so wanted to read this one, but was in no hurry to get there. Now that I’ve finished John Quincy Adams, again, it is time for “Jemmy” - as his parents and wife called him! ;-)
A major new biography of the fourth president of the United States by New York Times bestselling author Lynne Cheney
This majestic new biography of James Madison explores the astonishing story of a man of vaunted modesty who audaciously changed the world. Among the Founding Fathers, Madison was a true genius of the early republic.
Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states—so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers—helped shape the country Americans live in today.
Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison would found the first political party in the country’s history—the Democratic Republicans. As Jefferson’s secretary of state, he managed the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States. As president, Madison led the country in its first war under the Constitution, the War of 1812. Without precedent to guide him, he would demonstrate that a republic could defend its honor and independence—and remain a republic still.
Time Magazine had a cover story titled: “Will a baby born today live to be 142 years old?” The lead article was written by Laura Carstensen, of Stanford University, and I liked what I read. This book seemed to be the basis of her thoughts shared in the magazine.
The twentieth century bequeathed us a fabulous gift: thirty more years of life on average. Supersized life spans are going to radically alter society, and present an unprecedented opportunity to change our approach not only to old age but to all of life’s stages. The ramifications are just beginning to dawn on us.... yet in the meantime, we keep thinking about, and planning for, life as it used to be lived. In A Long Bright Future, longevity and aging expert Laura Carstensen guides us into the new possibilities offered by a longer life. She debunks the myths and misconceptions about aging that stop us from adequately preparing for the future both as individuals and as a society: that growing older is associated with loneliness and unhappiness, and that only the genetically blessed live well and long. She then focuses on other important components of a long life, including finances, health, social relationships, Medicare and Social Security, challenging our preconceived notions of “old age” every step of the way.
A patriot by birth, John Quincy Adams’s destiny was foreordained. He was not only “The Greatest Traveler of His Age,” but his country’s most gifted linguist and most experienced diplomat. John Quincy’s world encompassed the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the early and late Napoleonic Age. As his diplomat father’s adolescent clerk and secretary, he met everyone who was anyone in Europe, including America’s own luminaries and founding fathers, Franklin and Jefferson. All this made coming back to America a great challenge. But though he was determined to make his own career he was soon embarked, at Washington’s appointment, on his phenomenal work aboard, as well as on a deeply troubled though loving and enduring marriage. But through all the emotional turmoil, he dedicated his life to serving his country. At 50, he returned to America to serve as Secretary of State to President Monroe. He was inaugurated President in 1824, after which he served as a stirring defender of the slaves of the Amistad rebellion and as a member of the House of Representatives from 1831 until his death in 1848. In The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams, Phyllis Lee Levin provides the deeply researched and beautifully written definitive biography of one of the most fascinating and towering early Americans.
In this longform essay, "Lincoln’s Confederate 'Little Sister:' Emilie Todd Helm" (16,000 words, 40 pages), Civil War historian Stuart W. Sanders examines the life of Emilie Todd Helm, the rebel sister-in-law of President Abraham Lincoln.
As the wife of a Confederate general and the half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, Emilie was torn between two worlds. Having lost several brothers in the Civil War, she suffered another blow when her husband was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga. In December 1863, she traveled to the White House and mourned with Mary Lincoln. Although politicians condemned the Union commander-in-chief for hosting this rebel widow, to President Lincoln she was simply “Little Sister,” a grieving family member who brought comfort to his wife. Sadly, a year later, Emilie ended contact with Mary after she blamed Lincoln for their family woes. Their relationship—fractured like their family—was another casualty of the war.
"Lincoln’s Confederate 'Little Sister:' Emilie Todd Helm" describes Emilie’s life, her controversial 1863 visit to the White House, and her unique role in postwar reconciliation, when she revered her husband’s Confederate legacy while commemorating Lincoln’s memory.
Stuart W. Sanders is the author of three Civil War books, including "Perryville Under Fire: The Aftermath of Kentucky’s Largest Civil War Battle," "The Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky," and "Maney’s Confederate Brigade at the Battle of Perryville."
In 1996, Congress commissioned the National Park Service to compile a list of sites and landmarks connected with the American Revolution that it deemed vital to preserve for future generations. Some of these sites are well known--Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Fort Ticonderoga--and in no danger of being lost; others less so-- Blackstock's Plantation in South Carolina or Bryan's Station in Kentucky--and more vulnerable. But all are central to the story of our nation's fight for independence. From battlefields to encampments, meeting houses to museums, these places offer us a chance to rediscover the remarkable men and women who founded this nation and to recognize the relevance of not just what they did, but where they did it.
Edited by Frances H. Kennedy, The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook takes readers to nearly 150 of these sites, providing an overview of the Revolution through an exploration of the places where American independence was articulated, fought for, and eventually secured. Beginning with the Boston Common, first occupied by British troops in 1768, and closing with Fraunces Tavern in New York, where George Washington bid farewell to his officers on December 4, 1783, Kennedy takes readers on a tour of the most significant places of Revolutionary history. Accompanied by illuminating excerpts and essays from some of the foremost scholars in the field, including David McCullough, Barbara Tuchman, David Hackett Fischer, Eric Foner, and John Ferling, the entries move in a roughly chronological order from the pre-Revolutionary years up through 1787. Taken together, the combination of site, essay, and excerpt provides rich context and overview, giving a sense of the major figures and events as well as the course of the Revolution, and cover topics ranging from the Boston Tea Party to the frontier wars.
The guide is encyclopedic in scope and covers a wide geographical sweep. Accompanied by historical maps, as well as a number of illuminating primary documents including the Declaration of Independence and letters from John Adams and George Washington, it offers a comprehensive picture of how the Revolutionary War unfolded on American soil, and also points readers to the best writing on the subject in the last fifty years. The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook is an essential companion for anyone interested in the story and history of our nation's founding.