de Tocqueville, Alexis,
DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA. (New American Library, 2004). NEW copy. Remainder mark on bottom edge of book. TRADE PAPERBACK.
~~~ In this landmark work, de Tocqueville vividly describes the unprecedented social
equality he found in America and explores its implications. His book provides enduring insight
into the political consequences of widespread property ownership, the potential dangers to
liberty inherent in majority rule, the importance of civil institutions in a culture dominated by
the pursuit of self-interest, and the vital role of religion in American life, while prophetically
probing the deep divide between free and slave states.
Wilkinson, David Marion,
OBLIVION'S ALTAR: A Novel of Courage. (New American Library, 2002). NEW copy. Remainder mark on bottom edge of book. TRADE PAPERBACK.
~~~ From Publisher's Weekly: "All men were not always created equal in the eyes of the federal government, and the Cherokee fared
particularly badly in the 19th century. In his passionate third novel, Spur Award-finalist Wilkinson (Empty
Quarter; Not Between Brothers) spans six decades-from 1776 to 1839-in addrressing the plight of Ridge, a
great Cherokee chieftain. Ridge was originally called Kah-nung-da-tla-geh, the Man Who Walks the
He was born in Georgia, where the Cherokee were known as the Civilized Tribes because they adapted
easily to the white man's customs of dress, language and farming, with a parallel government and their own
constitution. Ridge, a warrior and chief, is also a rich Cherokee farmer who believes in the strength of the
treaties and the words of Pres. Andrew Jackson. What he does not understand is that the treaties are merely
paper and that Jackson will not raise a finger to help the Indians in a vicious land dispute with the states.
Ridge encourages education as a means to beat the whites at their own game. His son becomes a lawyer and
represents the Cherokees in court. Even when the Cherokees win the court cases, however, the government ignores
the law and the Cherokees are driven from their lands by force, following the Trail of Tears westward. Ridge is
a tragic hero, a good man who did everything he could to protect his people, but who is ultimately betrayed by
both the whites and his Indian brothers. Solidly based on historical fact, Wilkinson's tale packs a strong
emotional punch and cannot help but make readers wonder which side was the most civilized after all."
(Webster), Shewmaker, Stevens, McGunn & Berolzheimer (eds),
OF DANIEL WEBSTER: DIPLOMATIC PAPERS I & II.
University Press of New England for Dartmouth College., First Edition. NEW,
pristine condition. Two volumes: DIPLOMATIC PAPERS 1, 1841-1843 (960 pages) and
DIPLOMATIC PAPERS 2, 1850-1852 (820 pages).
THE RISE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: Jefferson to Lincoln.
NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket.
(NY: WW Norton & Co, 2005). 75 plates, many in color.
Extensive notes, index, 1044 pages.
~~~ From Kirkus Reviews:
"Is the U.S. a democracy, or a republic? As Wilentz (History/Princeton
Univ.) shows in this sprawling account, Americans debated the issue from
the post-revolutionary era to the Civil War. In classical terms, a
republic is governed 'through the ministrations of the most worthy,
enlightened men,' whereas a democracy 'dangerously handed power to the
impassioned, unenlightened masses.' One-time revolutionary firebrand
Noah Webster so mistrusted the mob that, he thundered, had he foreseen
popular rule, he would never have fought for freedom; even Thomas
Jefferson, that most impassioned of democrats, allowed that given a free
choice, the public chose wrongly more often than not. Democracy as such
was an oxymoron, Wilentz observes, with power limited to white propertied
men in the early days of the republic; the extension of rights throughout
the 19th century to a wider polity was a matter of fierce fighting, and
eventually war. The battle over just who was to be in charge began
almost as soon as national freedom was achieved, an early test,
Wilentz writes, being the Whisky Rebellion of 1794, fought by country
people against an excise tax on distilled liquor imposed by urbanite
arch-republican Alexander Hamilton. As the contest expanded, Wilentz
notes, some of the differences between country and city people gave
way to other divisions, and by the time Andrew Jackson ran for office
in 1824, the gulf between North and South was beginning to widen (as,
for a time, was that between those who believed in a cash economy and
those who argued for the merits of credit). Abraham Lincoln, though
deeply committed to democratic values, would insist on the supremacy
of federal over states' rights, while thenominally democratic leaders
of the South meant to exalt 'the supreme political power of local elites.'
Wilentz shows that none of these battles was new when Lincoln took office;
in some respects, they are still being fought today. Wilentz's book, though
very long, wastes no words. A well-crafted, highly readable political history.