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[Washington] Joseph J. Ellis, HIS EXCELLENCY, GEORGE WASHINGTON. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. Plates, notes, index, 320 pages. ~~~ From Publishers Weekly: "In this follow-up to his bestselling Founding Brothers, Ellis offers a magisterial account of the life and times of George Washington, celebrating the heroic image of the president whom peers like Jefferson and Madison recognized as 'their unquestioned superior' while acknowledging his all-too-human qualities. Ellis recreates the cultural and political context into which Washington strode to provide leadership to the incipient American republic. But more importantly, the letters and other documents Ellis draws on bring the aloof legend alive as a young soldier who sought to rise through the ranks of the British army during the French and Indian War, convinced he knew the wilderness terrain better than his commanding officers; as a Virginia plantation owner (thanks to his marriage) who watched over his accounts with a ruthless eye; as the commander of an outmatched rebel army who, after losing many of his major battles, still managed to catch the British in an indefensible position. Following Washington from the battlefield to the presidency, Ellis elegantly points out how he steered a group of bickering states toward national unity; Ellis also elaborates on Washington's complex stances on issues like slavery and expansion into Native American territory. The Washington who emerges from these pages is similar to the one portrayed in a biographical study by James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn published earlier this year, but Ellis's richer version leaves readers with a deeper sense of the man's humanity."

$27.95


(Washington), Nettles, Curtis P, GEORGE WASHINGTON AND AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. VG/VG. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951). 2nd Printing. No obvious flaws to book. Some light chipping and faded spine to jacket, which is in a mylar protector. Bibliography, index, 338 pages.

$25.00

[Washington] Michael Novak & Jana Novak, WASHINGTON's GOD: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country. . NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. (NY: Basic Books, 2006). Plates, maps, appendices, notes, index, 282 pages.
~~~ From the Publisher: "Drawing upon new sources and Washington's own words, the Novaks reveal that the first president was indeed deeply spiritual though also deeply private about his personal religious convictions and practices. This new presentation of Washington - as a man whose religion guided his governance - brings him into the center of today's debates about the role of faith in government and will challenge everything we thought we knew about the inner life of the father of our country."
~~~ From Publishers Weekly: "Most modern historians have made three basic assumptions about the religious views of our nation's first president: he was a deist; he was only a marginal Christian who kept up appearances but had no depth of conviction; and he believed only in an impersonal force or destiny that he called 'Providence'. Michael Novak, the well-known conservative thinker and author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, teams up with his daughter Jana to attempt to debunk all three of these notions about Washington's religious views. Written at the specific request of Mount Vernon and with the assistance of their archives, this book is carefully researched. It is most persuasive when the Novaks show that despite his natural reserve, a depth of religious feeling ran through Washington's public and private speeches and correspondence, disproving the portrait of a tepid, perfunctory Anglicanism. However, they don't succeed as well in disproving Washington's deist sensibility; the Novaks adopt the modern assumption that being a Christian and being a deist were mutually exclusive -- a conclusion that few in the late 18th century would have shared. At times, the Novaks' starry-eyed admiration of the man pushes this book over the bounds of biography into hagiography.

$25.00






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[Adams] John Ferling, ADAMS vs. JEFFERSON: The Tumultuous Election of 1800. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Oxford University Press, 2004. Illustrations, maps, notes, index, 260 pages. ~~~ From Publishers Weekly: "Veteran historian Ferling's account of one of America's most extraordinary political dramas lays bare the historically pugilist nature of American presidential politics. In 1800 the nation was struggling to its feet amidst an array of threats from foreign governments and a host of constitutional struggles. Against this backdrop, President John Adams, an elite, strong-willed Federalist, set to square off against his vice president, Thomas Jefferson, a populist Republican. The campaign was brutal. Republicans assailed the Federalists as scare-mongers. Federalists attacked Republicans as godless. But it was a constitutional quirk that nearly collapsed the nascent United States. Adams was eliminated, but Jefferson and his vice-presidential running mate, Aaron Burr, tied in the Electoral College with 73 votes, throwing the decision into the House of Representatives. That left the Federalist-dominated House to decide between two despised Republicans for president. After 36 votes, a political deal finally gave Jefferson the presidency, ending a standoff that had the nation on the brink of collapse. Although his account is dense at times, Ferling richly presents the twists and turns of the election, as well as a vivid portrait of a struggling new nation and the bruising political battles of our now revered founding fathers, including the major roles played by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. In what has already proven to be a vicious 2004 campaign, readers will take some comfort in knowing that the vagaries of the political process, although no doubt exacerbated today by mass media, have changed little in over 200 years. Of even greater comfort, and Ferling's ultimate triumph, is showing that, historically, when faced with dire circumstances at home and abroad, American democracy has pulled through.?

$26.00



[Adams] Catherine Drinker Bowen, JOHN ADAMS AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. VG/VG-- Jacket intact with bright colors, but has small tears & chips around all extremities. (No price shown; Book of the Month Club). Book itself is tight and clean. A nice copy overall. Little, Brown & Company, 1950. Decorated end pages, Four plates, including frontispiece. Extensive notes, bibliography & index, 699 pages.

$35.00










[Jefferson] William Howard Adams, THE PARIS YEARS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON. NEW copy. Trade paperback. (Yale University Press). 354 pages. ~~~ In 1784 Thomas Jefferson moved to the sophisticated and exhilarating city of Paris, where he spent the next five years as ambassador from the new United States of America. This engaging book recreates in word and illustration the atmosphere and personalities of pre-Revolutionary Paris, and it reveals the profound impact they had on one of America's first transatlantic citizens.

$20.00



[Jefferson] Joseph J. Ellis, AMERICAN SPHINX: The Character of Thomas Jefferson. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Gold paper sticker on cover (not shown in picture) which reads: "National Book Award Winner". Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. Extensive notes, index, 365 pages.
~~~ From Publishers Weekly: "Penetrating Jefferson's placid, elegant facade, this extraordinary biography brings the sage of Monticello down to earth without either condemning or idolizing him. Jefferson saw the American Revolution as the opening shot in a global struggle destined to sweep over the world, and his political outlook, in Ellis's judgment, was more radical than liberal. A Francophile, an obsessive letter-writer, a tongue-tied public speaker, a sentimental soul who placed women on a pedestal and sobbed for weeks after his wife's death, Jefferson saw himself as a yeoman farmer but was actually a heavily indebted, slaveholding Virginia planter. His retreat from his early anti-slavery advocacy to a position of silence and procrastination reflected his conviction that whites and blacks were inherently different and could not live together in harmony, maintains Mount Holyoke historian Ellis, biographer of John Adams (Passionate Sage). Jefferson clung to idyllic visions, embracing, for example, the "Saxon myth," the utterly groundless theory that the earliest migrants from England came to America at their own expense, making a total break with the mother country. His romantic idealism, exemplified by his view of the American West as endlessly renewable, was consonant with future generations' political innocence, their youthful hopes and illusions, making our third president, in Ellis's shrewd psychological portrait, a progenitor of the American Dream."


$26.00




[Jefferson] John Ferling, ADAMS vs. JEFFERSON: The Tumultuous Election of 1800. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Oxford University Press, 2004. Illustrations, maps, notes, index, 260 pages. ~~~ From Publishers Weekly: "Veteran historian Ferling's account of one of America's most extraordinary political dramas lays bare the historically pugilist nature of American presidential politics. In 1800 the nation was struggling to its feet amidst an array of threats from foreign governments and a host of constitutional struggles. Against this backdrop, President John Adams, an elite, strong-willed Federalist, set to square off against his vice president, Thomas Jefferson, a populist Republican. The campaign was brutal. Republicans assailed the Federalists as scare-mongers. Federalists attacked Republicans as godless. But it was a constitutional quirk that nearly collapsed the nascent United States. Adams was eliminated, but Jefferson and his vice-presidential running mate, Aaron Burr, tied in the Electoral College with 73 votes, throwing the decision into the House of Representatives. That left the Federalist-dominated House to decide between two despised Republicans for president. After 36 votes, a political deal finally gave Jefferson the presidency, ending a standoff that had the nation on the brink of collapse. Although his account is dense at times, Ferling richly presents the twists and turns of the election, as well as a vivid portrait of a struggling new nation and the bruising political battles of our now revered founding fathers, including the major roles played by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. In what has already proven to be a vicious 2004 campaign, readers will take some comfort in knowing that the vagaries of the political process, although no doubt exacerbated today by mass media, have changed little in over 200 years. Of even greater comfort, and Ferling's ultimate triumph, is showing that, historically, when faced with dire circumstances at home and abroad, American democracy has pulled through.?

$26.00



[Jefferson] THOMAS JEFFERSON: FARMER. McFarland & Company, 1991., NEW, a mint copy. Hardcover issued without dust jacket. Notes, index, 219 pp. "Focusing on Jefferson's place in the agriculture of his time, this work studies the crops he introduced and grew, farm implements, animals, personnel, and his gardens and landscaping." OUT OF PRINT.

$33.00




[Jefferson] Roger G. Kennedy, Mr JEFFERSON'S LOST CAUSE: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Oxford University Press. 350 pages. ~~~ Thomas Jefferson advocated a republic of small farmers - free and independent yeomen. Yet as president he presided over a massive expansion of the slaveholding plantation system - particularly with the Louisiana Purchase - squeezing the yeomanry to the fringes and to less desirable farmland. Now Roger G. Kennedy conducts an eye-opening examination of that gap between Jefferson's stated aspirations and what actually happened.

$30.00




[Jefferson] Marc Leepson, SAVING MONTICELLO. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Free Press. 303 pages. ~~~ Thomas Jefferson died on the Fourth of July 1826, he was more than $100,000 in debt. Forced to sell thousands of acres of his lands and nearly all his furniture and artwork, in 1831 his heirs bid a final goodbye to Monticello itself. Saving Monticello offers the first complete post-Jefferson history of this American icon and reveals the amazing story of how one Jewish family saved the house that became a family home to them for 89 years - longer than it ever was to the Jeffersons. With a dramatic narrative sweep across generations, Marc Leepson vividly recounts the turbulent saga of this fabled estate. Twice the house came to the brink of ruin, and twice it was saved, by two different generations of the Levy family.

$25.00




[Jefferson] Alf J. Mapp, Jr., THOMAS JEFFERSON: Passionate Pilgrim. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Madison Books. 445 pages. ~~~ Eagerly awaited by readers of Alf Mapp's best-selling Thomas Jefferson: A Strange Case of Mistaken Identity, this final volume follows Jefferson from his inauguration as President in 1801 to his death at the age of eighty-three on July 4, 1826. In Thomas Jefferson: Passionate Pilgrim, Jefferson the human being, passionate in his loves and hates, is never lost in a revealing portrait of the public figure. Witnessing Jefferson's actions in private life as well as in the arena of history, the reader learns why this founding father was abhorred by some but adored by many more.

$24.95




[Jefferson] James F. Simon, WHAT KIND OF NATION. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Simon & Schuster. 348 pages. ~~~ What Kind of Nation is a riveting account of the bitter and protracted struggle between two titans of the early republic over the power of the presidency and the independence of the judiciary. The clash between fellow Virginians (and second cousins) Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall remains the most decisive confrontation between a president and a chief justice in American history. Fought in private as well as in full public view, their struggle defined basic constitutional relationships in the early days of the republic and resonates still in debates over the role of the federal government vis-a-vis the states and the authority of the Supreme Court to interpret laws.

$27.50




[Jefferson] Garry Wills, Mr JEFFERSON'S UNIVERSITY. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. National Geographic Society. 162 pages. ~~~ The University of Virginia is one of America's greatest architectural treasures and one of Thomas Jefferson's proudest achievements. In this engrossing, perceptive book, acclaimed historian Garry Wills explores the creation of a masterpiece, tracing its evolution from Jefferson's idea for an "academical village" into a classically beautiful campus. Mr. Jefferson's University is at once a wonderful chronicle of the birth of a national institution and a deftly sketched portrait of the towering American who brought it to life.

$20.00




[Jefferson] Garry Wills, THOMAS JEFFERSON: Genius of Liberty. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. Viking Penguin, Inc. 445 pages. ~~~ The book's lively narrative, illuminated by Jefferson's own words, weaves back and forth between the public career -- delegate to the Continental Congress, author of the Declaration of Independence and other calls to liberty, governor of Virginia, two-term president -- and his life at his beloved plantation and house, Monticello. Commentaries on manuscripts explore the conflicts between his public ideals, political realities, and his private life, including the recent controversial evidence of a long liaison with his slave Sally Hemings. From his worldview to his family relationships, Thomas Jefferson provides a new and intimate sense of the man historians have only recently begun to extricate from thc lofty abstractions that have born his name. Large-format hardcover with 150 illustrations, two-thirds in color. 182 pages.

$35.00






JAMES MADISON












JAMES MONROE





Hart, Gary, JAMES MONROE. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. (Henry Holt, 2005). American Presidents Series, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger. 208 pages.
~~~ James Monroe is remembered today primarily for two things: for being the last of the “Virginia Dynasty”—following George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison—and for issuing the Monroe Doctrine, his statement of principles in 1823 that the western hemisphere was to be considered closed to European intervention. But Gary Hart sees Monroe as a president ahead of his time, whose priorities and accomplishments in establishing America’s “national security” have a great deal in common with chief executives of our own time.
~~~Unlike his predecessors Jefferson and Madison, Monroe was at his core a military man. He joined the Continental Army at the age of seventeen and served with distinction in many pivotal battles. (He is prominently featured at Washington’s side in the iconic painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.) And throughout his career as a senator, governor, ambassador, secretary of state, secretary of war, and president, he never lost sight of the fact that without secure borders and friendly relations with neighbors, the American people could never be truly safe in their independence. As president he embarked on an ambitious series of treaties, annexations, and military confrontations that would secure America’s homeland against foreign attack for nearly two hundred years. Hart details the accomplishments and priorities of this forward-looking president, whose security concerns clearly echo those we face in our time.

$20.00



Unger, Harlow Giles. THE LAST FOUNDING FATHER: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness . NEW copy. Book Club edition. Hardcover with dust jacket. (De Capo Press, 2009). 9x6. 400 pages.
~~~ In this lively and compelling biography Harlow Giles Unger reveals the dominant political figure of a generation. A fierce fighter in four critical Revolutionary War battles and a courageous survivor of Valley Forge and a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe (1751–1831) went on to become America’s first full-time politician, dedicating his life to securing America’s national and international durability.
~~~ Decorated by George Washington for his exploits as a soldier, Monroe became a congressman, a senator, U.S. minister to France and Britain, governor of Virginia, secretary of state, secretary of war, and finally America’s fifth president. The country embraced Monroe’s dreams of empire and elected him to two terms, the second time unanimously. Mentored by each of America’s first four presidents, Monroe was unquestionably the best prepared president in our history.
~~~ Like David McCullough’s John Adams and Jon Meacham’s recent book on Andrew Jackson, this new biography of Monroe is both a solid read and stellar scholarship—history in the grand tradition.

$26.00






JOHN QUINCY ADAMS





[Adams] Robert V. Remini, JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. (Henry Holt, 2002). American Presidents Series, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger. 192 pages.
~~~ A vivid portrait of a man whose pre- and post-presidential careers overshadowed his presidency.Chosen by the House of Representatives after an inconclusive election against Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams often failed to mesh with the ethos of his era, pushing unsuccessfully for a strong, consolidated national government. Historian Robert V. Remini recounts how in the years before his presidency Adams was a shrewd, influential diplomat, and later, as a dynamic secretary of state under President James Monroe, he solidified many basic aspects of American foreign policy, including the Monroe Doctrine. Undoubtedly his greatest triumph was the negotiation of the Transcontinental Treaty, through which Spain acknowledged Florida to be part of the United States. After his term in office, he earned the nickname "Old Man Eloquent" for his passionate antislavery speeches.

$22.00