From "the most respected among all scholars of the colonial and Revolutionary periods"--"Washington Post World," comes a marvelous group portrait of the Founding Fathers, rich with insight into what shaped these particular men.From "the most respected among all scholars of the colonial and Revolutionary periods"--"Washington Post World," comes a marvelous group portrait of the Founding Fathers, rich with insight into what shaped these particular men.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2006-01-16 Bancroft and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wood suggests that behind America's current romance with the founding fathers is a critique of our own leaders, a desire for such capable and disinterested leadership as was offered by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Provocatively, Wood argues that the very egalitarian democracy Washington and Co. created all but guarantees that we will "never again replicate the extraordinary generation of the founders." In 10 essays, most culled from the New York Review of Books and the New Republic, Wood offers miniature portraits of James Madison, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Paine. The most stimulating chapter is devoted to John Adams, who died thinking he would never get his due in historians' accounts of the Revolution; for the most part, he was right. This piece is an important corrective; Adams, says Wood, was not only pessimistic about the greed and scrambling he saw in his fellow Americans, he was downright prophetic-and his countrymen, then and now, have never wanted to reckon with his critiques. Wood is an elegant writer who has devoted decades to the men about whom he is writing, and taken together, these pieces add perspective to the founding fathers cottage industry. (May 22) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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