Early American History Books
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Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis
In retrospect, it seems as if the American Revolution was inevitable. But was it? In Founding Brothers, Joseph J. Ellis reveals that many of those truths we hold to be self-evident were actually fiercely contested in the early days of the republic.
Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara
Spanning the crucible years beginning with the Boston Massacre in March 1770 and continuing through the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July, 4, 1776, this historical novel is told from the perspective of a handful of characters well known from our history books: Samuel Adams, John Adams, Ben Franklin, King George III, Gen. Thomas Gage, George Washington. First installment of a projected two-volume saga of the American Revolution.
A History of the American People by Paul Johnson
A comprehensive study by this English historian of the settling and development of the North American continent from the 15th century to the late 20th century. Covers every aspect of U.S. history, from science, customs, religion, and politics to the individual men and women who have helped shape the nation. (1088 pages)
Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose
A biography of Meriwether Lewis that relies heavily on the journals of both Lewis and Clark, this book is also backed up by the author's personal travels along Lewis and Clark's route to the Pacific. Ambrose is not content to simply chronicle the events of the "Corps of Discovery" as the explorers called their ventures. He often pauses to assess the military leadership of Lewis and Clark, how they negotiated with various native peoples and what they reported to Jefferson. Though the expedition failed to find Jefferson's hoped for water route to the Pacific, it fired interest among fur traders and other Americans, changing the face of the West forever.
Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery by Stephen E. Ambrose and Sam Abell
This book is about the author Stephen Ambrose retracing the Lewis and Clark expidition with his family. The author goes from the present to the past at each point of the journey. He tells of his experiences at that location then he describes the events of Lewis and Clark at that time.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
In 1775, as hostilities between Britain and the colonies intensified, Paine wrote Common Sense to encourage the colonies to break the British exploitative hold through independence. The little booklet of 50 pages was published January 10, 1776 and sold a half-million copies. Many historians argue that his work unified dissenting voices and persuaded patriots that the American Revolution was not only necessary, but an epochal step in world history. (See some excerpts in Signpost #16)
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
In a brilliant set of essays... Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay explored in minute detail the implications of establishing a kind of rule that would engage as many citizens as possible and that would include a system of checks and balances. Their arguments proved successful in the end, and The Federalist Papers stand as key documents in the founding of the United States.
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
Tocqueville arrived in the United States from France in 1830, traveled widely, and talked to President Andrew Jackson, ex-President John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster and many others. He "discovered that America's democracy was not just government and politics. It was a set of beliefs, values and practices about what people should expect from life." (Newsweek)
Eric Sloane's An Age of Barns: An Illustrated Review of Classic Barn Styles and Construction by Eric Sloane
This is a re-issue of Sloane's classic folksy history of barn folklore, architecture, and history, which has been out of print for twenty years. Eric Sloane's An Age of Barns is filled with fabulous black-and-white illustrations from this great American artist. Covering all types of American and Canadian barns and everything associated with them -- implements and tools, hex signs, silos, out buildings, hinges, barn raising, and more.
Windows on the Past: Four Centuries of New England Homes
by Jane C. Nylander, et al.
The houses that New Englanders built for themselves from before the American Revolution and into the twentieth century tell us much about them and their lives. In the more than two dozen homes presented here, all properties of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, food was cooked and eaten, soap and candles were made, flax and wool were spun, clothes were sewn and laundered, babies were conceived and born, children were taught and disciplined, and family members died.

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