James MacGregor Burns’s stunning trilogy of American history, spanning the birth of the Constitution to the final days of the Cold War. In these three volumes, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner James MacGregor Burns chronicles with depth and narrative panache the most significant cultural, economic, and political events of American history.
In The Vineyard of Liberty, he combines the color and texture of early American life with meticulous scholarship. Focusing on the tensions leading up to the Civil War, Burns brilliantly shows how Americans became divided over the meaning of Liberty.
In The Workshop of Democracy, Burns explores more than a half-century of dramatic growth and transformation of the American landscape, through the addition of dozens of new states, the shattering tragedy of the First World War, the explosion of industry, and, in the end, the emergence of the United States as a new global power.
And in The Crosswinds of Freedom, Burns offers an articulate and incisive examination of the US during its rise to become the world’s sole superpower - through the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, and the rapid pace of technological change that gave rise to the “American Century.”
©1982 The Vineyard of Liberty copyright 1982 by James MacGregor Burns, The Workshop of Democracy copyright 1985 by James MacGregor Burns, The Crosswinds of Freedom copyright 1989 by James MacGregor Burns (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
The book starts with the constitutional convention, and Burns focuses on describing the framers, and their political motives and ideas. The sections about political theory are very interesting. However, he also analyzes each of the framers as 'leaders'. Unfortunately,his leadership analysis of each is so cursory as to seem superficial.
From 1830-1900 he pretty much ignores presidents and great senators. Instead he focuses heavily on the social woes of the US as well as captains of industry, artists, and especially authors like Whitman and Emerson.
In the 20th century, he covers great liberal leaders like Teddy, Wilson (he loves Professor Wilson), FDR, Kennedy, LBJ and MLK. His analysis of the first three is long enough for him to properly convey his leadership ideas. He also mocks late 20th century society culture - movies, sports, tv, and radio and he mourns the decline of literature, newspapers, liberalism, intellectuals...
Burns has an unusual, interesting take on American history and presidents. I thought that some chapters were too critical of American society to be interesting. But I enjoyed most of it.
This is a look back at most of American history (from after the founding) up until about 1989...because it the last part of the trilogy was written that year...so no end of the Cold War or anything...That added a nice end on it.
His JFK and FDR accents. That's about it. That isn't bad, though.
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