"If it is possible to understand the American paradox, the marriage of slavery and freedom, Virginia is surely the place to begin," writes Edmund S. Morgan in American Slavery, American Freedom, a study of the tragic contradiction at the core of America. Morgan finds the key to this central paradox in the people and politics of the state that was both the birthplace of the revolution and the largest slaveholding state in the country.
"The story of slavery's origins in Virginia"
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edmund S. Morgan delivers 17 stirring essays about heroic Americans. John Winthrop's unpopular stand saves Massachusetts Bay Colony. William Penn's principles forge a Philadelphia miracle. George Washington's strategy stuns the British and Anti-Federalist opposition fosters the Bill of Rights.
Benjamin Franklin is perhaps the most remarkable figure in American history: the greatest statesman of his age, he played a pivotal role in the formation of the American republic. He was also a pioneering scientist, a best-selling author, the country's first postmaster general, a printer, a bon vivant, a diplomat, a ladies' man, and a moralist - and the most prominent celebrity of the 18th century. Franklin was, however, a man of vast contradictions.