The First Congress was the most important in US history, says prizewinning author and historian Fergus Bordewich, because it established how our government would actually function. Had it failed - as many at the time feared it would - it's possible that the United States as we know it would not exist today.
"A critical story, well-told"
The Civil War brought to a climax the country's bitter division. But the beginnings of slavery's denouement can be traced to a courageous band of ordinary Americans, black and white, slave and free, who joined forces to create what would come to be known as the Underground Railroad, a movement that occupies as romantic a place in the nation's imagination as the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Interweaving thrilling personal stories with the politics of slavery and abolition, Bound for Canaan shows how the Underground Railroad gave birth to this country's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for social change.
"Should have used a professional reader"
The Mexican War introduced vast new territories into the United States, among them California and the present-day Southwest. When gold was discovered in California in the great Gold Rush of 1849, the population swelled, and settlers petitioned for admission to the Union. But the U.S. Senate was precariously balanced with 15 free states and 15 slave states. Up to this point, states had been admitted in pairs, one free and one slave, to preserve that tenuous balance in the Senate.
In Washington, award-winning author Fergus M. Bordewich turns his eye to the backroom deal making and shifting alliances among our Founding Fathers and in so doing pulls back the curtain on the lives of the slaves who actually built the city.