With his usual storytelling flair and unparalleled research, Tom Fleming offers a compelling, intimate look at the founders—George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison—and the women who played essential roles in their lives.
"some interesting dirt on our national heroes"
History tends to cast the early years of America in a glow of camaraderie when there were, in fact, many conflicts between the Founding Fathers - none more important than the one between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Their disagreement centered on the highest, most original public office created by the Constitutional Convention: the presidency. It also involved the nation's foreign policy, the role of merchants and farmers in a republic, and the durability of the union.
By the time his body hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper’s Ferry, abolitionists had made John Brown a "holy martyr" in the fight against Southern slave owners. But Northern hatred for Southerners had been long in the making. Northern rage was born of the conviction that New England, whose spokesmen and militia had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern "slavocrats" like Thomas Jefferson. And Northern envy only exacerbated the South’s greatest fear: race war.
Perhaps more than even Washington, Jefferson, or Adams, Ben Franklin is the Founding Father who best exemplifies the authentic American spirit and values. Eminent historian Thomas Fleming paints a lively portrait of this self-made man blessed with a wealth of talents: a best-selling author, the most important newspaper publisher in America, and a world-renowned scientist and inventor before he took on the task of becoming the true "Father" of American independence.
"Amazing and Inspiring"
Napolean enters Moscow. The second volume of What If? features today's foremost historians speculating on Napoleon's missed opportunities, and other world-altering events. What If?: Volume 1 asked, what if Hitler had won the war, if Japan had another sneak attack, or if the cold war turned hot?