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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author John Ferling is a leading authority on the American Revolution. His entertaining and enlightening histories have greatly improved our understanding of early America and the Founding Fathers. Now Ferling opens a window to the past and explores the contentious presidential election of 1800.

Once close friends, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became bitter rivals as they fought for control of the young government. In a no-holds-barred brawl, both camps used any and all methods to sway voters. There was mudslinging, name-calling, and backstabbing. After a stalemate in the Electoral College, balloting went on for days and nights. Friendships were crushed, promises were broken, civil war was threatened. In the end, a shady deal gave Jefferson the presidency, and America would never be the same.

Considering the turmoil of the modern era, Adams vs. Jefferson is a timely book through which we can better understand the antagonistic atmosphere of contemporary politics.

The “Pivotal Moments in American History” series seeks to unite the old and the new history, combining the insights and techniques of recent historiography with the power of traditional narrative. Each title has a strong narrative arc with drama, irony, suspense, and – most importantly – great characters who embody the human dimension of historical events. The general editors of “Pivotal Moments” are not just historians; they are popular writers themselves, and, in two cases, Pulitzer Prize winners: David Hackett Fischer, James M. McPherson, and David Greenberg. We hope you like your American History served up with verve, wit, and an eye for the telling detail!

Listen to John Ferling talk about this book on the October 3, 2004, edition of Booknotes.
©2004 John Ferling; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Ferling richly presents the twists and turns of the election, as well as a vivid portrait of a struggling new nation and the bruising political battles of our now revered founding fathers." (Publishers Weekly)

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