Most Blessed of the Patriarchs Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination

 Most Blessed of the Patriarchs   Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination
Author: Annette Gordon-Reed,Peter S. Onuf
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781631490781
Available:
Release: 2016-04-13
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

New York Times Bestseller Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle Finalist for the George Washington Prize Finalist for the Library of Virginia Literary Award A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection "An important book…[R]ichly rewarding. It is full of fascinating insights about Jefferson." —Gordon S. Wood, New York Review of Books Hailed by critics and embraced by readers, "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" is one of the richest and most insightful accounts of Thomas Jefferson in a generation. Following her Pulitzer Prize–winning The Hemingses of Monticello¸ Annette Gordon-Reed has teamed with Peter S. Onuf to present a provocative and absorbing character study, "a fresh and layered analysis" (New York Times Book Review) that reveals our third president as "a dynamic, complex and oftentimes contradictory human being" (Chicago Tribune). Gordon-Reed and Onuf fundamentally challenge much of what we thought we knew, and through their painstaking research and vivid prose create a portrait of Jefferson, as he might have painted himself, one "comprised of equal parts sun and shadow" (Jane Kamensky).

Most Blessed of the Patriarchs

 Most Blessed of the Patriarchs
Author: Annette Gordon-Reed,Peter S. Onuf
Pages: 370
ISBN: 0871404427
Available:
Release: 2016
Editor: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents a history that explicates Thomas Jefferson's vision of himself, the American Revolution, Christianity, slavery, and race.

Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings

Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings
Author: Stephen O'Connor
Pages: 624
ISBN: 9780698410336
Available:
Release: 2016-04-05
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Dazzling. . . The most revolutionary reimagining of Jefferson’s life ever.” –Ron Charles, Washington Post Winner of the Crook’s Corner Book Prize Longlisted for the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize A debut novel about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, in whose story the conflict between the American ideal of equality and the realities of slavery and racism played out in the most tragic of terms. Novels such as Toni Morrison’s Beloved, The Known World by Edward P. Jones, James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird and Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks are a part of a long tradition of American fiction that plumbs the moral and human costs of history in ways that nonfiction simply can't. Now Stephen O’Connor joins this company with a profoundly original exploration of the many ways that the institution of slavery warped the human soul, as seen through the story of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. O’Connor’s protagonists are rendered via scrupulously researched scenes of their lives in Paris and at Monticello that alternate with a harrowing memoir written by Hemings after Jefferson’s death, as well as with dreamlike sequences in which Jefferson watches a movie about his life, Hemings fabricates an "invention" that becomes the whole world, and they run into each other "after an unimaginable length of time" on the New York City subway. O'Connor is unsparing in his rendition of the hypocrisy of the Founding Father and slaveholder who wrote "all men are created equal,” while enabling Hemings to tell her story in a way history has not allowed her to. His important and beautifully written novel is a deep moral reckoning, a story about the search for justice, freedom and an ideal world—and about the survival of hope even in the midst of catastrophe.

The Mind of Thomas Jefferson

The Mind of Thomas Jefferson
Author: Peter S. Onuf
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780813934235
Available:
Release: 2012-10-05
Editor: University of Virginia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In The Mind of Thomas Jefferson, one of the foremost historians of Jefferson and his time, Peter S. Onuf, offers a collection of essays that seeks to historicize one of our nation’s founding fathers. Challenging current attempts to appropriate Jefferson to serve all manner of contemporary political agendas, Onuf argues that historians must look at Jefferson’s language and life within the context of his own place and time. In this effort to restore Jefferson to his own world, Onuf reconnects that world to ours, providing a fresh look at the distinction between private and public aspects of his character that Jefferson himself took such pains to cultivate. Breaking through Jefferson’s alleged opacity as a person by collapsing the contemporary interpretive frameworks often used to diagnose his psychological and moral states, Onuf raises new questions about what was on Jefferson’s mind as he looked toward an uncertain future. Particularly striking is his argument that Jefferson’s character as a moralist is nowhere more evident, ironically, than in his engagement with the institution of slavery. At once reinvigorating the tension between past and present and offering a new way to view our connection to one of our nation’s founders, The Mind of Thomas Jefferson helps redefine both Jefferson and his time and American nationhood.

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Author: Annette Gordon-Reed
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780813933566
Available:
Release: 1998-03-29
Editor: University of Virginia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

When Annette Gordon-Reed's groundbreaking study was first published, rumors of Thomas Jefferson's sexual involvement with his slave Sally Hemings had circulated for two centuries. Among all aspects of Jefferson's renowned life, it was perhaps the most hotly contested topic. The publication of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings intensified this debate by identifying glaring inconsistencies in many noted scholars' evaluations of the existing evidence. In this study, Gordon-Reed assembles a fascinating and convincing argument: not that the alleged thirty-eight-year liaison necessarily took place but rather that the evidence for its taking place has been denied a fair hearing. Friends of Jefferson sought to debunk the Hemings story as early as 1800, and most subsequent historians and biographers followed suit, finding the affair unthinkable based upon their view of Jefferson's life, character, and beliefs. Gordon-Reed responds to these critics by pointing out numerous errors and prejudices in their writings, ranging from inaccurate citations, to impossible time lines, to virtual exclusions of evidence—especially evidence concerning the Hemings family. She demonstrates how these scholars may have been misguided by their own biases and may even have tailored evidence to serve and preserve their opinions of Jefferson. This updated edition of the book also includes an afterword in which the author comments on the DNA study that provided further evidence of a Jefferson and Hemings liaison.00 Possessing both a layperson's unfettered curiosity and a lawyer's logical mind, Annette Gordon-Reed writes with a style and compassion that are irresistible. Each chapter revolves around a key figure in the Hemings drama, and the resulting portraits are engrossing and very personal. Gordon-Reed also brings a keen intuitive sense of the psychological complexities of human relationships—relationships that, in the real world, often develop regardless of status or race. The most compelling element of all, however, is her extensive and careful research, which often allows the evidence to speak for itself. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy is the definitive look at a centuries-old question that should fascinate general readers and historians alike.

Islamism

Islamism
Author: Tarek Osman
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9780300216011
Available:
Release: 2016-02-23
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A political, social, and cultural battle is currently raging in the Middle East. On one side are the Islamists, those who believe Islam should be the region’s primary identity. In opposition are nationalists, secularists, royal families, military establishments, and others who view Islamism as a serious threat to national security, historical identity, and a cohesive society. This provocative, vitally important work explores the development of the largest, most influential Islamic groups in the Middle East over the past century. Tarek Osman examines why political Islam managed to win successive elections and how Islamist groups in various nations have responded after ascending to power. He dissects the alliances that have formed among Islamist factions and against them, addressing the important issues of Islamism’s compatibility with modernity, with the region’s experiences in the twentieth century, and its impact on social contracts and minorities. He explains what Salafism means, its evolution, and connections to jihadist groups in the Middle East. Osman speculates on what the Islamists’ prospects for the future will mean for the region and the rest of the world.

Master of the Mountain

Master of the Mountain
Author: Henry Wiencek
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781466827783
Available:
Release: 2012-10-16
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Is there anything new to say about Thomas Jefferson and slavery? The answer is a resounding yes. Master of the Mountain, Henry Wiencek's eloquent, persuasive book—based on new information coming from archaeological work at Monticello and on hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Jefferson's papers—opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jefferson's world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money. So far, historians have offered only easy irony or paradox to explain this extraordinary Founding Father who was an emancipationist in his youth and then recoiled from his own inspiring rhetoric and equivocated about slavery; who enjoyed his renown as a revolutionary leader yet kept some of his own children as slaves. But Wiencek's Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the "silent profits" gained from his slaves—and thanks to a skewed moral universe that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. We see Jefferson taking out a slave-equity line of credit with a Dutch bank to finance the building of Monticello and deftly creating smoke screens when visitors are dismayed by his apparent endorsement of a system they thought he'd vowed to overturn. It is not a pretty story. Slave boys are whipped to make them work in the nail factory at Monticello that pays Jefferson's grocery bills. Parents are divided from children—in his ledgers they are recast as money—while he composes theories that obscure the dynamics of what some of his friends call "a vile commerce." Many people of Jefferson's time saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had been badly distorted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

Statehood and Union

Statehood and Union
Author: Peter S. Onuf
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9780268105488
Available:
Release: 2019-02-28
Editor: University of Notre Dame Pess
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This new edition of Statehood and Union: A History of the Northwest Ordinance, originally published in 1987, is an authoritative account of the origins and early history of American policy for territorial government, land distribution, and the admission of new states in the Old Northwest. In a new preface, Peter S. Onuf reviews important new work on the progress of colonization and territorial expansion in the rising American empire.

Jefferson s America 1760 1815

Jefferson s America  1760   1815
Author: Norman K. Risjord
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9781442200524
Available:
Release: 2009-10-16
Editor: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A captivating and lucid narrative of America's revolutionary generation, Jefferson's America takes the reader from the earliest rumblings of colonial dissent, through the crises of revolution and nation-making, to the heroic drama of the War of 1812. Risjord deftly weaves together strands of biography and social history with military and political history to depict the rich fabric of the young republic. While most writers on this period conclude with the end of the Revolution, the ratification of the Constitution, or the election of Jefferson, Risjord contends that there is a fundamental continuity in the history of the Early Republic. The basic problems involved in creating a stable, representative government were not resolved until the "second war of independence," a symbolic end for the Revolutionary generation, which produced a sense of national unity and determined the viability of the new nation. Risjord incorporates new social and economic perspectives, and he deals suggestively with the struggle over "who shall rule at home." Yet he still presents the pivotal events of the War for Independence, the framing of the Constitution, the "Revolution of 1800," and the War of 1812 in an interesting and understandable way. This is no watered-down version of the national myth, but a subtle and well-told story. The third edition reflects new research on a number of topics; including the role of women in the resistance to British measures; the impact of the Revolution on blacks, both slave and free; and the lot of the common soldier during the same period.

Jefferson s Empire

Jefferson s Empire
Author: Peter S. Onuf
Pages: 250
ISBN: 0813922046
Available:
Release: 2000
Editor: University of Virginia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Thomas Jefferson believed that the American revolution was atransformative moment in the history of political civilization. He hoped that hisown efforts as a founding statesman and theorist would help construct a progressiveand enlightened order for the new American nation that would be a model andinspiration for the world. Peter S. Onuf's new book traces Jefferson's vision of theAmerican future to its roots in his idealized notions of nationhood and empire.Onuf's unsettling recognition that Jefferson's famed egalitarianism was elaboratedin an imperial context yields strikingly original interpretations of our nationalidentity and our ideas of race, of westward expansion and the Civil War, and ofAmerican global dominance in the twentiethcentury. Jefferson's vision of an American "empirefor liberty" was modeled on a British prototype. But as a consensual union ofself-governing republics without a metropolis, Jefferson's American empire would befree of exploitation by a corrupt imperial ruling class. It would avoid the cycle ofwar and destruction that had characterized the European balance ofpower. The Civil War cast in high relief thetragic limitations of Jefferson's political vision. After the Union victory, as thereconstructed nation-state developed into a world power, dreams of the United Statesas an ever-expanding empire of peacefully coexisting states quickly faded frommemory. Yet even as the antebellum federal union disintegrated, a Jeffersoniannationalism, proudly conscious of America's historic revolution against imperialdomination, grew up in its place. In Onuf's view, Jefferson's quest to define a new American identity also shaped his ambivalentconceptions of slavery and Native American rights. His revolutionary fervor led himto see Indians as "merciless savages" who ravaged the frontiers at the Britishking's direction, but when those frontiers were pacified, a more benevolentJefferson encouraged these same Indians to embrace republican values. AfricanAmerican slaves, by contrast, constituted an unassimilable captive nation, unjustlywrenched from its African homeland. His great panacea: colonization. Jefferson's ideas about race revealthe limitations of his conception of American nationhood. Yet, as Onuf strikinglydocuments, Jefferson's vision of a republican empire--a regime of peace, prosperity, and union without coercion--continues to define and expand the boundaries ofAmerican national identity.

The Founding of Thomas Jefferson s University

The Founding of Thomas Jefferson s University
Author: John A. Ragosta,Peter S. Onuf,Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9780813943237
Available:
Release: 2019-09-10
Editor: University of Virginia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Established in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia was known as "The University" throughout the South for most of the nineteenth century, and today it stands as one of the premier universities in the world. This volume provides an in-depth look at the founding of the University and, in the process, develops new and important insights into Jefferson’s contributions as well as into the impact of the University on the history of higher education. The contributors depict the students who were entering higher education in the early republic--their aspirations, their juvenile and often violent confrontations with authority, and their relationships with enslaved workers at the University. Contributors then turn to the building of the University, including its unique architectural plan as an "Academical Village" and the often-hidden role of African Americans in its construction and day-to-day life. The next set of essays explore various aspects of Jefferson’s intellectual vision for the University, including his innovative scheme for medical education, his dogmatic view of the necessity of a "republican" legal education, and the detailed plans for the library by Jefferson, one of America’s preeminent bibliophiles. The book concludes by considering the changing nature of education in the early nineteenth century, in particular the new focus on research and discovery, in which Jefferson, again, played an important role. Providing a fascinating and important look at the development of one of America’s oldest and most preeminent educational institutions, this book provides yet another perspective from which to appreciate the extraordinary contributions of Jefferson in the development of the new nation.

The Patriarchs

The Patriarchs
Author: Beth Moore
Pages: 32
ISBN: 063319753X
Available:
Release: 2005-06-01
Editor: Lifeway Church Resources
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Participants will plunge into the heart of Genesis, to God's remarkable pursuit of relationship and to the unfolding of His earthly plan: that through one nationand ultimately, one manall people on earth will be blessed.

Confounding Father

Confounding Father
Author: Robert M. S. McDonald
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9780813938974
Available:
Release: 2016-08-29
Editor: University of Virginia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Of all the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson stood out as the most controversial and confounding. Loved and hated, revered and reviled, during his lifetime he served as a lightning rod for dispute. Few major figures in American history provoked such a polarization of public opinion. One supporter described him as the possessor of "an enlightened mind and superior wisdom; the adorer of our God; the patriot of his country; and the friend and benefactor of the whole human race." Martha Washington, however, considered Jefferson "one of the most detestable of mankind"--and she was not alone. While Jefferson’s supporters organized festivals in his honor where they praised him in speeches and songs, his detractors portrayed him as a dilettante and demagogue, double-faced and dangerously radical, an atheist and "Anti-Christ" hostile to Christianity. Characterizing his beliefs as un-American, they tarred him with the extremism of the French Revolution. Yet his allies cheered his contributions to the American Revolution, unmasking him as the now formerly anonymous author of the words that had helped to define America in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, meanwhile, anxiously monitored the development of his image. As president he even clipped expressions of praise and scorn from newspapers, pasting them in his personal scrapbooks. In this fascinating new book, historian Robert M. S. McDonald explores how Jefferson, a man with a manner so mild some described it as meek, emerged as such a divisive figure. Bridging the gap between high politics and popular opinion, Confounding Father exposes how Jefferson’s bifurcated image took shape both as a product of his own creation and in response to factors beyond his control. McDonald tells a gripping, sometimes poignant story of disagreements over issues and ideology as well as contested conceptions of the rules of politics. In the first fifty years of independence, Americans’ views of Jefferson revealed much about their conflicting views of the purpose and promise of America. Jeffersonian America

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson
Author: Annette Gordon-Reed
Pages: 192
ISBN: 1429924616
Available:
Release: 2011-01-18
Editor: Macmillan
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian recounts the tale of the unwanted president who ran afoul of Congress over Reconstruction and was nearly removed from office Andrew Johnson never expected to be president. But just six weeks after becoming Abraham Lincoln's vice president, the events at Ford's Theatre thrust him into the nation's highest office. Johnson faced a nearly impossible task—to succeed America's greatest chief executive, to bind the nation's wounds after the Civil War, and to work with a Congress controlled by the so-called Radical Republicans. Annette Gordon-Reed, one of America's leading historians of slavery, shows how ill-suited Johnson was for this daunting task. His vision of reconciliation abandoned the millions of former slaves (for whom he felt undisguised contempt) and antagonized congressional leaders, who tried to limit his powers and eventually impeached him. The climax of Johnson's presidency was his trial in the Senate and his acquittal by a single vote, which Gordon-Reed recounts with drama and palpable tension. Despite his victory, Johnson's term in office was a crucial missed opportunity; he failed the country at a pivotal moment, leaving America with problems that we are still trying to solve.

Thomas Jefferson Revolutionary

Thomas Jefferson   Revolutionary
Author: Kevin R. C. Gutzman
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781250010810
Available:
Release: 2017-01-31
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"In this lively and clearly written book, Kevin Gutzman makes a compelling case for the broad range and radical ambitions of Thomas Jefferson's commitment to human equality." - Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize winning author of American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 Though remembered chiefly as author of the Declaration of Independence and the president under whom the Louisiana Purchase was effected, Thomas Jefferson was a true revolutionary in the way he thought about the size and reach of government, which Americans who were full citizens and the role of education in the new country. In his new book, Kevin Gutzman gives readers a new view of Jefferson—a revolutionary who effected radical change in a growing country. Jefferson’s philosophy about the size and power of the federal system almost completely undergirded the Jeffersonian Republican Party. His forceful advocacy of religious freedom was not far behind, as were attempts to incorporate Native Americans into American society. His establishment of the University of Virginia might be one of the most important markers of the man’s abilities and character. He was not without flaws. While he argued for the assimilation of Native Americans into society, he did not assume the same for Africans being held in slavery while—at the same time—insisting that slavery should cease to exist. Many still accuse Jefferson of hypocrisy on the ground that he both held that “all men are created equal” and held men as slaves. Jefferson’s true character, though, is more complex than that as Kevin Gutzman shows in his new book about Jefferson, a revolutionary whose accomplishments went far beyond the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson

Jefferson
Author: John B. Boles
Pages: 640
ISBN: 9780465094691
Available:
Release: 2017-04-25
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Magisterial . . . perhaps the finest one-volume biography of an American president." --Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post "[A] splendid biography." --Wall Street Journal "The fullest and most complete single-volume life of Jefferson since Merrill Peterson's thousand-page biography of 1970." --Gordon Wood, Weekly Standard From an eminent scholar of the American South, the first full-scale biography of Thomas Jefferson since 1970 Not since Merrill Peterson's Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation has a scholar attempted to write a comprehensive biography of the most complex Founding Father. In Jefferson, John B. Boles plumbs every facet of Thomas Jefferson's life, all while situating him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We meet Jefferson the politician and political thinker--as well as Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, paleontologist, musician, and gourmet. We witness him drafting of the Declaration of Independence, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, and inventing a politics that emphasized the states over the federal government--a political philosophy that shapes our national life to this day. Boles offers new insight into Jefferson's actions and thinking on race. His Jefferson is not a hypocrite, but a tragic figure--a man who could not hold simultaneously to his views on abolition, democracy, and patriarchal responsibility. Yet despite his flaws, Jefferson's ideas would outlive him and make him into nothing less than the architect of American liberty.

Informing a Nation

Informing a Nation
Author: Melvin Laracey
Pages: 264
ISBN: 9780472132348
Available:
Release: 2021-02-26
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

How a dynamic, controversially elected president used the media to promote his image and policies

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Author: Dominic Smith
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780374714048
Available:
Release: 2016-04-05
Editor: Sarah Crichton Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Written in prose so clear that we absorb its images as if by mind meld, “The Last Painting” is gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive, with an almost tactile awareness of the emotional contours of the human heart. Vividly detailed, acutely sensitive to stratifications of gender and class, it’s fiction that keeps you up at night — first because you’re barreling through the book, then because you’ve slowed your pace to a crawl, savoring the suspense.” —Boston Globe A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice A RARE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY PAINTING LINKS THREE LIVES, ON THREE CONTINENTS, OVER THREE CENTURIES IN THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS, AN EXHILARATING NEW NOVEL FROM DOMINIC SMITH. Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it. New York City, 1957: The only known surviving work of Sara de Vos, At the Edge of a Wood, hangs in the bedroom of a wealthy Manhattan lawyer, Marty de Groot, a descendant of the original owner. It is a beautiful but comfortless landscape. The lawyer’s marriage is prominent but comfortless, too. When a struggling art history grad student, Ellie Shipley, agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer, she finds herself entangled with its owner in ways no one could predict. Sydney, 2000: Now a celebrated art historian and curator, Ellie Shipley is mounting an exhibition in her field of specialization: female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. When it becomes apparent that both the original At the Edge of a Wood and her forgery are en route to her museum, the life she has carefully constructed threatens to unravel entirely and irrevocably.

The Ledger and the Chain

The Ledger and the Chain
Author: Joshua D. Rothman
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9781541616592
Available:
Release: 2021-04-20
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An award-winning historian reveals the harrowing forgotten story of America's internal slave trade—and its role in the making of America. Slave traders are peripheral figures in most histories of American slavery. But these men—who trafficked and sold over half a million enslaved people from the Upper South to the Deep South—were essential to slavery's expansion and fueled the growth and prosperity of the United States. In The Ledger and the Chain, acclaimed historian Joshua D. Rothman recounts the shocking story of the domestic slave trade by tracing the lives and careers of Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard, who built the largest and most powerful slave-trading operation in American history. Far from social outcasts, they were rich and widely respected businessmen, and their company sat at the center of capital flows connecting southern fields to northeastern banks. Bringing together entrepreneurial ambition and remorseless violence toward enslaved people, domestic slave traders produced an atrocity that forever transformed the nation.

Encounters at the Heart of the World

Encounters at the Heart of the World
Author: Elizabeth A. Fenn
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780374711078
Available:
Release: 2014-03-11
Editor: Hill and Wang
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for History Encounters at the Heart of the World concerns the Mandan Indians, iconic Plains people whose teeming, busy towns on the upper Missouri River were for centuries at the center of the North American universe. We know of them mostly because Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-1805 with them, but why don't we know more? Who were they really? In this extraordinary book, Elizabeth A. Fenn retrieves their history by piecing together important new discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, geology, climatology, epidemiology, and nutritional science. Her boldly original interpretation of these diverse research findings offers us a new perspective on early American history, a new interpretation of the American past. By 1500, more than twelve thousand Mandans were established on the northern Plains, and their commercial prowess, agricultural skills, and reputation for hospitality became famous. Recent archaeological discoveries show how these Native American people thrived, and then how they collapsed. The damage wrought by imported diseases like smallpox and the havoc caused by the arrival of horses and steamboats were tragic for the Mandans, yet, as Fenn makes clear, their sense of themselves as a people with distinctive traditions endured. A riveting account of Mandan history, landscapes, and people, Fenn's narrative is enriched and enlivened not only by science and research but by her own encounters at the heart of the world.