"From ... bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and to decide the future of our democracy. In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the na... Full description
"From ... bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and to decide the future of our democracy. In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky; as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina's John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery. Together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal and political betrayal. Yet each in his own way sought to remedy the two glaring flaws in the Constitution: its refusal to specify where authority ultimately rested, with the states or the nation, and its unwillingness to address the essential incompatibility of republicanism and slavery. They wrestled with these issues for four decades, arguing bitterly and hammering out political compromises that held the Union together, but only just. Then, in 1850, when California moved to join the Union as a free state, "the immortal trio" had one last chance to save the country from the real risk of civil war. But, by that point, they had never been further apart. Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy."--Dust jacket.
x, 413 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
H.W. Brands was born Henry William Brands in Oregon. He graduated from Stanford University in 1975 with a B.A. in history, and from Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. He went on to earn his graduate degree in mathematics and history in Oregon and Texas. He taught at Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M University before he joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. He acquired the title of Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History at the U of Texas. He specializes in American History and politics, with books including Traitor to His Class, Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, the First American, and TR. Several of his books have been best sellers, including one recently published, The General vs. the President. Two of them - Traitor to His Class and The First American were finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lectures often on historical and current events and he can be seen and heard on national television and radio programs.
(Bowker Author Biography) H. W. Brands lives in Austin, Texas.
(Publisher Provided) H. W. Brands is Distinguished Professor of History and Ralph R. Thomas '21 Professor in Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University.