Book cover of The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff
Biography & Autobiography

The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams

A revelatory biography from a Pulitzer Prize-winner about the most essential Founding Father—the one who stood behind the change in thinking that produced the American Revolution.

Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the Revolution, “Samuel Adams was the man.” With high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, Adams led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history. […Learn More]

Book cover of Perfecting the Union: National and State Authority in the US Constitution by Max Edling
History

Perfecting the Union: National and State Authority in the US Constitution

For most of the twentieth century, the American founding has been presented as a struggle between social classes over issues arising primarily within, rather than outside, the United States. But in recent years, new scholarship has instead turned to the international history of the American union to interpret both the causes and the consequences of the US Constitution. […Learn More]

Book cover of Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn
Health and Psychology

Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82

The astonishing, hitherto unknown truths about a disease that transformed the United States at its birth

A horrifying epidemic of smallpox was sweeping across the Americas when the American Revolution began, and yet we know almost nothing about it. Elizabeth A. Fenn is the first historian to reveal how deeply variola affected the outcome of the war in every colony and the lives of everyone in North America. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville by Olivier Zunz
Biography & Autobiography

The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville 

A definitive biography of the French aristocrat who became one of democracy’s greatest champions

In 1831, at the age of twenty-five, Alexis de Tocqueville made his fateful journey to America, where he observed the thrilling reality of a functioning democracy. From that moment onward, the French aristocrat would dedicate his life as a writer and politician to ending despotism in his country and bringing it into a new age. […Learn More]

Book cover of Cornwallis: Soldier and Statesman in a Revolutionary World by Richard Middleton
Biography & Autobiography

Cornwallis: Soldier and Statesman in a Revolutionary World

The first biography of Charles Cornwallis in forty years—the soldier, governor, and statesman whose career covered America, India, Britain, and Ireland

Charles, First Marquis of Cornwallis  (1738–1805), was a leading figure in late eighteenth-century Britain. His career spanned the American War of Independence, Irish Union, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the building of the Second British Empire in India—and he has long been associated with the unacceptable face of Britain’s colonial past. […Learn More]

Book cover of The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War by Andrew Delbanco
Civil War

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

For decades after its founding, America was really two nations—one slave, one free. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North proved that the “united” states was actually a lie. Fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison-house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America's Bird by Jack E. Davis
Biological Sciences

The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird

The bald eagle is regal but fearless, a bird you’re not inclined to argue with. For centuries, Americans have celebrated it as “majestic” and “noble,” yet savaged the living bird behind their national symbol as a malicious predator of livestock and, falsely, a snatcher of babies. Taking us from before the nation’s founding through inconceivable resurgences of this enduring all-American species, Jack E. Davis contrasts the age when native peoples lived beside it peacefully with that when others, whether through hunting bounties or DDT pesticides, twice pushed Haliaeetus leucocephalus to the brink of extinction. […Learn More]