Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation - Joseph J. Ellis
This Pulitzer Prize winning history features six long essays on the founders during the 1790s, the early national era.
The Duel narrates the events and revolutionary passions that lead up to the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, which ended in Hamilton’s death.
The Dinner explores Jefferson’s assertion that one of his dinner parties resulted in the deal that established a site on the Potomac River as the capitol in exchange for Virginia's support of Hamilton's plan for assumption of state debts by the federal government. Ellis argues that it was probably a host of conversations that lead to this swap.
The Silence covers the agreement that promised silence on the question of race-based chattel slavery among the founders despite the fact that the founders knew the institution flew in the face of revolutionary ideals of liberty and freedom.
The Farewell discusses the role of George Washington in providing stability during a time when anybody with a brain feared for the continuance of the young nation.
The Collaborators examines two fascinating dyads. One was the marriage of between John and Abigail Adams, especially during his presidency. The other was between mentor Thomas Jefferson and mentee James Madison during Adams’ administration.
The Friendship tells about the reconciliation by letter-writing between Adams and Jefferson during the last fourteen years of their lives.
Ellis is an excellent writer, fair and sympathetic to weaknesses to be found even among the great.