Susan Dunn, the Massachusetts Professor of Humanities at Williams, is the author of Dominion of Memories: Jefferson, Madison, and the Decline of Virginia. Her most recent book is 1940: FDR, Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler—the Election Amid the Storm. (August 2016)
by Margery M. Heffron, edited by David L. Michelmore
John Quincy Adams was a highly principled, hardworking, and patriotic man of great intelligence and integrity. He was complex and full of contradictions, frigid and hot-tempered, confrontational and thin-skinned, devoted to public service and egocentric. He yearned for acclaim and strove for achievement and high political office, but had a personality quite unsuited for a life in politics.
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
“I’ve had a bully time and a bully fight. I feel as big and strong as a bull moose,” Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt ebulliently told reporters when he returned to New York after the famous charge up San Juan Hill in the summer of 1898. Avid for publicity, Roosevelt had arranged for two photographers to accompany him and his Rough Riders to Cuba and had led favored reporters with him into battle.
Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin
by Jill Lepore
“I blame myself for not sooner desiring you to lay in your Winter’s Wood,” Benjamin Franklin apologized to his seventy-five-year-old sister Jane in the fall of 1787. He was concerned that she might not have enough firewood to get through the rough New England winter. “But I have been so …
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815
by Gordon S. Wood
Far too many congressmen were ignorant and unlearned, complained Benjamin Latrobe, President Jefferson’s surveyor of public buildings, in 1806. Philadelphia and its suburbs, Latrobe said, had not sent a single man of letters to Congress. Well, it was true that one representative was a lawyer—though he was of “no eminence”—and …