The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

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W W Norton & Company Incorporated, 2005 - History - 1044 pages
26 Reviews
A grand political history in a fresh new style of how the elitist young American republic became a rough-and-tumble democracy.

In this magisterial work, Sean Wilentz traces a historical arc from the earliest days of the republic to the opening shots of the Civil War. One of our finest writers of history, Wilentz brings to life the era after the American Revolution, when the idea of democracy remained contentious, and Jeffersonians and Federalists clashed over the role of ordinary citizens in government of, by, and for the people. The triumph of Andrew Jackson soon defined this role on the national level, while city democrats, Anti-Masons, fugitive slaves, and a host of others hewed their own local definitions. In these definitions Wilentz recovers the beginnings of a discontenttwo starkly opposed democracies, one in the North and another in the Southand the wary balance that lasted until the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked its bloody resolution. 75 illustrations.

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Review: The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

Essential reading for anyone interested in American history and democracy. Wilentz' book is a rich, fascinating dissection of the evolution of the meaning(s) of democracy in the US from the ... Read full review

Review: The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

User Review  - Joe Keene - Goodreads

This book belongs on everyone's bookshelves. Almost too detailed at times, this books cogently and clearly explains the American political scene right up until the Civil War. The schism between the ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

Robert sean Wilentz was born in 1951 in New York City. He earned his first B.A. from Colunbia University in 1972 and his second from Oxford University in 1974 on a Kellett Fellowship. He continued his education at Yale University where he earned his M.A. degree in 1975 and his PhD. in 1980. His writings are focused on the importance of class and race in the early national period. He has also co-authored books on nineteenth-century religion and working class life. His book The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, won the Bancroft Prize. He has also written about modern U.S. history in his book, The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008. He has been the Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor of History at Princeton University since 1979. Robert Wilentz is also a contributing editor at The New Republic. He writes on music, the arts, history and politics. He received a Grammy nomination and a 2005 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for musical commentary on the musician Bob Dylan.

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