Freedom Just Around the Corner: A New American History: 1585-1828

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Harper Collins, Apr 7, 2009 - History - 656 pages
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A powerful reinterpretation of the founding of America by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian.

The creation of the United States of America is the central event of the past four hundred years," states Walter McDougall in his preface to Freedom Just Around the Corner. With this statement begins McDougall's most ambitious, original, and uncompromising of histories. McDougall marshals the latest scholarship and writes in a style redolent with passion, pathos, and humour in pursuit of truths often obscured in books burdened with political slants.

With an insightful approach to the nearly 250 years spanning America's beginnings, McDougall offers his readers an understanding of the uniqueness of the "American character" and how this character has shaped the wide ranging course of historical events. McDougall explains that Americans have always been in a unique position of enjoying "more opportunity to pursue their ambitions䳨an any other people in history." Throughout Freedom Just Around the Corner the character of the American people shines, a character built out of a freedom to indulge in the whole panoply of human behaviour. The genius behind the success of the United States is founded on the complex, irrepressible American spirit.

A grand narrative rich with new details and insights about colonial and early national history, Freedom Just Around the Corner is the first instalment of a trilogy that will eventually bring the story of America up to the present day, a story epic, bemusing, and brooding.


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User Review  - rsubber - LibraryThing

This is a compelling commentary on Americans' history. One reading isn't enough. My takeaways are: There is no destiny—-there are partially sustainable outcomes of both independent and coordinated ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sweetFrank - LibraryThing

This book is a highly-readable and fresh look at well-known events and people, as well as the less-well known, including significant figures like Hugh Williamson of North Carolina, General Nathaniel ... Read full review


Saint George and the Dragon
Planters Patroons and Puritans
Barbadians Yorkers and Quakers
Papists Witches Scofflaws and Preachers
Germans Four Sorts of Britons and Africans
Soldiers Speculators and Savages
Sons of Liberty and TwoBottle Tyrants
Patriots Tories Slackers and Spies
Reluctant Nationalists Eager Imperialists
Engineers Pioneers Peddlers and Democrats
Apotheosis and Apocalypse in American Culture c 1830
Physiographic Map of the United States 41
North America East of the Mississippi in 1763 199
Ratifying the Federal Constitution 309

Federalists Antis Vestals and Victims
Master Builders Party Men and a Rogue
Slavery in the United States 1821

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About the author (2009)

A professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, Walter A. McDougall is the author of many books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heavens and the Earth and Let the Sea Make a Noise.... He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two teenage children.

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