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Founding Fathers' Books


Men like Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson came from different backgrounds and experiences. They came together to found a new nation, based on the principles of liberty and justice.

1. The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence

The American Revolution
by John Rhodehamel (Editor). Library of America. The American Revolution signals a time of reinvention--accomplished through spoken and written work. Here, John Rhodehamel has collected some 120 works: letters, diaries, newspaper articles, public declarations, contemporary narratives, and private memoranda.

2. John Adams

John Adams Biography
by David McCullough. Simon & Schuster. From the publisher: "Like his masterly, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography 'Truman,' David McCullough's 'John Adams' has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. It is both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time, much of it drawn from an outstanding collection of Adams family letters and diaries."

3. Writings: George Washington

by John Rhodehamel (Editor). Library of America. From the publisher: "This one-volume collection--the most extensive and authoritative ever published--covers five decades of Washington's astonishingly active life and includes both public and personal writings." This work brings together more than 400 works by George Washington.

4. Writings: Ben Franklin

by J.A. Leo Lemay (Editor). Library of America. From the publisher: "The most complete one-volume collection ever published of a brilliant public figure and the most powerful writer of his time, including 'The Autobiography' in a new edition based on Franklin's manuscript."

5. Writings: Alexander Hamilton

by Joanne B. Freeman (Editor). Library of America. From the publisher: "His public and private writings demonstrate the perceptive intelligence, confident advocacy, driving ambition, and profound concern for honor and reputation that contributed both to his astonishing rise to fame and to his tragic early death." This work contains more than 170 works from Alexander Hamilton.

6. Jefferson's Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma

by Roger Wilkins. Beacon Press. From the Book Jacket: "He unravels how we as Americans tell our different sides of the story and the confounding ability of that narrative to limit who we are and who we can become."

7. Franklin: The Essential Founding Father

by James Srodes. Regnery Publishing, Inc., An Eagle Publishing Company. Chapters include: "Traits and Prospects," "Hope and Glory," "The Pursuit of Virtue," "Rising Citizen," "The Eminent Mr. Franklin," "Join or Die," "First Blood," "A New Nemesis," "Degrees and Separation," "The Death of a Dream," "Declaring Liberty," and beyond.

8. Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington

by Richard Brookhiser. From the publisher: "In this thought-provoking look at George Washington as soldier and statesman, Richard Brookhiser traces the astonishing achievements of Washington's career and illuminates how his character and his values shaped the beginnings of American politics."

9. Founding Fathers: Brief Lives

by M. E. E. Bradford, Designed by Russell Kirk. University Press of Kansas. From the publisher: "One was a shoemaker, surveyor, lawyer, jurist, lay theologian, and statesman. Two became president, one vice president... And when they came together in Philadelphia in 1787, they produced the framework for the most influential document in the history of the United States."

10. Writings: James Madison

Jack N. Rakove (Editor). Library of America. From the publisher: "Arranged chronologically, 'Writings' contains 197 essays, addresses, speeches, private memoranda, and letters written between 1772 and 1836."

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