American Dialogue (Hardcover)

The Founders and Us

By Joseph J. Ellis

Knopf, 9780385353427, 304pp.

Publication Date: October 16, 2018

List Price: 27.95*
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Description

The award-winning author of Founding Brothers and The Quartet now gives us a deeply insightful examination of the relevance of the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams to some of the most divisive issues in America today.

The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today's political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions--and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice--Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.


About the Author

JOSEPH J. ELLIS is the author of many works of American history including Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, which won the National Book Award. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife and is the father of three sons.


Praise For American Dialogue: The Founders and Us

“Joe Ellis knows that history is not simply about the past, it’s about the present having a conversation with the past. In this elegant and fascinating book, he conducts a discourse between our current troubled times and the period when our founders crafted our national creed. The result is an exploration of our values that is both timely and timeless.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo Da Vinci

 
“A lucid and authoritative examination of America's tumultuous beginnings, when the Founding Fathers grappled with issues of race, income inequality, law, and foreign policy—all issues that still vex the nation. . . These and other salient questions inform Ellis' vivid depiction of the controversies swirling as the Constitution was drafted and ratified. . . A discerning, richly detailed inquiry into America's complex political and philosophical legacy.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)