×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

George Mason, Forgotten Founder
     

George Mason, Forgotten Founder

by Jeff Broadwater
 

See All Formats & Editions

George Mason (1725-92) is often omitted from the small circle of founding fathers celebrated today, but in his service to America he was, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "of the first order of greatness." Jeff Broadwater provides a comprehensive account of Mason's life at the center of the momentous events of eighteenth-century America.

Mason played a key role in

Overview

George Mason (1725-92) is often omitted from the small circle of founding fathers celebrated today, but in his service to America he was, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "of the first order of greatness." Jeff Broadwater provides a comprehensive account of Mason's life at the center of the momentous events of eighteenth-century America.

Mason played a key role in the Stamp Act Crisis, the American Revolution, and the drafting of Virginia's first state constitution. He is perhaps best known as author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, a document often hailed as the model for the Bill of Rights.

As a Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Mason influenced the emerging Constitution on point after point. Yet when he was rebuffed in his efforts to add a bill of rights and concluded the document did too little to protect the interests of the South, he refused to sign the final draft. Broadwater argues that Mason's recalcitrance was not the act of an isolated dissenter; rather, it emerged from the ideology of the American Revolution. Mason's concerns about the abuse of political power, Broadwater shows, went to the essence of the American experience.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A compelling case."
Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
Jonathan Yardley
Broadwater, who teaches history at Barton College in North Carolina, writes clear, unadorned prose and has an admirable ability to explain complex intellectual matters in terms the lay reader can understand. Because Mason left little evidence of his private life, there are blurred edges in the portrait that Broadwater paints, but overall this is an exemplary biography: sympathetic but dispassionate, thorough but not cluttered, convincing in its interpretations and arguments. It leaves no doubt that Mason deserves to be returned to the esteem and reputation he enjoyed during his lifetime, but in no way is it hagiography.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
One of the fruits of publishers' recent obsession with the founding fathers is a spate of books on lesser-known revolutionary figures-and none could be more welcome than this engrossing biography of George Mason (1725-1792). Until the late 1760s, Mason devoted himself principally to his Virginia plantation, his family and his health. But when Britain levied taxes on stamps and tea, he became a leader in the nonimportation movement, and as the Revolution unfolded, he emerged as one of Virginia's most important politicians, helping to raise a militia and drafting the influential Virginia Declaration of Rights and a state constitution. This biography's greatest strength is Broadwater's treatment of the post-Revolutionary years, specifically his nuanced discussion of Mason's role at the constitutional convention. Broadwater, associate professor of history at Barton College in North Carolina, shows that Mason's leadership at the convention shaped the Constitution and spells out the many factors that led to Mason's final refusal to sign it. Especially fascinating is Broadwater's speculations about Mason's relations with George Washington-the two men were neighbors, but Broadwater finds hints that at times their social relationship was strained. Broadwater's prose is vigorous and his assessment of Mason judicious; this biography is a standout. 9 illus., 1 map. (Oct. 2) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807830536
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
10/30/2006
Edition description:
1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
593,682
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.14(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
A compelling case.--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Broadwater's exploration of Mason at Philadelphia is particularly finely wrought, and anyone wanting to understand the drafting process should henceforth consult this biography of the independent Virginian. . . . [Mason] deserves to be recalled, and Broadwater's book is the best introduction.--American Conservative

Broadwater has written a solid . . . political biography of this important figure. . . . The book is a worthwhile contribution to the growing body of 'Founders literature.' . . . A good book with wide appeal. Students interested in the founding generation will find it valuable.--Georgia Historical Quarterly

George Mason, Forgotten Founder offers an exhaustive account of the birth pangs of the Virginia and U.S. governments and Mason's contributions to both in that seminal period of American history. Broadwater's in-depth portrait of the man and his times provides both a memorable read and a rich resource.--Virginian-Pilot

Meet the Author

Jeff Broadwater is associate professor of history at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. He is author of Eisenhower and the Anti-Communist Crusade and Adlai Stevenson and American Politics: The Odyssey of a Cold War Liberal.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews