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A Nation Rising: Untold Tales from America's Hidden History

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Overview

In the dramatic period from 1800 through 1850, the United States went from a tiny newborn nation on the Atlantic seaboard to a near-empire that spanned the continent. But America's path to nationhood was vastly more complex than the tidily packaged national myth of a destiny made manifest by visionary political leaders and fearless pioneers. In A Nation Rising, bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis offers fascinating, intertwining stories about historical episodes whose great issues?ambition, power, territorial ...

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A Nation Rising: Untold Tales of Flawed Founders, Fallen Heroes, and Forgotten Fighters from America's Hidden History

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Overview

In the dramatic period from 1800 through 1850, the United States went from a tiny newborn nation on the Atlantic seaboard to a near-empire that spanned the continent. But America's path to nationhood was vastly more complex than the tidily packaged national myth of a destiny made manifest by visionary political leaders and fearless pioneers. In A Nation Rising, bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis offers fascinating, intertwining stories about historical episodes whose great issues—ambition, power, territorial expansion, slavery, intolerance, civil rights, freedom of the press—reverberate to this day, including:

  • Aaron Burr's 1807 trial, culminating in one of our nation's first media circuses
  • The 1813 Indian uprising and ensuing massacre, exposing the powerful conflicts at the heart of America's expansion
  • The mutiny aboard the slave ship Creole, illustrating how the institution of slavery both destroyed lives and warped our nation's founding
  • The bloody "Bible Riots" in Philadelphia, erupting in an early episode of deadly anti-immigrant sentiment

Eye-opening history and riveting storytelling, A Nation Rising is a powerful reminder of the ways in which our past continues to shape our present.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Don't Know Much About mentor Kenneth C. Davis is the history teacher you always wanted to have. His popular probes into hidden history have brightened the weekends of thousands of reluctant students. His new book, A Nation Rising, focuses on six episodes that seldom get mentioned at Fourth of July celebrations and White House receptions. Among the incidents are Aaron Burr's 1807 treason arrest, an 1835 Seminole massacre, the Nativist Bible Riots of 1844, and Jesse Fremont's 1849 journey across the Panama isthmus. Offbeat readings for history buffs.

Booklist
“Davis is a fine writer who uses a fast-moving narrative to tell these stories well... This is an informative and enjoyable work.”
Ray Raphael
“With his special gift for revealing the significance of neglected historical characters, Kenneth Davis creates a multi-layered, haunting narrative.”
Ron Powers
Praise for America’s Hidden History:“American history in the vibrant narrative tradition of David McCullough.”
Kirkus Reviews
Don't Know Much About series creator Davis (America's Hidden History, 2008, etc.) examines six little-known episodes that influenced American history. By now the author's formula is familiar-seize a small or misunderstood incident from America's past, identify it as a precursor to or emblematic of a better-known event and use it to illustrate larger themes that have altered the nation's course. Focusing on the period between Jefferson's 1800 election and California's 1850 statehood, Davis looks at Aaron Burr's 1807 arrest for treason, the 1818 Creek attack on Fort Mims, the 1841 revolt aboard the slave ship Creole, the Seminole massacre of Major Francis Dade's relief column in 1835, the Nativist inspired Bible Riots in 1844 Philadelphia and the harrowing journey of Jesse Fremont across Panama's isthmus in 1849. In breezily entertaining fashion, the author does just fine when he confines himself to the details of each episode. Beyond that, these historical vignettes aren't exactly revelatory. Even casual students understand the gap between America's ideals and practice. For whom, any longer, is it news that America's presidents have frequently abused their power, that the nation has sometimes made war for ignoble purposes, that our history is marred by various eruptions of religious strife, that slavery, our intolerance of immigrants, and our shameful treatment of Native Americans continue to haunt our present? The narrative suffers, as well, when Davis attempts comparisons to contemporary events. Readers may be persuaded that Jefferson's pursuit of Burr is analogous to Nixon's efforts to destroy political enemies or to the Bush administration's so-called outing of Valerie Plame, but baldassertion makes neither proposition true. This is history-lite, misleading to those who know too little, harmless to those who know enough. Mostly engaging but rarely edifying. Author appearances in New York, Philadelphia, Vermont, Washington, D.C. Agent: David Black/David Black Literary Agency
Library Journal
Davis (Don't Know Much About History) shifts gears slightly to identify obscure personalities and the darker side of American leaders, from Colonial America to the dawn of the 20th century. The strongest chapter begins with Aaron Burr's trial for treason and reflects on the rise of the nation. The flaws that Davis exposes include slave-owning Founding Fathers, Jackson's embracing Indian removal, and Lincoln's supporting the cause of returning slaves to Africa, then considered an enlightened solution. He also explores the wars of expansion, and, through Jessie Fremont, John Fremont's brave and capable wife, the notion of manifest destiny. Lastly, he looks at xenophobia through the Nativist riots of post-Civil War America. Davis likes comparisons: the Fort Mims massacre to 9/11, Iraq to manifest destiny. In a text that is very readable if not so tautly edited, Davis clearly enjoys his role as history teacher to nonhistorians. VERDICT Those who know their American history will find nothing new in this light and revisionist companion to standard history texts. Best for public and high school libraries.—Robert Moore, Lantheus Medical Imaging, North Billerica, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061118210
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/21/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 419,635
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of A Nation Rising; America's Hidden History; and Don't Know Much About® History, which spent thirty-five consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, sold more than 1.6 million copies, and gave rise to his phenomenal Don't Know Much About® series for adults and children. A resident of New York City and Dorset, Vermont, Davis frequently appears on national television and radio and has been a commentator on NPR's All Things Considered. He blogs regularly at www.dontknowmuch.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: "The Dream of Our Founders" IX

I Burr's Trial 1

II Weatherford's War 63

III Madison's Mutiny 107

IV Dade's Promise 143

V Morse's Code 179

VI Jessie's Journey 215

Acknowledgments 255

Notes 259

Bibliography 267

Index 279

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 27, 2013

    It¿s hard to believe that a book on history of 19th century Amer

    It’s hard to believe that a book on history of 19th century America brings into it current events that have no bearing on the historic events but to only show the Author’s liberal bias. Kenneth C. Davis’ “A Nation Rising – Untold Tales of Flawed Founders, Fallen Heroes, and Forgotten Fighters from America’s Hidden History” tries to show the darker side of early America post revolution, which I can accept his view as one of many, but to put his fawning over President Obama and his disparagement of the current Tea Party movement (“tea baggers”- Really? You had to go there?) in his book can wait until that history has runs its course. Leave current politics out of a history that is close to 200 years old. Just glad I bought the book off the clearance rack.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Resistance Hideout

    A small building located between Neopia Central and Kiko Lake. It has five mattresses which are reserved for the si<_>ck and in<_>jured. A Blue Zafara sits at a crickity desk in a dark corner, working on the plan to take down the Siloheuttes in Kiko Lake.

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  • Posted November 17, 2010

    Highly Recomended

    A must read for anyone interested in US history and the foundation of our government.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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