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 emerged from its inauspicious beginning as a tiny newborn nation, to a near-empire that spanned the continent. It was a time in which the “dream of our founders” spread in ways that few men of that Revolutionary Generation could possibly have imagined. And it was an era that led to the great, tragic conflagration that followed—the American Civil War.

The narratives that form A Nation Rising each exemplify the ...

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Overview

In the dramatic period from 1800 through 1850, the United States emerged from its inauspicious beginning as a tiny newborn nation, to a near-empire that spanned the continent. It was a time in which the “dream of our founders” spread in ways that few men of that Revolutionary Generation could possibly have imagined. And it was an era that led to the great, tragic conflagration that followed—the American Civil War.

The narratives that form A Nation Rising each exemplify the “hidden history” of America, exploring a vastly more complex path to nationhood than the national myth of a destiny made manifest by visionary political leaders and fearless pioneers. Davis explores:
 
• Aaron Burr’s 1807 trial, showcasing the political intrigue of the early Republic
• an 1813 Indian uprising and an ensuing massacre
• a mutiny aboard the slave ship Creole
• the “Dade Massacre” and the start of the second Seminole War
• the bloody “Bible Riots” in Philadelphia
• the story of Jessie Benton Frémont and Lt. John C. Frémont
           
The audiobook is not only riveting storytelling in its own right, but a stirring reminder of the ways in which our history continues to shape our present.

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  • Kenneth C. Davis
    Kenneth C. Davis  

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.

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
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.”
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: 9780739334515
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 5.20 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the bestselling author of America’s Hidden History and Don’t Know Much About® History, which spent thirty-five consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold nearly 1.6 million copies, and gave rise to his phenomenal Don’t Know Much About® series for adults and children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(25)

1 Star

(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

    Davis Finally Gives This Period in History its Due!

    There are about a million historical accounts that never make it into a school textbook. Textbooks usually do not have the space to give anything but the bare minimum for any given topic. A Nation Rising attempts to correct this injustice by delving deeply into these untold stories.

    Aaron Burr...what do we think of when we hear his name? In most textbooks and in the minds of most Americans, he is reduced to one sentence. Aaron Burr was the one who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Davis goes much further than this...offering up a 61 page account of Aaron Burr's trial, not for murder (dueling was common in those days), but for treason!! Davis includes six such chapters in this fascinating book about life in the early 1800s, from Burr's "trial-of-the-century" to severe conflicts over religion in Philadelphia.

    This period of history is often overlooked as it is the bridge from the Revolutionary to the Civil War. Davis certainly gives it its due in A Nation Rising.

    MY RATING - 4/5

    To see my rating scale and other reviews, please visit my blog:
    http://www.1776books.blogspot.com.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    Of doubtful dependability

    The book is interesting, reasonably well written, but as I read the first chapter, on Aaron Burr, I doubted that the information presented by the author had been "hidden." Then when I see, on page 65, that he has James Madison "elected the fifth president of the United States" and on the next page James Monroe is the sixth president, my suspicion that this is not a dependable historical work is confirmed.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2010

    Keep Current Events out of it

    This is a good history of the period between the War of 1812 and The Civi War. If this was all the book was about, then it would be a pretty good book. Mr. Davis, however, cannot keep his Liberal bias out of a history book. He has to somehow try to degrade Presidents Reagan and Bush. It is interesting that he does not mention the totally incompetent Carter and the impeached Clinton. These omissions are intentional as he attempts to diminish the accomplishments of Reagan and Bush. He fails at this and looks foolish, which takes away from a pretty good book.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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