Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution

Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution

by John Ferling
     
 

Setting the World Ablaze is the story of the American Revolution and of the three Founders who played crucial roles in winning the War of Independence and creating a new nation: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Braiding three strands into one rich narrative, John Ferling brings these American icons down from their pedestals to show them as

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Overview

Setting the World Ablaze is the story of the American Revolution and of the three Founders who played crucial roles in winning the War of Independence and creating a new nation: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Braiding three strands into one rich narrative, John Ferling brings these American icons down from their pedestals to show them as men of flesh and blood, and in doing so gives us a new understanding of the passion and uncertainty of the struggle to form a new nation.
A leading historian of the Revolutionary era, Ferling draws upon an unsurpassed command of the primary sources and a talent for swiftly moving narrative to give us intimate views of each of these men. He shows us both the overarching historical picture of the era and a gripping sense of how these men encountered the challenges that faced them. We see Washington, containing a profound anger at British injustice within an austere demeanor; Adams, far from home, struggling with severe illness and French duplicity in his crucial negotiations in Paris; and Jefferson, distracted and indecisive, confronting uncertainties about his future in politics. John Adams, in particular, emerges from the narrative as the most under-appreciated hero of the Revolution, while Jefferson is revealed as the most overrated, yet most eloquent, of the Founders. Setting the World Ablaze shows in dramatic detail how these conservative men—successful members of the colonial elite—were transformed into radical revolutionaries.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195150841
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
428
Sales rank:
628,657
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

PrefaceIX
Prologue: "Embarked on a Most Tempestuous Sea" July 1, 1776XIV
MapsXXV
Part 1"Distinguished from the Common Run of Men" Children Who were Fathers of the Men
1"The Strong Desire of Distinction" The Vagaries of Youth2
2"Getting under Sail" The Decisions of Youth18
3"This Desultory Life" Toward Mid-Life41
Part 2"Fortitude, Vigour, and Perseverance" Waging War and Independence
4"An Epocha in History" Revolutionaries64
5"To Ride in This Whirlwind" Independence92
6"Turning the Tide of Arms" War and Reform138
Part 3"It Is Impossible to Exceed This" From Despair to Triumph
7"A Fatal Crisis" The Great Peril, 1778-1780186
8"The Womb of Fate" Victory223
9"Who Shall Write the History of the American Revolution?" Memory and Meaning273
Epilogue: The "Sword" and "Bulwark" of the American Revolution296
Abbreviations307
Notes309
Select Bibliography362
Index373

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