White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America by Don Jordan
Publisher: NYU Press
White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain's American colonies. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London's streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide "breeders" for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock. Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh demonstrate that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. The trade ended with American independence, but the British still tried to sell convicts in their former colonies, which prompted one of the most audacious plots in Anglo-American history. This is a saga of exploration and cruelty spanning 170 years that has been submerged under the overwhelming memory of black slavery. White Cargo brings the brutal, uncomfortable story to the surface.
A Stranger Among Saints: Stephen Hopkins, the Man Who Survived Jamestown and Saved Plymouth by Jonathan Mack
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
"The fascinating story of Stephen Hopkins, perhaps the most important person on board the Mayflower when it sailed from England in 1620. The only member of the expedition who had been across the Atlantic before, as a survivor of the colony at Jamestown, Hopkins played a vital role in bridging the divide of suspicion between the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors. Without him, these settlers would likely not have lasted through their brutal first year."--
George Washington: The Political Rise of America's Founding Father by David O. Stewart
A fascinating and illuminating account of how George Washington became the single most dominant force in the creation of the United States of America, from award-winning author David O. Stewart Washington's rise constitutes one of the greatest self-reinventions in history. In his midtwenties, this third son of a modest Virginia planter had ruined his own military career thanks to an outrageous ego. But by his midforties, that headstrong, unwise young man had evolved into an unassailable leader chosen as the commander in chief of the fledgling Continental Army. By his midfifties, he was unanimously elected the nation's first president. How did Washington emerge from the wilderness to become the central founder of the United States of America? In this remarkable new portrait, award-winning historian David O. Stewart unveils the political education that made Washington a master politician--and America's most essential leader. From Virginia's House of Burgesses, where Washington learned the craft and timing of a practicing politician, to his management of local government as a justice of the Fairfax County Court to his eventual role in the Second Continental Congress and his grueling generalship in the American Revolution, Washington perfected the art of governing and service, earned trust, and built bridges. The lessons in leadership he absorbed along the way would be invaluable during the early years of the republic as he fought to unify the new nation.
America's First Daughter: A Novel by Stephanie Dray
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
“Not since Gone with the Wind has a single-volume family saga so brilliantly portrayed the triumphs, trials, and sins of a family in the American South.”—ERIKA ROBUCK, author of The House of Hawthorne From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes America’s minister to France. It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of the French Revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé, William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions if she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter. Her choice will follow her in the years to come—to Virginia farmland, to Monticello, and even to the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just Jefferson’s political legacy but that of the nation he founded. “Delectable and poignant. . . . You’re going to want to savor this one. Bravo.”—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author
First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country by Thomas E. Ricks
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author offers a revelatory new book about the founding fathers, examining their educations and, in particular, their devotion to the ancient Greek and Roman classics--and how that influence would shape their ideals and the new American nation. On the morning after the 2016 presidential election, Thomas Ricks awoke with a few questions on his mind: What kind of nation did we now have? Is it what was designed or intended by the nation's founders? Trying to get as close to the source as he could, Ricks decided to go back and read the philosophy and literature that shaped the founders' thinking, and the letters they wrote to each other debating these crucial works--among them the Iliad, Plutarch's Lives, and the works of Xenophon, Epicurus, Aristotle, Cato, and Cicero. For though much attention has been paid the influence of English political philosophers, like John Locke, closer to their own era, the founders were far more immersed in the literature of the ancient world. The first four American presidents came to their classical knowledge differently. Washington absorbed it mainly from the elite culture of his day; Adams from the laws and rhetoric of Rome; Jefferson immersed himself in classical philosophy, especially Epicureanism; and Madison, both a groundbreaking researcher and a deft politician, spent years studying the ancient world like a political scientist. Each of their experiences, and distinctive learning, played an essential role in the formation of the United States. In examining how and what they studied, looking at them in the unusual light of the classical world, Ricks is able to draw arresting and fresh portraits of men we thought we knew. First Principles follows these four members of the Revolutionary generation from their youths to their adult lives, as they grappled with questions of independence, and forming and keeping a new nation. In doing so, Ricks interprets not only the effect of the ancient world on each man, and how that shaped our constitution and government, but offers startling new insights into these legendary leaders.
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
Publisher: Mariner Books
"A necessary work that occupies a loaded historical landscape . . . An object lesson in the trickle-down horrors of colonialism." --NPR "Arguably one of the most profound contributions to North American history published since Patricia Nelson Limerick's Legacy of Conquest." --Los Angeles Times Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors. Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery, more than epidemics, that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African-American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.
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