Thursday, October 22, 2009

New This Month: The Last Founding Father by Harlow Giles Unger

Harlow Giles Unger is one of those authors with the talent and skill -- not to mention passion -- to breathe life into history. You don’t have to read very far in his 16th book, The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness (Da Capo) to understand this:
The world was awash with war when James Monroe was born in the spring of 1758. A dozen nations were spilling the blood of millions across four continents, and the seas between them, in what was then called the “Great War for Empire.”
In The Last Founding Father, Unger builds a case for the importance of a vastly overlooked and underrated figure, America’s fifth President, James Monroe.
Monroe’s presidency made poor men rich, turned political allies into friends, and united a divided people as no president had done since Washington. The most beloved president after Washington, Monroe was the only president other than Washington to win reelection unopposed.
There’s more, of course. A lot more. Unger delivers his material on a wave of adventure and a compelling sense of importance. You won’t ever see the early history of America in quite the same way.

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