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Heirs of the Founders

The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants
Autor: H. W. Brands
Sprecher: Eric Martin
Spieldauer: 14 Std. und 55 Min.

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Inhaltsangabe

From New York Times best-selling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in 19th-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy

In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina's John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery.

Together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson, and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency, and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal, and political betrayal. Yet each in his own way sought to remedy the two glaring flaws in the Constitution: its refusal to specify where authority ultimately rested, with the states or the nation, and its unwillingness to address the essential incompatibility of republicanism and slavery.  

They wrestled with these issues for four decades, arguing bitterly and hammering out political compromises that held the Union together, but only just. Then, in 1850, when California moved to join the Union as a free state, "the immortal trio" had one last chance to save the country from the real risk of civil war. But by that point, they had never been further apart.

Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.

©2018 H. W. Brands (P)2018 Random House Audio

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“Lively and learned... Brands has produced a narrative that pulsates vigorously... The three senators wear themselves out and all but die on the job, their respective causes still unresolved, their long public service having earned them fame, but not the political prize for which they most lusted: the presidency (though not for want of trying).” (Harold Holzer, Wall Street Journal)   

“A historical spellbinder... A lively, vivid, and thoroughly researched account of a time when discord gripped the nation and wouldn’t let go.” (David Holahan, Christian Science Monitor)

“Brands’s easy prose and superior, simple organization makes this work an engrossing, entertaining, and educating read on issues important then that echo today in the modern debate on the limits of federal government power.” (Robert Davis, New York Journal of Books)

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