With school back in session, why not brush up on your American History with one of these great new biographies? Each of these titles can be found in the New Adult Nonfiction section of the library.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham: In the opening pages of his illuminated biography, Meacham states "Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson's genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power." These sentences propel the reader through the following 500 pages. Jefferson is shown as a political genius always at pace with his contemporaries, if not ahead of them. Meacham not only tells the story of Jefferson the politician, but also Jefferson the man; a complex, intelligent, and passionate man whose greatest mistress was his country. Meacham's chief achievement in this biography is his ability to show America as Jefferson had seen it, through eyes full of hope and promise. (New Adult Nonfiction 921 Jefferson)
The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H.W. Brands: In his latest presidential biography, H.W. Brands provides a captivating portrait of a leader who is often overlooked. "The Man Who Saved the Union" offers vignettes into the life of Ulysses Grant, who emerges in this masterful biography as a genius in battle and a driven president to a divided country, who remained fearlessly on the side of right. He was a beloved commander in the field who made the sacrifices necessary to win the war, even in the face of criticism. He worked valiantly to protect the rights of freed men in the South. He allowed the American Indians to shape their own fate even as the realities of Manifest Destiny meant the end of their way of life. (New Adult Nonfiction 921 Grant)
Eisenhower: In War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith: In his biography, Smith is able to present Dwight D. Eisenhower's military and political history so that it is not daunting, but enthralling. The book begins with a perceptive treatment of Eisenhower's early life with its humble beginnings in Texas and Kansas. A military career and attendance at West Point were something of a surprise choice for Eisenhower. The first third of Smith's book describes Eisenhower's early life and the many seemingly interminable assignments Eisenhower held as a major in the peacetime army. Eisenhower showed a talent for hard work and for impressing his superiors. He developed an ability to advance himself subtly and to use his contacts with those who would help him. When the United States entered World War II, Eisenhower's rise was meteoric; but it had been prepared over a long course of time. Eisenhower is shown as a virtuous leader deserving of his place in American history. (New Adult Nonfiction 921 Eisenhow)
John Quincy Adams by Harlow Giles Unger: In Harlow Giles Unger's fast-paced biography of the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams is shown as a fearless and determined leader during some of the nation's most formative years. The book moves through eight decades of American history, spanning the beginning of the Revolutionary War to the beginning-of-the-end of American slavery. Though seemingly brief on details at times, Unger does a wonderful job detailing Adams' youth, as well as his career as U.S. Minister to six countries. (New Adult Nonfiction 921 Adams)
- Dominic M. Davis