Freedom Just Around the Corner: A New American History: 1585-1828
The creation of the United States of America is the central event of the past four hundred years," states Walter McDougall in his preface to Freedom Just Around the Corner. With this statement begins McDougall's most ambitious, original, and uncompromising of histories. McDougall m ...more
Did Thomas Jefferson run over his dog? I think the nicest thing he could bring himself to say about Jefferson was that he did actually found the University of Virginia.
The book is built around the central thesis that "America is a nation of hustlers". McDougall's central insight proves to be fresh and interesting enough to carry subject matter that has (as the author admits) been covered many times before.
His sythesis of recent scholarship ...more
His thesis is that Americans have always been hustlers in both the hard working and the pejorative sense. He's fairly persuasive on that count. He's all excited about the Freemasons (just that many many early big deal Americans were F ...more
It might be unfashionable these days to embrace "American exceptionalism." Yet that's exactly what McDougall, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age, has done, to great acclaim. In revealing "who and why we are what we are," he has written an imaginative, evenhanded, and masterful history that shows the freedoms
MacDougal approaches U.S. History with the view that events have been driven by profit and opportunity with a heavy dose of Free Masons shaping things along the way. He is able to keep the reader interested despite the broad array of topics covered.
(Part 1 of 3; but, to date 3 has not been forthcoming.)