Americana

"Mr. President" George Washington and the Making of the Nation's Highest Office

"Mr. President" George Washington and the Making of the Nation's Highest Office

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Although the framers gave the president little authority, George Washington knew whatever he did would set precedents for generations of future leaders. To ensure their ability to defend the nation, he simply ignored the Constitution when he thought it necessary.

In a revealing new look at the birth of American government, "Mr. President" describes Washington's presidency in a time of continual crisis, as rebellion and attacks by foreign enemies threatened to destroy this new nation. Constantly weighing preservation of the Union against preservation of individual liberties and states' rights, Washington assumed more power with each crisis. In a series of brilliant but unconstitutional maneuvers he forced Congress to cede control of the four pillars of executive power: war, finance, foreign affairs, and law enforcement.

Drawing on rare documents and letters, Unger shows how Washington combined political cunning and sheer genius to seize ever-widening powers, impose law and order while ensuring individual freedom, and shape the office of President of the United States.

Capital Days: Michael Shiner's Journal and the Growth of Our Nation's Capital

Capital Days: Michael Shiner's Journal and the Growth of Our Nation's Capital

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Capital Days introduces young readers to Washington, D.C., during the early to mid-19th century. Spanning more than 60 years, the story of Michael Shiner (c. 1804-1880) highlights a period of immense change in our country and its capital. Covering the burning of the city during the War of 1812, the rebuilding of the Capitol and White House, the raising of the Washington Monument, and on through the Civil War, the end of slavery, and numerous other "capital days," this book offers readers fresh insights and background on how our nation's capital came to be. The book includes excerpts from Shiner's diary, other primary sources, archival images, and a timeline.Much as she did in Maritcha and Searching for Sarah Rector, award-winning author Tonya Bolden expertly examines the intricacies of American history through the lens of one relatable person's life.
History of Our Flag

History of Our Flag

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It’s been called Old Glory, the Star Spangled Banner, the Stars and Stripes, The Red, White and Blue. Whatever it’s called, it represents the lifeblood of our nation.This book traces the history of the U.S. via the symbol that unites our country and our people: the Flag of the United States of America.
What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Keye, A Life

What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Keye, A Life

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What So Proudly We Hailed is the first full-length biography of Francis Scott Key in more than 75 years. In this fascinating look at early America, historian Marc Leepson explores the life and legacy of Francis Scott Key. Standing alongside Betsy Ross, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Hancock in history, Key made his mark as an American icon by one single and unforgettable act, writing The Star-Spangled Banner.

Among other things, Leepson reveals:
- How the young Washington lawyer found himself in Baltimore Harbor on the night of September 13-14, 2014
- The mysterious circumstances surrounding how the poem he wrote, first titled The Defense of Ft. M'Henry, morphed into the National Anthem
- Key's role in forming the American Colonization Society, and his decades-long fervent support for that controversial endeavor that sent free blacks to Africa
- His adamant opposition to slave trafficking and his willingness to represent slaves and freed men and women for free in Washington's courts
- Key's role as a confidant of President Andrew Jackson and his work in Jackson's kitchen cabinet
- Key's controversial actions as U.S. Attorney during the first race riot in Washington, D.C., in 1835.

Publishing to coincide with the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner in 2014, What So Proudly We Hailed reveals unexplored details of the life of an American patriot whose legacy has been largely unknown until now.