Early United States History

My favorite period of history is early American history when the United States was being founded based on individual rights and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  This period contains the lives and works of the Founding Fathers and their influences.  Below are favorite individuals and suggested writings and books by, or about, each.

John Locke (1632-1704)

Second Treatise of Government (1689)

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1793)

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

George Washington (1732-1799)

Washington’s Farewell Address (1796)

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

Common Sense (1776)
The American Crisis (1776)
The Rights of Man (1791)

Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations by Craig Nelson

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Declaration of Independence (1776)
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777)

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham

James Madison (1751-1836)

The Bill of Rights (1789)

James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney
Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America
by David O. Stewart

James Monroe (1758-1831)

The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger

General History

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis

Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America by Thomas Fleming

1776 by David G. McCullough