A Magnificent Catastrophe by Edward J. Larson audiobook

A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign

By Edward J. Larson
Read by John Dossett

Simon & Schuster Audio
6.00 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9780743569057

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CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title "They could write like angels and scheme like demons." So begins Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward Larson's masterful account of the wild ride that was the 1800 presidential election—an election so convulsive and so momentous to the future of American democracy that Thomas Jefferson would later dub it "America's second revolution." This was America's first true presidential campaign, giving birth to our two-party system and indelibly etching the lines of partisanship that have so profoundly shaped American politics ever since. The contest featured two of our most beloved Founding Fathers, once warm friends, facing off as the heads of their two still-forming parties—the hot-tempered but sharp-minded John Adams, and the eloquent yet enigmatic Thomas Jefferson—flanked by the brilliant tacticians Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, who later settled their own differences in a duel. The country was descending into turmoil, reeling from the terrors of the French Revolution, and on the brink of war with France. Blistering accusations flew as our young nation was torn apart along party lines: Adams and his elitist Federalists would squelch liberty and impose a British-style monarchy; Jefferson and his radically democratizing Republicans would throw the country into chaos and debase the role of religion in American life. The stakes could not have been higher. As the competition heated up, other founders joined the fray—James Madison, John Jay, James Monroe, Gouverneur Morris, George Clinton, John Marshall, Horatio Gates, and even George Washington—some of them emerging from retirement to respond to the political crisis gripping the nation and threatening its future. Drawing on unprecedented, meticulous research of the day-to-day unfolding drama, from diaries and letters of the principal players as well as accounts in the fast-evolving partisan press, Larson vividly re-creates the mounting tension as one state after another voted and the press had the lead passing back and forth. The outcome remained shrouded in doubt long after the voting ended, and as Inauguration Day approached, Congress met in closed session to resolve the crisis. In its first great electoral challenge, our fragile experiment in constitutional democracy hung in the balance. A Magnificent Catastrophe is history writing at its evocative best: the riveting story of the last great contest of the founding period.

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Summary

Summary

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

"They could write like angels and scheme like demons." So begins Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward Larson's masterful account of the wild ride that was the 1800 presidential election—an election so convulsive and so momentous to the future of American democracy that Thomas Jefferson would later dub it "America's second revolution."

This was America's first true presidential campaign, giving birth to our two-party system and indelibly etching the lines of partisanship that have so profoundly shaped American politics ever since. The contest featured two of our most beloved Founding Fathers, once warm friends, facing off as the heads of their two still-forming parties—the hot-tempered but sharp-minded John Adams, and the eloquent yet enigmatic Thomas Jefferson—flanked by the brilliant tacticians Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, who later settled their own differences in a duel.

The country was descending into turmoil, reeling from the terrors of the French Revolution, and on the brink of war with France. Blistering accusations flew as our young nation was torn apart along party lines: Adams and his elitist Federalists would squelch liberty and impose a British-style monarchy; Jefferson and his radically democratizing Republicans would throw the country into chaos and debase the role of religion in American life. The stakes could not have been higher.

As the competition heated up, other founders joined the fray—James Madison, John Jay, James Monroe, Gouverneur Morris, George Clinton, John Marshall, Horatio Gates, and even George Washington—some of them emerging from retirement to respond to the political crisis gripping the nation and threatening its future.

Drawing on unprecedented, meticulous research of the day-to-day unfolding drama, from diaries and letters of the principal players as well as accounts in the fast-evolving partisan press, Larson vividly re-creates the mounting tension as one state after another voted and the press had the lead passing back and forth. The outcome remained shrouded in doubt long after the voting ended, and as Inauguration Day approached, Congress met in closed session to resolve the crisis. In its first great electoral challenge, our fragile experiment in constitutional democracy hung in the balance.

A Magnificent Catastrophe is history writing at its evocative best: the riveting story of the last great contest of the founding period.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Pulitzer Prize-winner Larson vividly recounts America's first overtly partisan election.The colorful cast of Founders included Madison, Jay, Pinckney, Monroe and Samuel Adams; the behind-the-scenes machinations of High Federalist leader Alexander Hamilton and Republican organizer Aaron Burr were especially dramatic. Larson does justice to them all and demonstrates his storytelling mastery....[A] smartly conceived, beautifully wrought campaign history, bound to entertain and inform. Kirkus Reviews
“As long as elections remain free and contested, they will often be ‘magnificent catastrophes’ with partisans scurrying for advantage, campaigns lurching out of control, conscientious citizens becoming both involved and appalled. A master storyteller, Larson illustrates these conclusions through a gripping narrative…A Magnificent Catastrophe highlights the remarkable continuities linking our politics with the framers’. Many of their contradictions and confusions persist along with their institutions and insights because the dilemmas they faced can never be resolved.”  New York Times Book Review
In this absorbing, brisk account, Larson re-creates the dramatic presidential race of 1800...an invaluable study of a crucial chapter in the lives of the founding fathers -- and of the nation. Publishers Weekly
“A splendid new book.”  Washington Post
“Every page bustles with larger-than-life characters from the American Revolution, all of whom seemed to grasp the critical importance of this hard-fought election in a very young and fragile nation.”  Atlanta magazine
“Pulitzer Prize–winner Larson vividly recounts America’s first overtly partisan election…Smartly conceived, beautifully wrought campaign history, bound to entertain and inform.”  Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Edward J. Larson

Author Bio: Edward J. Larson

Edward J. Larson received the Pulitzer Prize for History for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion. He is the author and co-author of several other nonfiction books. He was an inaugural fellow at the National Library for the Study of George Washington. He is a professor of history and holds the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. He travels widely as a media commentator, visiting instructor, and guest speaker.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 6.00
Audience: Adult
Language: English