What does it mean to be free? How has American history shaped the meaning of what we consider “freedom”? The answers to these questions depend on contingencies of time, place and personality. In a book that unparalleled in concision and thoughtfulness, Purdy invites us to engage our history to better understand our past. What seem to be irreconcilable contradictions in American ideals, as Purdy shows, are actually the stuff the dreams are made of; it is exactly those seemingly conflicting dualities in our culture, such as individualism and citizenship, that keep us moving forward and making progress. I couldn’t help but be engaged by the passion in the author’s writing and his extremely informed analyses. A Tolerable Anarchy belongs on any short list of readings on American politics & culture, past and present.

A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9781400044474
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - March 3rd, 2009

A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400095841
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - March 9th, 2010

In Ladies Of Liberty (Harper Perennial, $15.99) Cokie Roberts picks up where she left off in Founding Mothers: George Washington is dead, and the young nation is struggling to keep itself together during the transition. Luckily, our plucky heroines Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, Martha Jefferson Randolph, and others are there to encourage, push, nag, and prod their husbands in the right direction. With the women’s sacrifices, our country becomes unified and strong, and while the ladies haven’t always gotten the credit they deserve, Ms. Roberts’s delightful book does a great job of giving them their due.

Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060782351
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 24th, 2009

Ever wonder why the Four Corners out west meet up perfectly, yet Florida has a wandering panhandle? Why Connecticut’s northern border is perfectly linear but has a small square cut-out near the south-western corner? Mark Stein answers those questions and more in How The States Got Their Shapes (Collins, $14.99) as he takes us on a tour of American history and the quite literal formation of the American landscape.

How the States Got Their Shapes Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061431395
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - April 7th, 2009

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