Sean Wilentz, American Historian and Author

The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

Acclaimed as the definitive study of the period by one of the greatest American historians, The Rise of American Democracy traces a historical arc from the earliest days of the republic to the opening shots of the Civil War. Ferocious clashes among the Founders over the role of ordinary citizens in a government of “we, the people” were eventually resolved in the triumph of Andrew Jackson. Thereafter, Sean Wilentz shows, a fateful division arose between two starkly opposed democracies—a division contained until the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked its bloody resolution.

Winner of the Bancroft Prize

Pulitzer Prize Finalist

Winner of the Annual Best Book Award, Society of Historians of the Early Republic

Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

“Monumental…a tour de force…awesome in its coverage of political events.” –Gordon Wood, New York Times Book Review

“A magisterial synthesis that deserves the attention of anyone interested in the American past..” –Eric Foner, The Nation

“Remarkable . . . a book that befits its subject in artistry as well as scale.” –Steven Hahn, Chicago Tribune

“Confirms Sean Wilentz as the Richard Hofstadter of our day—the supreme political historian.” –Franklin Foer, New York Magazine

“Wilentz’s engaging narrative style and impressive detailing of the topic give a strong sense of immediacy to the account.” –Booklist

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