a superb history for lovers of "John Adams"

by lit.fic.reader@evpl on Wednesday, October 8 2008, 5:45pm. Viewed 901 times.







If you're one of the many viewers captivated by the HBO minisieries "John Adams", it's quite possible you would also enjoy a 2007 highly praised history of this era, The Great Upheaval, by Jay Winik, a scholar and historian who also wrote another acclaimed and bestselling history about the last month of the Civil War, April 1865The Great Upheaval covers the period 1788-1800 when revolutionary fervor was sweeping the planet.  The author describes, in vivid detail, the interactions among the existing and emerging powers of the day --  in particular the nascent republic of the United States, France, and Russia (oddly, not much attention is paid to England,  a major player at the time).  I found especially fascinating the struggles between Catherine the Great's imperial and decadent Russian empire and the Islamic peoples of the Ottoman Empire.  Winik's central thesis, as stated in the introduction, is that "the world was far more interconnected than we realize ... stitched together in a myriad of ways almost unimaginable to the modern mind.  From the French salons in Paris to the young American capital in Philadelphia, from the luxury of St. Petersburg to candlelight dinners in Monticello and Mount Vernon, from the bustle of London and market stalls of Warsaw to the mysteries of the seraglio in Constantinople and the steppes of the Crimea, great nations and leaers were acutely conscious of one another.  And year after year, they watched one another, learned from one another, and reacted to one another."

       Lovers of U.S. and world history should check this out.


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