By Edmund S. Morgan

“A clever, humane and fantastically written book.”―Bret Stephens, Wall road Journal

From the best-selling writer of Benjamin Franklin comes this awesome paintings that would support redefine our inspiration of yankee heroism. american citizens have lengthy been captivated with their heroes, however the women and men dramatically portrayed listed here are now not celebrated for the common banal purposes contained in Founding Fathers hagiography. easily difficult those that persist in revering the yank background establishment and its tropes and falsehoods, Morgan, now ninety-three, maintains to think that the previous is not how it turns out.

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Some reviewers called my biography a tribute, and I guess it was. Franklin is truly my hero, and so is Washington, two men for whom my admiration never stops growing. Recently, while rereading some of Franklin’s correspondence, I was impressed by the way he had continually to decline doing things that the public wanted him to do. There was a striking resemblance between the two men that I had not noticed before: they both knew when and why to say no. “The Power of Negative Thinking” tries to explain that characteristic.

Thereafter it arrived in amounts calculated to console the admiral for the loss of the Santa Maria, which had to be scuttled. He decided to make his permanent headquarters on the spot and accordingly ordered a fortress to be built, with a tower and a large moat. What followed is a long, complicated, and unpleasant story. Columbus returned to Spain to bring the news of his discoveries. The Spanish monarchs who had backed his expedition were less impressed than he with what he had found, but he was able to round up a large expedition of Spanish colonists to return with him and help exploit the riches of the Indies.

As I have already mentioned, from the moment they set foot on Española, the Spaniards noted that the Indians were surprisingly unattached to the things of this world. They were content to eat almost anything that happened to come along, including spiders, lizards, and worms. But by Spanish standards they ate very little of anything. They spun and wove a little cotton, but preferred to go naked. Even their houses were flimsy, temporary structures. Because they had no desire to acquire or keep anything for which they felt no present need, they were generous beyond belief; and, without the covetousness or acquisitiveness attendant upon worldly appetites, they seemed able to live together happily and peacefully, unassisted by the restraints of government.

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