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Feb-24-2012 15:29printcomments

Founders Built Nation on Open, Honest Democratic Dialog, Debate, Vote-Decision

The American system, is in remarkably good stead now for 236 years since 1776 despite a changing world.

Washington and the US Revolution

(SEASIDE, OR) - This is short list of leading reference books on early American history, from working references here numbering more than thirty currently.

These each make special point of the significance of honest, open dialog and debate defining the basic principles the Founders discovered in their unremitting search of every possible source available in their time, leading to their discovery/invention of our American system, which has surely stood us in remarkably good stead now for 236 years since 1776 despite a changing world.

1. Revolutionary Characters: What Made The Founders Different.
Gordon S. Wood; Penguin Press, 2006; 321 pp.
My favorite, winner of Pulitzer Prize, examines life and character of every Founder and how that character contributed to what they accomplished.

2. George Washington, First in War, First in Peace.
James A. Crutchfield; Tom Doherty Associates, 2005; 239 pp.
This slim paperback portrays an enigmatic man with quick, analytical mind, capable of learning from mistakes, gauging success not on winning battles but on the effect his decisions would have on the future of the new nation.

3. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.
Walter Isacson; Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 2003; 536 pp.
This bulky-and-worth every page fullscale biography is famed for its thorough research, crisply written and convincingly argued chronicle.

4. Adams and Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800.
John Ferling; Oxford University Press,2004; 260 pp.
If you think current politics is wild, this one's for you. 1800 pitted Adams and Jefferson, once intimate friends, as icy opponents locked in fierce struggle to shape and direct the emerging nation. The election marked true consolidation of the American Revolution and triumph of the ideal of government resting on the consent of the governed.

5. Alexander Hamilton.
Ron Chernow; Penguiin Press, 2004; 818 pp.
The Founding Fathers were passionate, fallible human beings; and Hamilton's whole life experience reflects that fact. He figured prominently in almost every major political episode and developing function of later Eighteenth Century America. Chernow's story takes you with the illegitmate orphan from the Caribbean to the tragic dueling death at the hand of Aaron Burr.

6. The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall and the
Rise of Presidential Democracy.
Bruce Ackerman; Belknap Press, 2005; 384 pp.
The Founders did not anticipate the rapid rise of two-party political fervor in the new nation. The election of 1800 brought on our first Constitutional crisis and how resolution as the plebiscitarian Presidency through Republican vs Federalist struggle.

7. American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic.
Joseph J. Ellis; Random House, 2007; 283 pp.
In the last quarter of the 18th Century, our Founders undertook a bold experiment in political ideals. Triumphs and tragedies ensued, shaping the emerging nation. Ellis describes an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever.


At age 94, Hank continues to define, dissect and delineate the most serious issues of our time, and then summarize some of the solutions, seen from that long-perspective and sources discovered over those decades. At 21, Henry was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.

Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.

He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 650 written since then.

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Hank Ruark February 27, 2012 11:10 am (Pacific time)

To all: Questia, largest online library open for subscription at lush fee, has just set out new list of free books to try for three months before bill starts arriving....which I cannot afford. This list purports to cover World Politics in depth. The ONLY title they show from early American history is one of my booklist selections. 4. Adams and Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800. Just wanted to make sure readers recognize my choices represent quality !! .. .and not simply personal bias.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.