Raymond Seitz

In the Footsteps of Founding Fathers

Revolutionaries: Inventing an American Nation

By

Heinemann 487pp £20 order from our bookshop

One of Western history’s most perplexing enigmas is this: how did a loose collection of largely rural colonies, spread out along the margins of a vast unknown continent and with a combined population of not more than three million, manage to produce at the critical moment of national birth an array of extraordinary political and intellectual leaders unequalled before or since? It’s hard to think of parallels. Perhaps the effulgence of artistic brilliance in tiny Florence at the end of the fifteenth century and beginning of the sixteenth is an artistic equivalent. But then the mind draws a blank.

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