JOSEPH J. ELLIS is the author of many works of American history including Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, which won the National Book Award. He recently retired from his position as the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife and their youngest son.
"Illuminating. . . . Compelling. . . . Focuses on a series of key moments: most notably, Valley Forge, the standoff between the Federalists and their opponents, [and] the consequences [of] the Louisiana Purchase on slavery and the treatment of Indians." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"[Ellis] is a storyteller, and a superb one . . . no historian is better at making a complicated jumble of events clear and comprehensible." --The New York Review of Books"Illuminating . . . entertaining. . . . Ellis has done us a great service." --The New York Times Book Review"Delightful. . . . Ellis is the reigning master of the episodic approach to history." --The Boston Globe