In this powerful new biography, award-winning author Harlow Giles Unger reveals the epic story of James Monroe—the last of America’s Founding Fathers, who transformed a small fragile nation beset by enemies into a glorious and powerful empire stretching “from sea to shining sea.”
A fierce fighter in the Revolutionary War, Monroe suffered a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, survived the cruelest winter at Valley Forge, and fought heroically at the Battle of Monmouth. Decorated by Washington for his courage and leadership, Monroe went on to serve America as its first full-time politician—a member of Congress, minister to France and Britain, governor of Virginia, secretary of state, secretary of war, and, finally, fifth president of the United States.
With his courageous first lady at his side, Monroe took command of a nation nearly bankrupt, its people divided, its borders under attack, and its capital in ashes after the British invasion in the War of 1812. Monroe rebuilt national defenses, expanded the military, ripped Florida from Spanish control, and extended national boundaries to the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean.
Monroe climaxed his presidency—and startled the world—by proclaiming the landmark Monroe Doctrine, which closed the Americas to foreign incursions and colonization. Secure from foreign attack, Americans streamed westward to claim a share of America, adding six states to the Union and producing the largest economic expansion and redistribution of wealth in U.S. history.
The only president other than George Washington to win reelection by unanimous vote, Monroe led the nation and its people to greatness and created an “Era of Good Feelings” never seen before or since in American history. Unger’s The Last Founding Father is both a superb read and stellar scholarship—action-filled history in the grand tradition.
Harlow Giles Unger
A former Distinguished Visiting Fellow in American History at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Harlow Giles Unger is a veteran journalist, broadcaster, educator, and historian.
He is the best-selling author of more than 25 books, including a dozen biographies of the Founding Fathers—among them the award winning Lafayette; John Quincy Adams, and Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation.
Cited by a critic in the National Review as “America’s most readable historian,” Mr. Unger is a graduate of Yale University and former associate professor of English and journalism. He spent many years as a foreign correspondent and American Affairs analyst for The New York Herald Tribune Overseas News Service, The Times and The Sunday Times (London), and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Other American History Titles by Harlow Giles Unger:
• John Quincy Adams;
• Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation;
• Mr. President: George Washington and the Making of the Nation’s Highest Office;
• The Unexpected George Washington: His Private Life;
• John Marshal: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation;
• Henry Clay, America’s Greatest Statesman; and many more.
Copyright © Harlow Giles Unger