In the early 1770s, the men who invented America were living quiet, provincial lives in the rustic backwaters of the New World, devoted primarily to family, craft, and the private pursuit of wealth and happiness. None set out to become ''revolutionary'' by ambition, but when events in Boston escalated, they found themselves thrust into a crisis that moved, in a matter of months, from protest to war. In this remarkable book, the historian Jack Rakove shows how the private lives of these men were suddenly transformed into public careershow Washington became a strategist, Franklin a pioneering cultural diplomat, Madison a sophisticated constitutional thinker, and Hamilton a brilliant policymaker. Rakove shakes off acceptednotions of these men as godlike visionaries, focusing instead on the evolution of their ideas and the crystallizing of their purpose.
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