Joseph J. Ellis, Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, discusses his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, explains the emergence of the men who led the Revolutionary War and created the new nation, and delves into the four criticisms modern society lays at the door of the Founding Fathers.
A. E. Dick Howard, the White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia School of Law, presents a short history of the Constitution and discusses the Supreme Court’s role in the ongoing debate about the separation of church and state.
James F. Simon, the Martin Professor of Law at New York Law School, traces the protracted conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, over the role of the US Supreme Court and the federal government.
Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and author of Kissinger: A Biography, traces Benjamin Franklin’s life from runaway apprentice to Founding Father, exploring how Franklin’s commitment to the common American and his appreciaiton for the possibilities of democracy helped forge an American national identity.
Ira Berlin, Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Maryland, describes how the complex interplay of regional and generational factors shaped the development of slavery in the antebellum United States.
Ron Chernow presents the full sweep of Alexander Hamilton’s dramatic life and achievements and makes the case that Alexander Hamilton was the most influential American who never attained the presidency.