Something That Will Surprise the World and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.95
  • Save: $1.98 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Something That Will Surpr... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good Clean Copy. Binding is tight, with some spinewear.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Something That Will Surprise the World: The Essential Writings of the Founding Fathers Paperback – January 22, 2006


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.97
$3.47 $0.85
Best%20Books%20of%202014


Frequently Bought Together

Something That Will Surprise the World: The Essential Writings of the Founding Fathers + Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different + The American Revolution: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)
Price for all three: $40.56

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (January 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465017800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465017805
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,976,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Founding Fathers wrote a corpus of material so vast that several collected-works projects now in operation have kept their scholars employed for decades. No general-interest reader has that kind of time, so historian-editor Dunn offers this manageable selection from the writings of Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, John Adams, and Madison. She excludes Franklin, without explanation. A preface by highly popular biographer Joseph Ellis speculates about the upsurge of popular interest in these figures, while Dunn's introductions summarize their political inclinations (e.g., Hamilton's toward aggrandizing government, Jefferson's toward restraining it). Otherwise, each document is unmediated, compelling a reader into an independent mind-set that considers why the correspondent (most selections are letters) is taking up the quill. To socialize, to transmit intelligence, to philosophize, to justify--this spectrum of reasons, and the reflections they shed on the writer's character, times, and matter of the moment, lends vivacity to this volume. American history browsers will be pleased with Dunn's choices, which cover the Founders' famous writings but whose heart is in presenting their private communications. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Susan Dunn is Professor of Humanities at Williams College. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including Something That Will Surprise the World: The Essential Writings of the Founding Fathers; and Jefferson’s Second

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. McDonald on June 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a diverse selection of the writings of five major figures in early American history: George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Letters, essays, and speeches ranging across their entire adult lives provide great insight into these men, the times they lived in, and the evolution of their thought and character. We first meet Washington, for example, as a prickly young man very concerned with his honor and his station, but we watch him mellow and mature across the pages and the years.

Unfortunately, much of the value of the book is undermined by the fact that the writings are presented with virtually no context, other than brief biographical and chronological sketches for each man. This is especially problematic for the letters, which make sense only within the context of an ongoing correspondence. We are presented, for example, with Washington's May 22, 1782 letter to Colonel Lewis Nicola, in which Washington excoriates and reprimands Nicola for entertaining some proposal. To find out what that proposal was, however, I had to resort to Google (Nicola proposed that Washington should make himself King of the United States). A few sentences introducing each item or a few pages of explanatory footnotes or endnotes would have solved this problem, and made Something That Will Surprise the World a far more valuable book.

As it stands, I can recommend it only half-halfheartedly.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Ricardo Mio on November 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
For anyone serious about understanding the Founding Fathers, reading their letters, speeches, essays, and government papers is the place to start. Indeed, relying strictly on a historian or biographer's account of these documents and the passages they have selected to support their personal point-of-view--and presented in scholarly tomes as unbiased history--is to be partly misled without realizing it. If you want the unadulterated truth, you must go to the source.

Which brings us to this book, edited by Susan Dunn, author and professor of humanities at Williams College. What she's done is edit a number of famous letters, speeches, essays and government documents by Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson and Adams for us to read firsthand. To quote the book jacket, the Founding Fathers "are rarely allowed to speak to us in their own words . . . finally, these towering figures come together in one volume--in dialogue with one another, and with us."

This book is also worthwhile for professor Dunn's exceptional introduction. She makes a number of interesting points about each of the five Founders, including how three of them became trapped by their own ideas, which they failed to reconcile prior to their deaths: Hamilton, famously, with his view of personal honor, which cost him his life; Jefferson with his view of slavery; and Madison with his Constitutional doctrine of majority vs. minority rule. As young men, Jefferson and Madison were very clear on these issues, but were increasingly conflicted as they became elder statesmen and the nation evolved in ways they did not foresee.

My one peeve is Dunn does not get Alexander Hamilton. She believes he was an elitist.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gina Rucavado on August 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Yes, the text selections could use some more contextualization, but all in all, it's a very convenient and useful collection.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?