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Ambition, A History by [King, William Casey]
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Ambition, A History Kindle Edition

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


“In this masterpiece of intellectual and cultural history, Casey King brilliantly traces the tensions and profound changes in the meaning of ‘ambition’ from Elizabethan England to the Declaration of Independence. Long associated with sin, vice, avarice, and all threats to social stability, ambition acquired new connotations as the Spanish and English colonized the New World and then compared themselves with Indians and African slaves. Written with clarity and elegance, Ambition, A History combines astonishing sources and discoveries with larger economic and political contexts usually missing from the history of ideas.”—David Brion Davis, author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (David Brion Davis)

"Truly ground-breaking, vital, profound, deeply nuanced and subtle. . . one of the most important and original manuscripts I’ve ever read."—John Stauffer, author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln


(John Stauffer)

 “Extremely important, deeply researched, very well-written, and, yes, extraordinarily ambitious. . . King offers a compelling explanation of how ambition became transformed from a sin or vice into a potential (if doubled-edged) virtue that could be harnessed for positive ends.”—Steven Mintz, author of Moralists and Modernizers: America's Pre-Civil War Reformers
(Steven Mintz)

 "Being ambitious is for better or worse a peculiarly American characteristic. This important book helps us understand where we have been and where we are going at a crucial moment for our culture and our role in the world."—Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University, and former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States
(Lawrence H. Summers)

About the Author

William Casey King is executive director of the Yale Center for Analytical Sciences, Yale University. He was previously a Salomon Brothers bond trader and executive director of the W. E. B. DuBois Institute of African and African American Research, Harvard University. He lives in Hamden, CT.

Product details

  • File Size: 2861 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (January 29, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 3, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,081 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

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on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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on June 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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