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William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic Paperback – August 27, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Alan Taylor's WILLIAM COOPER'S TOWN: POWER AND PERSUASION ON THE FRONTIER OF THE EARLY AMERICAN REPUBLIC is an outstanding biography of an archetypical American character, an extraordinary social history of life and politics on the late eighteenth-century frontier and a brilliant exercise in literary analysis.
This is a wonderful read. Taylor's lively prose, compelling narrative and original, fresh story sustained my interest from cover to cover. I never would have imagined such a dull title could cover such a marvelous book. WILLIAM COOPER'S TOWN certainly deserves the Pulitzer Prize it was awarded.
Taylor not only describes William Cooper's rise from rags to riches and even more meteoric fall but analyzes Cooper's political odyssey in America's frontier democratic workshop.
"As an ambitious man of great wealth but flawed gentility, Cooper became caught up in the great contest of postrevolutionary politics: whether power should belong to traditional gentlemen who styled themselves 'Fathers of the People' or to cruder democrats who acted out the new role of 'Friends of the People.'"
Taylor argues "Cooper faced a fundamental decision as he ventured into New York's contentious politics. Would he affiliate with the governor and the revolutionary politics of democratic assertion? Or would he endorse the traditional elitism championed by...Hamilton.Read more ›
Taylor's story of William Cooper widens our perspective of the early Republic. The era dominated by elite political figures like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams, also included important characters on the periphery.Read more ›
I stumbled onto this book while perusing library shelves while my daughter picked out some kid books for herself. Since it won a Pulitzer, I thought I'd take a look. And I was treated to an amazing amalgam of history, economics, politics, and literary analysis. I love books that explore myths and then separate the fact from fiction, and I can't think of any that have done it in a more entertaining way.
If you like history, you'll love the sweep of about 50 years on America's early frontier. If you like politics, you'll love to learn about early New York political machines. If you like economics, you'll learn all about how trading economies were built almost from scratch in the States. And if you like name-dropping, there's everyone from Alexander Hamilton to Aaron Burr to Thomas Jefferson to James Fenimore Cooper.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Small type in the Vintage paperback edition. I guess it's my fault for not looking carefully at the product description, but in any case the type is small on this edition. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bill Taylor
The book is good, but the references are fantastic. If you do research in this area, including genealogy research, purchase it.Published 15 months ago by Trying to Survive NJ
I would actually like to rate this book 4.5 stars, however I don't know how. This book is a very lucid, entertaining narrative account of one man's so-called "rags to... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Joseph Murray
This excellent book won the 1996 Pulitzer History prize and is the 54th such winner I've read. It also won the Bancroft Prize in 1996 and is the 36th Bancroft winner I've read. Read morePublished on May 13, 2014 by Schmerguls
Greed, corruption, misuse of power - so what's changed between then and now? Only the names of the individuals and a true, undoctored accounting on the way things actually were. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by richard e whitelock
This carefully researched, thoughtful, and well written book is an interesting examination of social and political change in the early years of the American Republic. Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by R. Albin