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Faculty Book: David S. Reynolds

David S. Reynolds

Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson
(HarperCollins, 2008)

The years of Jacksonian America from 1815–48 were arguably the richest period in American life. Award-winning historian David S. Reynolds illuminates the period’s political transformation, casting fresh light on Andrew Jackson, who redefined the presidency, as well as John Quincy Adams and James K. Polk, who expanded the nation’s territory and strengthened its position internationally. He captures the turbulence of a democracy caught in the throes of the slavery controversy, the rise of capitalism, and the birth of urbanization; reveals unknown dimensions of the Second Great Awakening with its sects, cults, and self-styled prophets; brings alive the reformers, abolitionists, and prohibitionists, who struggled to correct America’s worst social ills; uncovers the political roots of some of America’s greatest authors and artists, from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Edgar Allen Poe to Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand; and recreates the shocking phenomena that marked the age, including bloody duels and violent mobs. David S. Reynolds is a distinguished professor of English at the Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: SEP 30, 2008

Category: English, Faculty Books