September 14, 2011 In fiction, Brad Meltzer imagines a presidential spy ring, and the latest installment in the popular Naruto manga series arrives. In nonfiction, Stacy Schiff reconstructs Cleopatra, Justice Stephen Breyer contemplates democracy, and Joseph Ellis finds an abiding love story in the letters of John and Abigail Adams.
November 23, 2010 In fiction, Herta Mueller, winner of 2009's literature Nobel, writes poetically about life under totalitarianism, and Elizabeth Berg crafts an entertaining account of a 40th high school reunion. In nonfiction — John Adams' letters, America's tacky Christmas traditions, and the sequel to Stuff White People Like.
October 27, 2010 Historian and author Joseph Ellis' First Family draws from decades of correspondence between John Adams and his wife, Abigail, to reveal the achievements of America's second president, and the sacrifice and influence of his first lady.
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November 5, 2007 In his new book, American Creation, historian Joseph Ellis gets to the bottom of some of the tall tales about America's founding fathers. Ellis says that the founding of the country was an era of flawed greatness.
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October 26, 2006 Our first president was never the life of the party. Couldn't stand small talk. And some say he didn't even like to be touched. Yet in 1798 alone, more than 650 guests dined at his home. So what gives? Was Washington a closet bon vivant?
July 13, 2005 According ot our reviewer, Alan Greenblatt, this book avoids "historical hindsight." Even when Ellis sums up an important battle in a paragraph, he doesn't stint in explaining its importance to the tides of war.
November 2, 2004 A discussion of the most important American president of them all — our first. Historian Joseph Ellis talks about his 2004 biography, His Excellency: George Washington. He was, as his colleague Henry Lee said upon his death, "First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Is he still in our hearts?
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October 25, 2004 In His Excellency: George Washington, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph J. Ellis examines the myths and realities surrounding our nation's first president. Ellis suggests Washington was motivated as much by enlightened self-interest as idealism. Ellis speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep.
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