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Jefferson's America

Nonfiction: Biography / History
Unabridged   12 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/10/2016

Jefferson's America

The President, the Purchase, and the Explorers Who Transformed a Nation

Available from major retailers
Audio CD ISBN:9781681681269
Digital Download ISBN:9781681681276


The surprising story of how Thomas Jefferson commanded an unrivaled age of American exploration, and in presiding over that era of discovery, forged a great nation.

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Product Description

At the dawn of the 19th century the stakes for American expansion were incalculably high. Even after the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Spain coveted that land and sought to retain it. With war expected at any moment, Jefferson played a game of strategy, putting on the ground the only Americans he could: a cadre of explorers who finally annexed it through courageous exploration.

President Jefferson most famously recruited Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, but at the same time other teams did the same work in places where it was even more crucial. William Dunbar, George Hunter, Thomas Freeman, Peter Custis, and Zebulon Pike were all dispatched on urgent missions to map the frontier and keep a steady correspondence with Washington about their findings.

They weren't always well-matched—with each other and certainly not with a Spanish army of a thousand soldiers or more. These tensions threatened to undermine Jefferson's goals for the country, leaving the United States in danger of losing its foothold in the West. Jefferson's America rediscovers the robust and often harrowing action from these seminal expeditions and illuminates the president’s vision for a continental America.


"Geographers and American history buffs will enjoy Fenster’s detailed research on these fascinating men, her easy style of writing, and tales beyond the textbooks. She opens an entirely new vista on those who opened the West." —Kirkus

Author Bio

Julie M. Fenster is the author of many works of popular history, including The Case of Abraham Lincoln, the award-winning Ether Day, and, with Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestseller Parish Priest. She co-wrote the PBS documentary First Freedom, about the founders and religious liberty. Julie lives in upstate New York.