Kevin Phillips is the author of eight books, a journalist and a national elections commentator for CBS News during l988, 1992 and 96 presidential elections
In the Cousins’ Wars, Phillips poses the question, how did Anglo-America (Great Britain and the United states) become the global power by the late nineteenth century. He finds the answer to this overarching question by analyzing the causes and results of three critical wars: the English Civil War in 1640, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War. Philips marshals facts and events to show that these wars were a “crucible" of thought which British and Americans hammered out competing religious, ethnic, and social alliances to seize and maintain first place among the nations of the world.
In 1807, Aaron Burr was tried and acquitted on charges of treason for his "adventures" in the American West, but he had fallen out of favor in American life long before, after he had run for president against Thomas Jefferson, served a single term as vice president, and shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel. A free spender, a womanizer, and the only Founding Father who was actually descended from the English aristocracy, Burr was famously secretive and conspiratorial. In this lecture, historian Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, argues that Burr's true treason was not his actions in the West but his naked ambition and his lack of principles and character that made him a threat to the young republic.
Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and Director of the American Studies Program at Columbia University, Andrew Delbanco examines the evolution of the American Dream--the idea that anyone may rise above his or her station, regardless of birth. Beginning with the Puritans, Professor Delbanco traces the origins of the American Dream from the Calvinist fire-and-brimstone of Jonathan Edwards, to the swelling optimism of Emerson and Melville, to the present day.