Through the Founders own voices and in the homes they designed and built to embody the ideal of domestic happiness they fought to achieve we come to understand why the American Revolution, of all great revolutions, was the only enduring success. The Founders were vivid, energetic men, with sophisticated worldviews, and this magnificent reckoning of their successes draws liberally from their own eloquent writings on their actions and well-considered intentions. Richly illustrated with America s historical and architectural treasures, this volume also considers the houses the Founders built with such care and money to reflect their vision for the fledgling nation. That so many great thinkers Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, John Jay, the Lees of Stratford Hall, and polemicist William Livingston came together to accomplish what rightly seemed to them almost a miracle is a standing historical mystery, best understood by pondering the men themselves and their profound and world-changing ideas. Through impressive research and an intimate understanding of these iconic patriots, award-winning author Myron Magnet offers fresh insight into why the American experiment resulted in over two centuries of unexampled freedom and prosperity." The Founders at Home is subtitled The Building of America, 1735 1817. Building is a pun: All the men he writes about left homes that, centuries later, are still intact and visitable. But, by a shrewd selection of subjects, Magnet also covers the construction of a country, from first thoughts to finishing touches from the Zenger trial to the Battle of New Orleans. His cast of characters allows him to erase the dichotomy between overexposure and obscurity. The heavyweights are well represented: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison. But joining them are Founders most of us have barely or never heard of: William Livingston, the Lees of Stratford Hall, sober John Jay. The Founders at Home gives the pleasures of biography, while putting us back in the texture and complexity of a world. --Richard Brookhiser"