|THE PAULA GORDON SHOW|
Going to the polls in 2008, citizens of the United States have a lot to learn from their election of 1800, according to historian and law professor Edward J. Larson. Even then, religion and science were very much at odds. “I was interested in this particular election because of big themes that are still with us -- the Enlightenment, religion, science, freedom, what democracy means. These themes stay with us,” he says. “And the election of 1800 was perceived as a clash between science and religion in popular culture in America.”
[This Program was recorded January 16, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia, US.]
It is our continuing pleasure to explore with Ed Larson the peculiarly American dynamic in which religion and science face off.
We greatly appreciate the considerable effort it required on his part to make this conversation possible. We very much look forward to continuing to work with him.
A Magnificent Catastrophe is published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.
David McCullough's John Adams is a sympathetic biography showing many of the events Larson presents from Adam's perspective.
In His Excellency, Joseph Ellis provides a demythologizing and mature account of George Washington who's presence, even in death, loomed over the 1800 election.
The Hemingses of Monticello tells a story which puts the early United States and the relationship between Adams and Jefferson into a richer and more complex context. Annette Gordon-Reed won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for writing it.
In writing her book about Lincoln's presidency, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin discovered that the core belief sustaining Lincoln was neither opposition to slavery nor commitment to the Union. It was the belief that people could govern themselves.
David Nasaw (Andrew Carnegie) and David Cannadine (Mellon, An American Life) have written excellent biographies showing how the successor to the High Federalists, today's Republican Party, evolved as the advocate, and ultimately captive, of economic elites, big business and crony-capitalists.
Gerry Adams provides a modern view of the acts and arguments by which people seek to govern themselves.
John Dean illustrates the dangers of a "High Federalist" government: dysfunctional Congress, unitary executive and fundamentalist Supreme Court.