Founding Visions: The Ideas, Individuals, and Intersections that Created America
Post–Revolutionary War America will always be a rich field of study for American historians because it was such a crucial and tumultuous time in our nation’s development. The larger-than-life personalities, the incredible complexity and diversity of issues that threatened the fledgling country, and the uncertain future of the American experiment seem to offer endless opportunities for scholarly examination and dissection.
Essayist and historian Lance Banning built his reputation focusing on this era in general and the role of James Madison in particular, and Founding Visions collects a number of his most insightful pieces. Banning’s work (as well as Estes’s introductions and analysis of Banning’s writing) offers a laser-sharp study of James Madison, including where the historical record has downplayed his role or misrepresented him, and his complex views on early American democracy, The Federalist Papers, and his distribution of influence.
Banning’s skill as an essayist shines here, as he not only explores issues in their proper social and historical context—like the stigmatized concept of governmental power in the colonies—but how we process and interpret these issues through the often-biased lens of today.
Founding Visions is a valuable addition to the canon of early American history.
The University Press of Kentucky
Lance Banning, edited by Todd Estes, with a forward by Gordon S. Wood