The Rise of American Democracy

Jefferson to Lincoln

Sean Wilentz (Author, Princeton University)

Overview | Inside the Book

Winner of the Bancroft Award: "Monumental…a tour de force…awesome in its coverage of political events."—Gordon Wood, New York Times Book Review

Acclaimed as the definitive study of the period by one of the greatest American historians, The Rise of American Democracy traces a historical arc from the earliest days of the republic to the opening shots of the Civil War. Ferocious clashes among the Founders over the role of ordinary citizens in a government of "we, the people" were eventually resolved in the triumph of Andrew Jackson. Thereafter, Sean Wilentz shows, a fateful division arose between two starkly opposed democracies—a division contained until the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked its bloody resolution. Winner of the Bancroft Award, shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2005 and best book of New York magazine and The Economist.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2006
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32921-6
  • 6.2 × 9.2 in / 1104 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide


Endorsements & Reviews

“Remarkable . . . a book that befits its subject in artistry as well as scale.” — Steven Hahn, Chicago Tribune

“Confirms Sean Wilentz as the Richard Hofstadter of our day—the supreme political historian.” — Franklin Foer, New York

“A magisterial synthesis that deserves the attention of anyone interested in the American past.” — Eric Foner, The Nation

Also by Sean Wilentz All

  1. Book CoverThe Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics


  2. Book CoverThe Rise of American Democracy: Democracy Ascendant, 1815-1840

    College Edition / Paperback

    Volume(s): 2

  3. Book CoverThe Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

    Abridged College Edition / Paperback

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