"This new edition of The Autobiography of James Monroe, with a lively and insightful introduction by William M. Ferraro, is a great service to our fifth president, to scholars plumbing his life and times, and to general readers. Few men had a more intimate view of the nation's first half century than James Monroe. Here is what he saw."—Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of An Army at Dawn
"This work is a remarkable performance. . . . More important than the actual content of this autobiography is the insight it provides about Monroe’s attitudes and state of mind in the last years."—Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
First published in 1959, The Autobiography of James Monroe collects the compelling fragments of Monroe’s unfinished autobiography, written after his retirement from the presidency. The memoirs trace his boyhood, education, and experiences during his long service as a public servant before becoming president. Monroe vividly recalls his military experience in the Revolution, his law studies at the College of William and Mary, and his service as aide to Governor Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. From the early days of his political career, Monroe writes with passion about his opposition to slavery and his support for the Western farmer. He discusses his controversial first mission to France as a young and inexperienced minister to a country in the throes of a revolution, as well as subsequent missions in which he served as the key negotiator with France for the purchase of the Louisiana Territory.
Originally edited by Stuart Gerry Brown, this new edition includes an introduction by historian and documentary editor William Ferraro. Ferraro considers the lasting influence of Brown’s edition on Monroe scholarship and surveys the most recent research, detailing the ways this founding father’s legacy continues to unfold.
About the Author
Stuart Gerry Brown was professor of American civilization in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is the author of many books, including The Social Philosophy of Josiah Royce.
6 x 9, 304 pages, 10 black and white illustrations