This monumental work, complete in two volumes, culminated Henry Adams' lifelong fascination with the American past. First published in nine volumes from 1889-91, it has been judged one of the greatest historical works in English -- and yet has been out of print for several decades. Adams' History traces the formative period of American nationality from the rise of Thomas Jefferson's Republican party through the War of 1812. Hoping to keep the United States out of Europe's Napoleonic wars, Jefferson's pacificism instead antagonizes both France and England, the two greatest military powers in the world. While the states threaten to duplicate the map of Europe by dissolving into separate, squabbling sections, Madison leads the country into a war with British regulars and Indian tribes that he is illequipped to fight. Yet time is on the side of the American people -- who, despite statesmen and generals, emerge from the conflict a single nation ready to flex its burgeoning muscles. In Adams' ironic narrative, personalities like Bonaparte and Aaron Burr, William "Tippecanoe" Harrison and Andrew Jackson, Shawnee leader Tecumseh and Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture act their glittering parts against a background of inexorable historical forces that transform the United States from a pre-industrial backwater into an emergent world power.