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The Making of America48:22

This article is more than 13 years old.
photoGarry Wills, the eminent historian and critic, takes a wide view of history. He has applied his sharp pen to the founding of the American Republic, the contradictions within the Catholic Church, John Wayne and the politics of Celebrity.

In a new book, Wills has turned his attention to the great autobiographer and 19th-century historian Henry Adams. In it, Wills dusts off Adams' nine-volume mega-history of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the making of America.

Henry Adams' history, according to Wills, is laced with live tensions between big and small government, between the "foreign entanglements" that Jefferson opposed and the idealism that enthralled him.

Hear a conversation with Wills about historian Henry Adams' lost account of how our divided states became united.


Garry Wills, author of "Henry Adams and the Making of America";
Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst and Senior Editor of The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on September 21, 2005.

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