First Founding Father: Richard Henry Lee and the Call to Independence

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Product Details

Da Capo Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 1.3 X 9.1 inches | 1.14 pounds
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About the Author

Acclaimed historian Harlow Giles Unger is a former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at George Washington's Mount Vernon. He is the author of twenty-six previous books, including twelve biographies of America's Founding Fathers and three histories of the early Republic. He lives in New York City.


"In public awareness, Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794) has slipped into the cracks of historical anonymity; this book pulls him back into the light...A generous, well-documented account of the life of Lee, focusing on his varied roles in the birth of the United States...A sturdy, instructive biography of the 'first of the Founding Fathers to call for independence, first to call for union, and first to call for a bill of rights.'"--Kirkus Reviews
"[A] giant of the literature of American history...Harlow Giles Unger has crafted a portrait of Richard Henry Lee that not only allows the reader to get to know the man, but also offers a detailed look at society in 18th-century Virginia...Expertly crafted...Entertaining."--Roanoke Times
"While [Richard Henry] Lee's name may wander around somewhere in the back of our minds, this book, First Founding Father, will elevate him to the top of the list along with Washington, Franklin, [and] Jefferson...Unger paints a clear and detailed picture of Richard Henry Lee and his many contributions to the founding of the United States of America. For anyone who enjoys reading about American history, this book is most enjoyable, informative, and belongs on the library shelf."--New York Journal of Books
"One should always be skeptical when someone claims anyone was "first" at anything. However, Harlow Giles Unger makes a good argument that Richard Henry Lee came early to the ideas that triggered the American Revolution."--Milwaukee Shepherd Express
"Researched and indexed with scholarly accuracy, yet accessible to readers of all background, First Founding Father is highly recommended."--Midwest Book Review
"This wonderful man is brought to life in Unger's pages, which shine with appreciation and respect for a man who justly deserves them and deserves to be remembered as first among America's Founding greats."--San Francisco Book Review
"Richard Henry Lee was the first to call for independence and held the Continental Congress together during the conflict. This biography highlights his achievements."--Military Heritage
"Unger writes passionately and clearly describing the life of Lee and why he should not be forgotten as one our country's founding fathers."--Collected Miscellany

"Richard Henry Lee has not lacked for biographies, but none is as well executed as this one...[It] will inform both general readers and historians."--Choice Magazine