Here is history as delightful as it is profound. Exploring the period between Jeffersonian democracy and Jacksonian democracy, George Dangerfield describes the personalities and experiences, American and European, which furthered the political transition "from the great dictum that central government is best when it governs least to the great dictum that central government must sometimes intervene strongly on behalf of the weak and the oppressed and the exploited." The book, winner of the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes, throws new and fresh light on an important formative period in American history. "An agile piece of historical writing-witty, selective, and illuminating."-New Yorker. "George Dangerfield writes with gusto, sense, and authority. His agreeable, eloquent book is full of people, conflicts, ideas, and color. It is a learned book, and witty and skillful; on every page it is thoughtful, clever, and original."-Saturday Review. "History exploded with mature perception, pointed anecdote, and lively interpretation."-New York Times.