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Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Fremont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century Americ (eBook)

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She was the daughter of powerful Missouri politician Thomas Hart Benton and was a savvy political operator who played confidante and advisor to the inner circle of the highest political powers in the country. He was a key figure in western exploration and California's first senator, and became the first presidential candidate for the Republican Party-and the first candidate to challenge slavery. Both shaped their times and were far ahead of it, but most extraordinarily their story has never fully been told. Thanks in part to a deep-seated family quarrel between Jessie's father and the couple, John and Jessie were eclipsed and opposed by some of the most mythic characters of their era, not least Abraham Lincoln. Award-winning historian Sally Denton restores the reputations of John and Jessie and places them where they belong-at the center of our country's history.

About the Author

Sally Denton is the author of Faith and Betrayal, American Massacre, The Bluegrass Conspiracy, and, with Roger Morris, The Money and the Power. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Western Heritage Awards, a Lannan Literary Grant, and the Nevada Silver Pen Award. Her award-winning investigative reporting has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and American Heritage. She lives with her three sons in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Praise for Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Fremont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century Americ…

“Sally Denton retells the life of the Great Pathfinder from a new angle…A fascinating story of love and struggle…sheds light on a character only dimly known; few remember Jessie Fremont at all, let alone in her roles in the exploration of the West and the battle against slavery. Who knew that expansion and emancipation, the two great projects of nineteenth-century America, were so helped along by someone Lincoln once called “quite a female politician”?”—American Heritage, 5/23/07

“[Denton] convincingly refutes popular historiography's perception of John as fortuitously marrying into a politically powerful family and coasting on his wife's talent. The Frémonts' story stretches from the advent of Manifest Destiny through the Civil War, and Denton tells the tale well, in dense but always readable detail. This original and engaging work is sure to be a boon to historians studying Old West exploration or political entanglements and military actions leading up to the Civil War.”  —Library Journal

“Intriguing...This is not a conventional political biography but a portrait of the five-decade-long marriage between Frémont and Jessie…As Denton shows, Bill and Hillary are not the first American power couple.”  —Publisher’s Weekly

“Biographies of the Pathfinder (Frémont by Allan Nevins, 1992) are available, so Denton strikes for originality with this detailed portrait of his marriage…A fine dual biographer, Denton should have appeal in western and women’s history.”Booklist

“We like to think of so-called power couples as a contemporary phenomenon, but they’ve turned up with fair regularity throughout history…Journalist and historical writer Sally Denton’s fascinating double biography of John C. Fremont and his wife Jessie Benton, makes a convincing case that they ought to be added to the list.”Los Angeles Times

“For Denton, Passion and Principle is her greatest professional triumph to date…Denton is one of a relative handful of popular historians who are breathing new life into sadly neglected pieces of the American experience…not only serious history but a good read.”Las Vegas CityLife

“…a riveting narrative about what [Denton] calls a ‘power couple’ who ‘fascinated and baffled’ the public. They are curiously modern and ‘evocative of Bill and Hillary Clinton’, Ms. Denton rightly concludes.”—The New York Sun

"...glowing biography...What Denton has done is to explore, with skill and style, the source of that celebrity that surrounded the Frémonts. She is a sure-footed guide through an adventure that stretches across a still-unexplored continent...The book is a grand story of 'passion and principle', and it is not for nothing that Denton draws parallels between the Frémonts and both George and Elizabeth Custer and, more significantly, Bill and Hillary Clinton-- like the Fremonts, 'a political couple [who] fascinated and baffled the public."—The Boston Globe

“Anyone who has ever imagined living life totally on his or her own terms would do well to study the lessons of ‘Passion and Principle’ Sally Denton’s lively revisionist accounting of John and Jessie Fremont…Denton whose books include “American Massacre” and “Faith and Betrayal,” is a wonderful writer, and was fortunate to have had in the Fremonts two willing helpmates…Denton handily makes the case for elevating the couple’s stature in the history books.”—New York Times Book Review, 7/01/07

"In "Passion and Principle," Sally Denton, an award-winning former investigative reporter and the author of a number of historical works, gives us a thorough accounting of the professional and personal lives of this early incarnation of the power couple...Denton does a good job showing the impact the Fremonts had on history and the way this remarkable couple operated." —San Francisco Chronicle, 7/01/07

“Denton writes in a graceful style and describes movingly how Jessie adjusted with dignity her increasingly dire straits. Denton’s book tour of exclusively Western cities illustrates that this is, in many ways, a Western saga. However, it’s also a very human, American story and one folks across the country will enjoy.”—, 7/05/07

Product Details ISBN-13: 9781596917651
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 12/22/2008
Language: en