Freedom Just Around the Corner is the recently published first installment in a projected three-part history of the United States by Walter A. McDougall, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and author of ...the Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age.
McDougall's history is breath-taking in the quality of its narrative and its mastery of the economics, religion, politics, and sociology of colonial America and the early United States. He looks at how Puritans, Cavaliers, Quakers, Scots-Irish, and Africans each influenced the emerging culture of colonial America - a culture that embraced "hustling" in all its positive and negative connotations. He also described the roles of evangelical Christians and Freemasons, among others, in the development of that culture. As the narrative moves through the American Revolution, the adoption of the Constitution, and the War of 1812, McDougall discusses the importance of nationalism, democracy, and growth (population and economic) in the development of this country.
The title, "Freedom Just Around the Corner," is taken from Bob Dylan's Jokerman ballad. The second and third installments of McDougall's trilogy should be eagerly anticipated.