H. W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written a dozen biographies and histories for Doubleday, two of which, The First American and Traitor to His Class, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in biography. The General vs. the President was a New York Times bestseller. He is the author of Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster (Doubleday). In the early days of the nineteenth century, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina’s John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery. Together this second generation of American founders took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency, and tasked themselves with finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.