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H. W. Brands

Biography

H. W. Brands

H. W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for THE FIRST AMERICAN and TRAITOR TO HIS CLASS. He lives in Austin, Texas.

H. W. Brands

Books by H. W. Brands

by H. W. Brands - History, Nonfiction

In DREAMS OF EL DORADO, H. W. Brands tells the thrilling, panoramic story of the settling of the American West. He takes us from John Jacob Astor's fur trading outpost in Oregon to the Texas Revolution, from the California gold rush to the Oklahoma land rush. He shows how the migrants' dreams drove them to feats of courage and perseverance that put their stay-at-home cousins to shame --- and how those same dreams also drove them to outrageous acts of violence against indigenous peoples and one another. The West was where riches would reward the miner's persistence, the cattleman's courage, the railroad man's enterprise. But El Dorado was at least as elusive in the West as it ever was in the East.

by H. W. Brands - History, Nonfiction
John Brown heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to destroy slavery by any means. When Congress opened Kansas to slavery in 1854, Brown raised a band of followers to wage a brutal war. Three years later, Brown and his men assaulted a federal arsenal, hoping to arm slaves for a race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery. Brown’s violence pointed Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. Lincoln spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path back to Washington and perhaps to the White House. Yet his caution could not protect him from the vortex of violence Brown had set in motion. Lincoln was able to shrewdly thread the needle between the opposing voices of the fractured nation to win the presidency. But the time for moderation had passed, and Lincoln’s belief that democracy could resolve thess moral crises peacefully faced its ultimate test.
by H. W. Brands - History, Nonfiction

In the early 1800s, 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 these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone.

by H. W. Brands - History, Nonfiction, Politics

At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done. Two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way.

by H. W. Brands - Biography, History, Nonfiction

H. W. Brands establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the 20th century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. REAGAN conveys how the confident force of Reagan’s personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. He shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today.

by H. W. Brands - Biography, History, Nonfiction

Ulysses Grant rose from obscurity to discover he had a genius for battle, and he propelled the Union to victory in the Civil War. After Abraham Lincoln's assassination and the disastrous brief presidency of Andrew Johnson, America turned to Grant again to unite the country, this time as president. In H. W. Brands' page-turning biography, Grant emerges as a heroic figure who was fearlessly on the side of right.