PLEDGE NOW
Joseph Ellis on America's Founding Choices
"The Adoption of the Constitution" by J. B. Stearns, oil., ca. 1856) (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

"The Adoption of the Constitution" by J. B. Stearns, oil., ca. 1856. (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

It’s Election Day, and Americans know that one way or another they are making history today with their vote.

As voters go to the polls, we are going back, to the beginning — to the American Revolution and founders, and to the real story of how they created a nation.

The country’s first turbulent decades were a time of unfolding possibilities, big triumphs, big compromises. America was still being made.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis says the founders weren’t gods, and their plans were not pure genius. They weren’t even set on making a democracy with their revolution. But they did. And today we are shaping it still.

This hour, On Point: human then and human now. Historian Joseph Ellis and the story of the American creation.

You can join the conversation. Does it all look etched in stone to you now? Can you imagine a time when it really wasn’t?

Guest:

We’re joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis, a professor of history at Mount Holyoke College. He is author of “American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic,” now available in paperback. His other books include “His Excellency: George Washington” (2004), “Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation” (2000), and “American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson” (1996).

Read an excerpt from “American Creation” at RandomHouse.com.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 4, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (DHA/AP)

Migrant crisis in Europe. The Iran deal, cleared. A Kentucky clerk and gay marriage. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 4, 2015
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Kiki Bertens, of the Netherlands, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Serena Williams. The undisputed queen of tennis, and what she’s meant in sports and beyond.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 3, 2015
Journalists protest the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa Becerril in Mexico City, on Aug. 2, 2015. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

Three Vice News journalists arrested in Turkey. A wave of journalists in prison. In graves. We’ll look at journalists worldwide under pressure.

 
Sep 3, 2015
A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve, on July 29, 2015. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates soon. (Richard Drew/AP)

Should the Fed finally raise interest rates? In spite of the stock market roller coaster? We’ll dig into the Fed weighing the end of free money.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Martin O’Malley On The ‘Rigged’ Democratic Debates, And What America Needs
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

Former Baltimore mayor and Democratic Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has single digits in the polls in Iowa but is out there swinging. He joined host Tom Ashbrook on Wednesday.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments