Jefferson and Hamilton

Jefferson and Hamilton

The Rivalry That Forged A Nation

Book - 2013
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"A spellbinding history of the epic rivalry that shaped our republic: Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and their competing visions for America... The decade of the 1790s has been called the 'age of passion.' Fervor ran high as rival factions battled over the course of the new republic-- each side convinced that the other's goals would betray the legacy of the Revolution so recently fought and so dearly won. All understood as well that what was at stake was not a moment's political advantage, but the future course of the American experiment in democracy. In this epochal debate, no two figures loomed larger than Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Both men were visionaries, but their visions of what the United States should be were diametrically opposed. Jefferson, a true revolutionary, believed passionately in individual liberty and a more egalitarian society, with a weak central government and greater powers for the states. Hamilton, a brilliant organizer and tactician, feared chaos and social disorder. He sought to build a powerful national government that could ensure the young nation's security and drive it toward economic greatness. Jefferson and Hamilton is the story of the fierce struggle-- both public and, ultimately, bitterly personal-- between these two titans. It ended only with the death of Hamilton in a pistol duel, felled by Aaron Burr, Jefferson's vice president. Their competing legacies, like the twin strands of DNA, continue to shape our country to this day. Their personalities, their passions, and their bold dreams for America leap from the page in this epic new work from one of our finest historians" -- from publisher's web page
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2013
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781608195282
1608195287
Characteristics: xxi, 436 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm

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EvanSchoenfeld
Jul 15, 2018

My opinion used to be that a proper history of America wouldn’t be written while party loyalties and controversies continued to rage. Darn that John Ferling for making me wrong. He writes book after book about the nation’s early years with actors who are neither demonic nor saintly, but blemished, often talented human beings. It may be that the experiment needed holy icons, like that marble statue George Washington gazing down from heights of august perfection. But mean old Ferling prefers veracity to mythology.

In this book the star combatants both have plenty of laudable characteristics. But their thinking goes barmy at times, and their behavior is sometimes pretty bad. Consider the Jeffersonian problem: We need more economic freedom from England than Hamilton would prefer. Solution: We will be as unlike England as possible, a strictly agrarian nation with no manufacturing. This would create more abject dependence on England, but why resist an idea that sounds so good? T. J. was always a creature of contradictions. As for A. H., by 1798 he was beyond the feeble call of reason. It’s strange to think that for a time the opposition of these two created some sort of necessary balance. But that’s history for you: Lots of good stories.

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beetle101
Jan 17, 2014

An excellent read which demonstrates the rise of political parties and the warts that our founding fathers had which would influence the ways decisions are made in our political System up to our time. Little has changed in Washington DC in almost 230 years.

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