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The 85 essays that maker up The Federalist Papers’ clearly demonstrate the vital importance of the art of persuasion. Written between 1787 and 1788 by three of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States, the Papers were written with the specific intention of convincing Americans that it was in their interest to back the creation of a strong national government, enshrined in a constitution – and they played a major role in deciding the debate between proponents of a federal state, with its government based on central institutions housed in a single capital, and the supporters of states’ rights. The papers’ authors – Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay – believed that centralised government was the only way to knit their newborn country together, while still preserving individual liberties. Closely involved with the politics of the time, they saw a real danger of America splintering, to the detriment of all its citizens. Given the fierce debates of the time, however, Hamilton, Jay and Madison knew they had to persuade the general public by advancing clear, well-structured arguments – and by systematically engaging with opposing points of view. By enshrining checks and balances in a constitution designed to protect individual liberties, they argued, fears that central government would oppress the newly free people of America would be allayed. The constitution that the three men helped forge governs the US to this day, and it remains the oldest written constitution, still in force, anywhere in the world.
The untold story of the founding father’s likely Jewish birth and upbringing—and its revolutionary consequences for understanding him and the nation he fought to create In The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Porwancher debunks a string of myths about the origins of this founding father to arrive at a startling conclusion: Hamilton, in all likelihood, was born and raised Jewish. For more than two centuries, his youth in the Caribbean has remained shrouded in mystery. Hamilton himself wanted it that way, and most biographers have simply assumed he had a Christian boyhood. With a detective’s persistence and a historian’s rigor, Porwancher upends that assumption and revolutionizes our understanding of an American icon. This radical reassessment of Hamilton’s religious upbringing gives us a fresh perspective on both his adult years and the country he helped forge. Although he didn’t identify as a Jew in America, Hamilton cultivated a relationship with the Jewish community that made him unique among the founders. As a lawyer, he advocated for Jewish citizens in court. As a financial visionary, he invigorated sectors of the economy that gave Jews their greatest opportunities. As an alumnus of Columbia, he made his alma mater more welcoming to Jewish people. And his efforts are all the more striking given the pernicious antisemitism of the era. In a new nation torn between democratic promises and discriminatory practices, Hamilton fought for a republic in which Jew and Gentile would stand as equals. By setting Hamilton in the context of his Jewish world for the first time, this fascinating book challenges us to rethink the life and legend of America's most enigmatic founder.
The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton! Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation. "Grand-scale biography at its best—thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book." —David McCullough “A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." —Joseph Ellis Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804. Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans. 9780143034759
From the New York Times bestselling author of Irena’s Children comes a “vivid, compelling, and unputdownable new biography” (Christopher Andersen, #1 New York Times bestselling author) about the extraordinary life and times of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a powerful, unsung hero in America’s early days. Fans fell in love with Eliza Hamilton—Alexander Hamilton’s devoted wife—in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s phenomenal musical Hamilton. But they don’t know her full story. A strong pioneer woman, a loving sister, a caring mother, and in her later years, a generous philanthropist, Eliza had many sides—and this fascinating biography brings her multi-faceted personality to vivid life. This “expertly told story” (Publishers Weekly) follows Eliza through her early years in New York, into the ups and downs of her married life with Alexander, beyond the aftermath of his tragic murder, and finally to her involvement in many projects that cemented her legacy as one of the unsung heroes of our nation’s early days. This captivating account of the woman behind the famous man is perfect for fans of the works of Ron Chernow, Lisa McCubbin, and Nathaniel Philbrick.
A graphic novel biography of the American legend who inspired the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton was one of the most influential figures in United States history—he fought in the Revolutionary War, helped develop the Constitution, and as the first Secretary of the Treasury established landmark economic policy that we still use today. Cut down by a bullet from political rival Aaron Burr, Hamilton has since been immortalized alongside other Founding Fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson—his likeness even appears on the ten-dollar bill. In this fully-illustrated and impeccably researched graphic novel-style history, author Jonathan Hennessey and comic book illustrator Justin Greenwood bring Alexander Hamilton’s world to life, telling the story of this improbable hero who helped shape the United States of America.
Examines how Hamilton's thoughts and experiences about public administration theory and practice have shaped the nation American public administration inherited from Alexander Hamilton a distinct republican framework through which we derive many of our modern governing standards and practices. His administrative theory flowed from his republican vision, prescribing not only the how of administration but also what should be done and why. Administration and policy merged seamlessly in his mind, each conditioning the other. His Anti-Federalist detractors clearly saw this and fought his vision tooth and nail. That conflict endures to this day because Americans still have not settled on just one vision of the American republic. That is why, Richard Green argues, Hamilton is a pivotal figure in our current reckoning. If we want to more fully understand ourselves and our ways of governing today, we must start by understanding Hamilton, and we cannot do that without exploring his administrative theory and practice in depth. Alexander Hamilton's Public Administration considers Hamilton both as a founder of the American republic, steeped in the currents of political philosophy and science of his day, and as its chief administrative theorist and craftsman, deeply involved in establishing the early institutions and policies that would bring his interpretation of the written Constitution to life. Accordingly, this book addresses the complex mix of classical and modern ideas that informed his vision of a modern commercial and administrative republic; the administrative ideas, institutions, and practices that flowed from that vision; and the substantive policies he deemed essential to its realization. Green's analysis grows out of an immersion in Hamilton's extant papers, including reports, letters, pamphlets, and essays. Readers will find a comprehensive explanation of his theoretical contributions and a richly detailed account of his ideas and practices in historical context.