Fundamental Questions about Founding Fathers?

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Fundamental Questions about Founding Fathers?

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aug 7, 2012, 11:54 am

Having recently read John Adams by McCullough, I am interested in reading more about the character of several characters. Specifically:

Was Alexander Hamilton really that much of a ba$tard? (no pun intended)
Was Jefferson a dandy?
Was Franklin really clueless about the spies under his own roof in France?

aug 26, 2012, 9:21 pm

I am currently reading John Hancock: Merchant King and American Patriot by Harlow Giles Unger. It is excellent and I intend to read more of his biographies on the founding fathers. You might want to check out his series and see if it helps.

Personally, I also want to learn more about Hamilton to get a better understanding of his views on the size of government. People say he was pro federal government, but I think things are all relative. For Jefferson, you could also check out the Monitcello website which gives you a great deal of info on how he lived. I don't know that he was so much of a dandy as incredibly influenced by the French.

The guy I want to learn more about is Sam Adams. Unger prtrays him as a outright thug, not exactly what most people see him as today. (He looks so serene on the beer bottle label!)


Redigerat: aug 27, 2012, 8:02 am

That is not Sam Adams on the beer bottle. Sam was a very homely man and they decided that picturing him would not be beneficial to selling beer. At least that is the way I heard it.

Edited to add something on topic.

You might want to take a look at two men I call the forgotten founding fathers, Benjamin Rush and Thomas Paine.

aug 27, 2012, 4:12 pm

Read Chernow's book on Hamilton and it was outstanding. This is a very good read if you are interested in early founders. Hamilton served in the Continental Army for almost the whole war, likely the most successful Secretary of Treasury in U.S. history and his relationship with George Washington and other founders is fascinating.

aug 28, 2012, 2:16 pm

2; I read Unger's "American Tempest: How The Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution" and I really enjoyed it. (Being in the habit of reading at least two books on the same topic consecutively, I also read Benjamin Carp, "Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America". And I liked that one more...) I have Unger's work on Hancock (as well as his work on Lafayette, another recent topic of my reading). I will read Merchant King. Thanks!

aug 28, 2012, 2:20 pm

4: Have you read any other works on Hamilton? Does he get fair treatment? Did you find that Chernow idolized him? I haven't yet read Chernow's bio on Hamilton, though it is sitting on my shelf, and I hope to get to it this fall. I respect McCullough's writing quite a bit, and he pretty much pulled no punches against Hamilton.

sep 11, 2012, 1:01 pm

purdylm...while I have not read any other books on Hamilton, I thought Chernow was fair. Chernow highlighted Hamilton's brillance and his warts. The last 100 pages is pretty brutal against Hamilton. However, Hamilton's service in the Army and as Secretary of the Treasury was outstanding. French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, wrote, "I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton". This quote describes Hamilton's work as the U.S. first Secretary of Tresury.