To judge by many standard histories, the revolutionary founders of the United States came equipped with wings and haloes. They were anything but saintly, however; their behavior, public and private, was often scandalous. One of the most outrageous men of the day was Alexander Hamilton, the Federalist leader and architect of the American banking and judiciary systems, whose amorous exploits and political maneuverings alike were the stuff of legend. Tangled in a succession of failed business ventures and personal intrigues, and convinced that the might of the United States should not be hampered by such inconveniences as checks and balances, Hamilton fell afoul of just about everyone he encountered in his quest for influence and wealth.
To his eventual misfortune, one of those he crossed was Thomas Jefferson's vice president, Aaron Burr. Many histories of their tangled relationship personalize their differences, and, to be sure, they disliked each other with splendid fervor. Thomas Fleming's contribution to the often-told tale is to ground the Hamilton-Burr rivalry in the politics of the day--a politics complicated by many contending ideological factions, powerful interest groups, and lobbyists. Writing with vigor and clarity, Fleming points to the clay feet on which Hamilton and Burr marched to their sad destiny, and he crafts an exceptionally interesting portrait of the early Republic. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A hero of the Revolution, Aaron Burr served as vice-president under Jefferson and is rumored to have been the biological father of Martin Van Buren. Nevertheless, Burr remains best known as the slayer of Alexander Hamilton in 1804, and for afterwards conspiring to create his own empire in the Southern United States and Mexico. He is by far the darkest character in the generation of American founders and has been the object of complex portraits in such novels as Gore Vidal's Burr and Anya Seton's My Theodosia. Fleming (Liberty! The American Revolution) dives deep into the causes and aftermath of Burr's duel with Hamilton on the banks of the Hudson at Weehawken, showing that, while not an innocent, Burr was no more guilty than Hamilton in provoking the exchange. Fleming's account is most useful when he scrutinizes the correspondence that passed between the two as their quarrel came to a head, an argument that erupted when dinner-table criticisms of Burr, which Hamilton thought private, wound up being published. Where Hamilton could on several occasions have easily extricated himself from the disagreement, he instead chose to escalate the rhetoric and thereby sealed his fate. Burr remains guilty of being the quicker shot. Fleming adds no new material to the conflict but does a good job of telling a good story. The subtitle, however, is misleading, for Fleming never clarifies how the duel affected the future of America, other than expressing the obvious: that it ensured that neither man would ever be president. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Were happy with it you learn a hole new vocabulary. it is a good book so far I haven't finished it yet.Published on January 16, 2013 by Nathan
Thomas Fleming presents this historic event during the early and formative years of the American Republik with extraordinary depths, great historic knowledge, research of... Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by Paul Schnizler
Thomas Fleming is a prolific author who is expert in the American Revolution and early American history. Read morePublished on May 27, 2012 by C. M Mills
After reading "The Duel" by Tom Fleming, I am convinced that Alexander Hamilton's life was wasted by dueling Arron Burr. Read morePublished on January 21, 2012 by Stephen Tuers
In trying to explain why the duel took place this book provides extensive background information on the life of Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton and the national and New York... Read morePublished on August 14, 2011 by Metallurgist
The book is well written (though a few editing errors within), and reads fast. A lot of books detail the duel, or detail the life of Hamilton, but this is one of the rare ones that... Read morePublished on December 30, 2010 by teach99
This book is more about the gubernatorial election than the duel. Of course the election is important as context for the duel. Read morePublished on April 13, 2010 by ProgSociologist
David McCullough's book, John Adams, and the HBO special based upon it, sets the stage for this fascinating book. Read morePublished on October 30, 2008 by C. D. Shafer
This is a very exciting, fast-paced narrative that details the rivalry between Hamilton and Burr for control of the Federalist Party during the early days of the American... Read morePublished on May 24, 2008 by Brian Lewis