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Founding Federalist: The Life of Oliver Ellsworth (Lives of the Founders) Hardcover – July 20, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael C. Toth holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia. He has served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and a staffer for White House budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. He lives in Miami, where he is clerking for U.S. District Court judge Ursula Ungaro

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Product Details

  • Series: Lives of the Founders
  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st Edition edition (July 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935191160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935191162
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,645,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well written and researched biography on a founding era jurist & politician who deserves more attention than he receives. in this 242 page book, Mr. Toth explores the factors that develop the philosophy of government which Oliver Ellsworth applies as a: judge, constitutional convention delegate, senator and diplomatic envoy.

The book is very readable and well documented with end-notes and an extensive index, both of which work very conveniently in the kindle format.

Mr. Toth seems not to have begun with a pre-conceived position for his subject and therefore he does not allow contemporary politics or religion to shape the portrait of Mr. Ellsworth that he presents. Toth does present an alternate school of thought as he describes James Madison Jr.'s place in history, "... it may be more accurate to say that Hamilton and Madison are the fathers of the convention, not the constitution itself"; and further, "the Constitution that came from the Convention did not ultimately resemble the plans that Madison and Hamilton favored in Philadelphia." The reader feels as if Madison's greatness must somehow be diminished in order to provide Mr. Ellsworth his due.

In his description of Mr. Ellsworth's position on slavery, author Toth nudges close to the biographer's classic failing... "falling in love with his subject". Despite Ellsworth's letter to his wife on the topic of acquiring a young slave girl, Toth quickly points out (excuses?) that the letter did not indicate support for slavery. From the book the reader can fairly come away with Ellsworth's views on slavery as somewhat ambivalent - though Ellsworth was certainly no participant in the new nation's, "peculiar institution".

Mr. Ellsworth's contribution to the Constitution is presented in welcome detail.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is about the forgotten founder Oliver Ellsworth. It details his life and work for his country. The book is a good broad overview in a short space but sometimes can be a little hard moving through.
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By avidreader on March 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Isn't that the question you ask when you read the name Oliver Ellsworth? Unfortunatel we too often focus on a select few founding fathers and almost forget there were a lot of them that risked their lives to get independence and start the new nation.\Toth gives us a fascinating story about Ellsworth and the bbook has given me more impetus to learn about the other less known founding fathers
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We are related (have proved it generation by generation) to Oliver Ellsworth. Therefore, it is great having this book about his life, fantastic career, and impact on America as a founding father.
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