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Founding Federalist: The Life of Oliver Ellsworth (Lives of the Founders) Hardcover – July 20, 2011
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›