Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Cecile McLorin Salvant $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Now Deal of the Day
Hamilton's Curse and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $1.55
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today Hardcover – October 21, 2008

89 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$24.50 $9.08

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; 1 edition (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307382842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307382849
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is the author of The Real Lincoln and How Capitalism Saved America. A professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Barron's, and many other publications. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

183 of 220 people found the following review helpful By Jason Seagraves VINE VOICE on October 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In Hamilton's Curse, author Dr. Thomas J. DiLorenzo traces the roots of America's economic and political systems to the first secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. We are truly living in "Hamilton's Republic," says Dr. DiLorenzo -- but this is far from a good thing.

While it is Thomas Jefferson's face that graces Mount Rushmore, and tremendous lip service is paid to his greatness as a political thinker and president, in reality, Jefferson's ideas have been entirely marginalized, while those of his arch rival Hamilton now form the backbone of the American political establishment. The Revolution of 1776 was a Jeffersonian Revolution to throw off the yoke of British mercantilist imperialism and install it its place a voluntary union of free and independent states. Hamilton and his acolytes, however -- no matter how bravely and earnestly they fought against the Red Coats -- wanted to import British mercantilism to America with the U.S. aristocracy (Hamilton and his Federalist buddies) on the receiving end of the mercantilist spoils system. In fact, DiLorenzo argues that the Constitution itself was a virtual coup against the free republic of the Articles of Confederation for the purpose of increasing the authority of the central government -- key to Hamilton's plans.

But Hamilton couldn't create the unitary nationalist government in one fell swoop. Indeed, his plans to install a permanent president -- an American king -- with the power to appoint state governors and veto state legislation failed miserably. But as soon as the Constitution was ratified, Hamilton (who argued the pseudo-Jeffersonian case for its ratification in the Federalist Papers) set about subverting it. It was Hamilton who invented the concept of "implied powers.
Read more ›
16 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
45 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Jim Wilder on February 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
is to show the effects of ideas upon society. DiLorenzo's book compares the ideas of Alexander Hamilton with those of Thomas Jefferson, and shows how the effects of Hamilton's ideas have triumphed through to the present. DiLorenzo convincingly describes how the US is a Hamiltonian state, meaning it's highly centralized, with a politicized monetary system, an aggressive and powerful tax collection system, and a judicial monarchy of unelected, life-appointed lawyers that historically have not acted as a check on legislative and executive powers. The author points out from 1937 to 1995 the Supreme Court has not ruled any federal legislation to be unconstitutional. DiLorenzo states that "...any reasonabley clever lawyer can dream up myriad hypothetical situations to justify virtually any kind of government action." Pg. 179.

DiLorenzo is extremely conservative in his political and economic views, if conservative means limited government. He states "Hamilton was the godfather of economic interventionism and big government." The author explains why both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum are enamored with Hamilton's views, and why it is ironic that Hamilton's influence is most appreciated by conservatives. Hamilton believed in the partnership of businesses and government. The author makes a case that economic instability is a consequence of Hamilton's policies of centralization and taxation, and believes the central banking Federal Reserve is detrimental to stability, especially with the lack of backing of `specie' (gold or other hard assets). This point is also asserted by Murray Rothbard in "What Has the Government Done With Our Money?"
DiLorenzo wryly observes it's fitting that Hamilton's statue is in the front of the US Treasury Department.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
60 of 76 people found the following review helpful By terry on November 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
DiLorenzo has made a difficult subject readable. It is an American political economic history covering a period from the Ratification Debates to the present. It is told from the contrasting viewpoints of Jefferson and Hamilton, as to the political system which the secession from England was meant to create.

For me, it covered new ground and reinterpreted well some ground I thought I had understood. It is both chronological and topical history. The author's use of original and secondary sources added to its value. All of which made it a fruitful present exercise and a tool for future reference.

As has been noted by other reviewers, it has special present circumstance value. National Bank/Federal Reserve Bank is the pivot point of today's rational pessimism. And it is the legacy of Alexander Hamilton. Greed comes with human seed; Hamilton's ideology centralized it.

I suppose, in the dark history of "democracy" and its variants, one could have drawn the baseline with Solon or Pericles. However, in the uniquely American variant of a "democratic" social contract, it is Hamilton's legacy that needs scrutiny. And DiLorenzo delivered such fully.

Whether it is the Supreme Court, The Fed, regulatory practices, the income tax, direct election of Senators, protectionism, or standing armies, Hamilton is the genesis. Our "Great Experiment" had a frightful beginning, a precarious middle and, obviously, might have an oligarchic end. We had a chance to design a system based on Jefferson's theories, but we have chosen otherwise. Perhaps we're cursed by Hamilton.

Robert Higgs, one of the many fine writers referenced in this book, asked himself in print recently: have we been led by fools or mountebanks? He answered: yes! And in reading this great book, I thought often that Hamilton might be both.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews