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Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, And The Future Of America Paperback – September 5, 2000
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
However, the reader should be forewarned that the account given to the times of Hamilton and Burr is not (always) balanced. Fleming's open and articulated biases make it hard for the reader to accept "Duel" as an "objective" piece of history.
With that said, there are some real gems to be found in this book. Fleming's account of the genesis and execution of the Sedition Act is incredible. Also of great worth was Fleming's account of Hamilton's libel appeal before New York State's highest court. Until that time, TRUTH could not be asserted as a defense in a libel prosecution. Fleming illuminates this with great detail.
Many reviewers find sympathy with Aaron Burr, who has commonly been portrayed as a villain. Fleming does a lot of heavy lifting to rehabilitating Burr's historical character, but Fleming also leaves some of Burr's deceit intact (Burr's dreams of ruling a Western Empire).
What I find curious is that many reviewers felt little sympathy for Alexander Hamilton. While it is true that Fleming's account does portray Hamilton as a washed-up Federalist, it is important to note that (generally) ANY Federalist after 1800 was a washed-up Federalist. The Federalist fall after 1800 was sudden and complete. Fleming portrays Hamilton as having many admirable qualities (i.e. intelligence, diligence, a desire to re-invent himself - at least religiously, etc.)
The real villainry in Fleming's work is reserved for Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is the mythical "Founding Father" that takes the hardest (deserved?) fall.
All in all, "Duel" is an engaging read and highly recommended - even with its apparent drawbacks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read Lomask, Vidal, Chernow and Matthew Davis' collected Burr letters before reading Fleming and I have to say he really gets to
the heart of the matter right near the... Read more
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