A spellbinding history of the epic rivalry that shaped our republic: Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and their competing visions for America.From the award-winning author of Almost a Miracle and The Ascent of George Washington, this is the rare work of scholarship that offers us irresistible human drama even as it enriches our understanding of deep themes in our nation's history.
The decade of the 1790s has been called the age of passion. Fervor ran high as rival factions battled over the course of the new republic - each side convinced that the others' goals would betray the legacy of the Revolution so recently fought and so dearly won. All understood as well that what was at stake was not a moment's political advantage, but the future course of the American experiment in democracy. In this epochal debate, no two figures loomed larger than Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
Both men were visionaries, but their visions of what the United States should be were diametrically opposed. Jefferson, a true revolutionary, believed passionately in individual liberty and a more egalitarian society, with a weak central government and greater powers for the states. Hamilton, a brilliant organizer and tactician, feared chaos and social disorder. He sought to build a powerful national government that could ensure the young nation's security and drive it toward economic greatness.
Jefferson and Hamilton is the story of the fierce struggles - both public and, ultimately, bitterly personal - between these two titans. It ended only with the death of Hamilton in a pistol duel, felled by Aaron Burr, Jefferson's vice president. Their competing legacies, like the twin strands of DNA, continue to shape our country to this day. Their personalities, their passions, and their bold dreams for America leap from the page in this epic new work from one of our finest historians.
©2013 John Ferling (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I greatly enjoyed this insight into the great rivalry of two of our founding fathers. The narrative drives forward in parallel for both men, from birth and early years through to death, which provides a convenient comparison of the events that formed them. I found myself gaining greater understanding of, and pehaps acceptance of, the chaos of today's politics. It's clear that the strongly opposed perspectives of both men were foundational in the creation of America's successful future.
one would think, listening to this book, that Hamilton's only virtue was hard work, and Jefferson's vice was just his racism. by no means an unbiased look at the men
I thought the book was outstanding with interesting details and great insights. The narrator was very difficult to listen to and I had to speed it up to 1.5xnormal speed because he was so slow.
Reformed Lawyer in the People's Republic of California
But for the author's preposterous political "conclusions" interposed from time to time throughout the book, the overall story was well written and fascinating. It was astonishing and laughable to hear the author torture his own expositions to fit his statist bias! Accordingly, prepare yourself to hear the author's ignorant conclusions drawn from thin air and posited in complete opposition to the facts you had just heard in the author's preceding narrative. Thankfully, his silly comments were only occasional -- although the anticipation of his next supercilious remark was distracting. Ignoring the author's compulsion to spin the story and to offer his topsy-turvy understanding of the "Left's" vs. "Right's" worldview (a sense of humor will help with that), the book was enjoyable to listen to. Just reverse most of the author's editorial opinions and you will be on the historically correct track to get on with the story!
Yes, It's very interesting to see their political philosophies and how they compare to our political parties today.
The story of the Aaron Burr and Hamilton Duel. Little facts that you never learn in school about this gripping moment in American political history.
No, this one was my first one.
No, this book never brought an extreme emotion. But you could not help but to feel sorry for both of them at different parts of their lives.
Great book. Politicians today should take a look at these two. Very interesting.
No. This is, at best, a book that highlights Thomas Jefferson's accomplishments fairly well but glosses over the less "family friendly" aspects of his life and is dismissive of criticisms. While it would take more time, it would be much better to read biographies of the two men instead of reading this book.
Consistently disparaging of Alexander Hamilton and degrading to his work in founding the United States of America, a book that could have been a highlight of two of the greatest minds and vigorous champions of democracy instead became an opportunity for the author to wax poetic about Thomas Jefferson.
If you want to read a moderately detailed historical account of two men's lives that happened to have an impact on the United States of America, this is the book for you. Lacking the depth of great biographies on the two subjects, it fails to become an excellent study of the two men. Similarly, the bias of the author, which he notes before he dives into the book, is pervasive and consistently poisons the experience of the book. Whether dismissive of criticisms of Jefferson or stating conjecture to stir up ire against Hamilton ("If we assume that..." "While not true, we can't help but wonder...."), this book struggles to get past the prejudice of the author.
It is a shame, because the concept of these two men's competing ideas shaping a nation is truly compelling.
A more balanced approach to the subject matter and not liked his personal biases come through his writing so strong
No his subjects better take a closer look at Jefferson's accomplishments and his positions on slavery, starting back when he was a youth and especially some of the things he tried to do in the house of Burgess. It seemed to me like he used the social excepted position on Jefferson slavery attitude
I have no problem with the narrator
The book was so one-sided the only thing of value that I got from the book was a better understanding of Hamilton's place as the founding father
I could not recommend this book to anyone buy
He jumped to conclusions in which Washington, Hamilton, and Jefferson's own writing contradicted in other biographies.
Never, his pronunciation was absurd and his pace and tenor were often painful to listen to. I forced myself to finish the book to see if there was any value.
Occasionally, it had writings from Hamilton or Jefferson that weren't in other biographies I have read about them.
I considered returning the book the first day due to the narration. However, I stuck with it. I considered returning the book everyday after due to the author. However, I stuck with it. Unfortunately, I consider the experience a waste of time because the author jumps to conclusions that did not match what was written in their own words regarding Hamilton, Washington, and Jefferson. I would have dismissed this as many biographies are prejudicial towards the subject. However, when I cross referenced themes and specific comments of the three founders mentioned above; Ferling reached conclusions that were clearly of base. If you haven't read the biographies of the founders mentioned here this book will leave you with several gaps and misrepresentations of their history, with just enough new truths to make it believable - if it were more interesting it could have been a Dan Brown Novel.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Charles Slack's Liberty's First Crisis to get a great picture of the fight between big government Federalists versus the individual-rights Republicans. You will be amazed at how timely both books are.
Overall I enjoyed the book and agree with central premise that our nation was formed more by the competition of Hamilton and Jefferson's ideas than it was by their individual accomplishments. What made the book so frustrating was the absolute and unrelenting bias toward Jefferson. He makes a lot of great points and really made me rethink some of my views of Hamilton and Jefferson, but those points were lessened because history is opaque as to people's motives and where their is gray, the author gives every ill motive to Hamilton and every pure motive to Jefferson. I learned a great deal and the book was worth reading but was far less enjoyable than it could have been without the bias.
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