Ron Chernow Message Board
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the posters.
troy hubben posts on 11/18/2005 4:38:05 AM
i beleive this book is intirely inapropirate the terms 'nigger' and 'coon offend my people. beside this fault i enjoyed your work j.k rowling.
cajuninca posts on 11/18/2005 2:37:35 AM
Ron Chernow's book about Alexander Hamilton perpetuates the insidious, long-standing propaganda that the Founders started the two-party system and essentially surrendered to its inevitability before they died. Nothing could be further from the truth.
One could be inclined to excuse Chernow's misrepresentations as ignorant regurgitations of basically a business/financial historian. Other luminary historians (like Richard Hofstadter) similarly quote the disgust the Founders had for party and then misrepresent those writings to suggest an acquiesence to the inevitable onslaught of party ... rather than the sincere distaste for an institution they felt would be the ruin of the brilliant governmental structures they created.
It is interesting that in one reference to this book, a website recommends as similar reading Kenneth Ackerman's book about Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall infamy, who said, in essence, it mattered little who gets to vote as long as he (Tweed) decides who gets to run for office. That is the corrupt, controlling two-party system we have in a nutshell.
The Founders despised the concept of party. They truly felt that, despite it being a recognizable and natural leaning of human nature, coagulations of political parties in such ways was antithetical to the idea of the republic they created. They NEVER surrendered to it.
Were the Founders divided into two ideological camps? Yes, but there was no disciplining of members as modern parties do. They did not control elections as modern parties do, essentially locking out any moderate voices in the population.
The American populace is largely moderate (and increasingly registering non-partisan). Read Culture War, a book that exposes the fact that the only red/blue divide, the only sharply divided institution in our country, is represented by the party politicians.
J Logan posts on 4/20/2005 12:41:34 AM
Just finished "Alexander Hamilton." What a compelling read. I learned more American history from this biography than years of high school and college. It was so well documented yet not in a dry, academic way such that it has led me to seek similar biographies about other founding fathers; although the standard has been set so high the current book about Benjamin Franklin seems woefully lacking by comparison. I'm afraid I have been spoiled.