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Jan Ellen LewisA wonderful blend of history and literary studies, The Founding Fathers and the Politics of Character is a polished and significant work. Trees focuses upon perhaps the most pressing problem of politics in the 1790s: How men steeped in eighteenth-century thought, which disparaged popular politics, could find a place for themselves in the increasingly democratic political world that they themselves had brought into being. It is impossible for me to describe adequately the elegance with which Trees has written this work. While its chief contribution is to enhance our understanding of the politics and political thought of the 1790s, the book is also an extended essay on the problem of character in American politics. This, of course, is a problem of continuing interest.
— Jan Ellen Lewis, Rutgers University, Newark