The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America's Most Elusive Founding Father

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Revolutionary War officer, co-author of the Federalist Papers, our first Treasury Secretary, Thomas Jefferson’s nemesis, and victim of a fatal duel with Aaron Burr: Alexander Hamilton has been the focus of debate from his day to ours. On the one hand, Hamilton was the quintessential Founding Father, playing a central role in every key debate and event in the Revolutionary and Early Republic eras. On the other hand, he has received far less popular and scholarly attention than his brethren. Who was he really and what is his legacy?

Scholars have long disagreed. Was Hamilton a closet monarchist or a sincere republican? A victim of partisan politics or one of its most active promoters? A lackey for British interests or a foreign policy mastermind? The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton addresses these and other perennial questions. Leading Hamilton scholars, both historians and political scientists alike, present fresh evidence and new, sometimes competing, interpretations of the man, his thought, and the legacy he has had on America and the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Talleyrand, who was acquainted with all of the statesmen of Europe, once remarked that he had never encountered anyone ‘equal to Alexander Hamilton.’ Hamilton may, in fact, have been the greatest of the American Founding Fathers. He was certainly one of the most important. Despite this, he has rarely been given his due. This superb collection of essays goes a considerable distance towards redressing the balance and towards restoring an American statesman to the central place that he occupied in his own time.”
-Paul A. Rahe,author of Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution

“Here are many fresh thoughts by many of the most innovative scholars at work on Alexander Hamilton today. Every student of the new republic and many general readers who are captivated by the subject will want to read this volume.”
-Lance Banning,author of Conceived in Liberty: The Struggle to Define the New Republic, 1789-1793

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814707241
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert W. T. Martin is associate professor of government at Hamilton College and author of The Free and Open Press (NYU Press, 2001).

Douglas Ambrose is Sidney Wertimer, Jr. associate professor of history at Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York. He is the author of Henry Hughes and Proslavery Thought in the Old South.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Life and Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton
Douglas Ambrose
Part I: The Contest with Jefferson
2 “Opposed in Death as in Life”: Hamilton and Jefferson in American Memory
Stephen Knott
3 The Hamiltonian Invention of Thomas Jefferson
Robert M. S. McDonald
4 Alexander Hamilton’s View of Thomas Jefferson’s Ideology and Character
James H. Read
Part II: Hamilton’s Republicanism
5 Reforming Republicanism: Alexander Hamilton’s Theory of Republican Citizenship and Press Liberty
Robert W. T. Martin
6 Understanding the Confusing Role of Virtue in The Federalist: The Rhetorical Demands of Two Audiences
Barry Alan Shain
7 Madison versus Hamilton: The Battle over Republicanism and the Role of Public Opinion
Colleen A. Sheehan
Part III: Hamilton’s Legacies
8 Alexander Hamilton and the 1790s Economy: A Reappraisal
Carey Roberts
9 Hamilton and Haiti
Daniel G. Lang
10 Hamilton, Croly, and American Public Philosophy
Peter McNamara
11 Epilogue: Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, and the Spirit of Capitalism
John Patrick Diggins

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