Tom Brokaw labeled the World War II generation the "Greatest Generation," but he was wrong. That honor belongs to the Founders--the men who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the cause of liberty and independence, and who established the United States. This was a generation without equal, and it deserves to be rescued from the politically correct textbooks, teachers, and professors who want to dismiss the Founders as a cadre of dead, white, sexist, slave-holding males.
Now, a clear-sighted conservative historian, Dr. Brion McClanahan, does just that. In The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, he profiles Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, and other important Founders; traces the key issues of the day and shows how they dealt with them; and in the process details the Founders' deep faith, commitment to the cause of independence, impeccable character, and visionary political ideals.
Even better, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers proves that the Founders had a better understanding of the problems we face today than do our own hopelessly liberal and painfully self-serving members of Congress. McClanahan shows that if you want real and relevant insights into the issues of banking, war powers, executive authority, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, states' rights, gun control, judicial activism, trade, and taxes, you'd be better served reading the Founders than you would be watching congressional debates on C-SPAN or reading the New York Times.
That makes The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers much more than simply a restoration of a bit of our patrimony, reconnecting us with the greatest political thinkers in our history--as urgently needed as that is. McClanahan shows that it was from their debates--and their bedrock conservative principles--that we secured our liberty. He argues that only by understanding their principles will we be able to keep the freedom that Americans have cherished for generations. That makes this a vital guide to restoring a sane, sober, Constitutional sense of responsibility to today's public debates.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Part I Myths, Realities, and the Issues of the Founding Generation
Chapter 1 The Myths 9
Myth: The Founding generation created a democracy
Myth: The Founding Fathers really believed everyone was equal
Myth: Slavery was a sin of the Southern founders
Myth: Paul Revere single-handedly warned the Boston countryside of the impending British invasion
Myth: Benjamin Franklin had thirteen to eighty illegitimate children!
Myth: Thomas Jefferson kept a concubine slave and fathered children with her!
Myth: Washington had an affair with his neighbor's wife!
Myth: Alexander Hamilton had a gay lover!
Chapter 2 A Conservative Revolution 29
The Declaration of Independence
Who's sovereign now?
"Experience must be our only guide"
"The public mind... is extremely uneasy at the proposed change of government"
Chapter 3 The Issues 49
Give me back my gun!
A godless society?
The states (and the people) are sovereign
A limited executive
Abolish the Fed!
A "president's" war?
"No Taxation without Representation!"
Who said that's unconstitutional?
John Adams is a war-mongering scoundrel!
Give me my welfare!
Part II The Men The Big Six
Chapter 4 George Washington 89
The first American hero
The last years
The Washington effect
Chapter 5 Thomas Jefferson 109
Diplomat and secretary of state
Retirement and vice president
The Jeffersonian tradition
Chapter 6 John Adams 127
The insecure president
Chapter 7 James Madison 141
"Father of the Constitution"
The Federal career
Death and legacy
Chapter 8 Alexander Hamilton 157
The best government the country will permit
Secretary of the Treasury
Retirement and duel
Chapter 9 Benjamin Franklin 173
The man in the fur cap
The grandfather of the Republic
The Forgotten Founders
Chapter 10 Samuel Adams 187
Chapter 11 Charles Carroll of Carrollton 199
Chapter 12 George Clinton 209
Vice President Clinton
A states' rights patriot
Chapter 13 John Dickinson 219
"Penman of the Revolution"
Chapter 14 Elbridge Gerry 229
The "self-serving" politician?
Gerry vs. Mason
Chapter 15 John Hancock 239
"Treasonous" John Hancock
Chapter 16 Patrick Henry 249
Chapter 17 Richard Henry Lee 259
Those who love liberty
Chapter 18 Nathaniel Macon 267
The Republican of Buck Spring
Chapter 19 Francis Marion 275
The Swamp Fox
The politically incorrect soldier
Chapter 20 John Marshall 285
The architect of big government
Chapter 21 George Mason 297
The "retired" revolutionary
"Objections to the Federal Constitution"
Chapter 22 Roger Sherman 309
The Connecticut Compromise
Chapter 23 John Taylor of Caroline 319
Conclusion: What the Founding Fathers Would Do 329
What People are Saying About This
"Brion McClanahan's bang-up new book gives us the Founding Fathers as they really were, providing what intelligent readers of history want: the plain truth. In short, the men who made the USA deserve our admiration, and McClanahan's fascinating account shows just why."--(Dr. Kevin Gutzman, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution)
"Brion McClanahan does far more than merely rehabilitate the Founders. In his devastating and relentless presentation, he reminds us, on one issue after another, how utterly opposed they were to what has since become fashionable opinion. Here's the stuff our competent historians know but would rather you didn't."--(Dr. Thomas Woods, author of New York Times bestsellers Meltdown and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History)
"Our American Founding Fathers were the leaders in the creation of a unique and noble experiment in liberty and self-government. The passage of time, the misunderstandings of superficial commentators, and misrepresentations by those pushing agendas incompatible with the Founders' wisdom, have hidden and distorted our real history. Dr. Brion McClanahan, one of the ablest of younger historians, has gone a long way toward uncovering who the Founders were and what they really intended."--(Dr. Clyde Wilson, Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina and Editor of the John C. Calhoun Papers)
"The American history profession ignores or denigrates our founding fathers because they were champions of liberty and feared Big Government. Brion McClanahan's Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers sets the record straight and revives the true history of these great men. Every student-and teacher-in America needs to read this book."--(Dr. Tom DiLorenzo, author of Hamilton's Curse)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an amazingly enlightening book reminding us of what our Founders really did and meant for us to follow. Some things I had forgotten and some I never knew. This book should be required reading in all of our schools for students to really understand who these people were and what it really meant to be here in the beginning of this great Nation of ours. These are true Patriots. It also shows us how little has changed in the "politics" involved in governing. Perhaps reading this book will light a torch illuminating our great Constitution once again and bringing us back to small government and states rights as it was and as it should be.
Finally no more lies
Well written and comprehensible.
This book should replace the current History Books in Public Schools.
Learn the things they won't teach you in school and some of the things your elected officials hope you never learn about how our founding fathers felt the country should really be run. The book contains good references to additional books for those who want to dig deeper on certain topics. As a historical re-enactor and history buff I found excellent discussions and quotes I can use to engage the public that I encounterm who are too often misguieded or under educated on the policies and beliefs our country was founeded on.
This is a book that deals with the founding of America, and with about 20 of the founding fathers. It is does not go into great detail on anything, but it does provide a good, albeit brief, overview of many of the founding fathers. This book is easy to read, and is informative. I would highly reccomend this book to anyone interested in the founding generation.
When I saw ¿Politically Incorrect¿ I guess I was thinking along the lines of, ironically, the type of writing about our predecessors that Mcclanahan promptly denounces. The introduction begins by setting this up as a similar response to useless history textbooks and the resultant murky knowledge amongst our fellow citizens as covered by, say, James Loewen. Then the author immediately criticizes Loewen and others as examples of the leftist, revisionist scholarship that his book is conceived of as an antidote to. That is, in addition to some decent writing about the various founders, there¿s quite the conservative agenda here. Much of the content is well written and I feel of interest to anyone desiring a primer about the guys behind all those important documents and Mcclanahan¿s interpretation of their intentions is likely spot on. Where this deteriorates, however, is with his constant pontifications about how everything that defines the US government these days ¿ mammoth centralized government, welfare state-esque policies, gun control, and other pre-packaged conservative gripes ¿ would prove anathema to our predecessors¿ intent if they were exhumed tomorrow. Perhaps he¿s correct (he includes any number of well-positioned quotes that came from somewhere though it¿s often difficult to determine from what context) but it comes off like so many flippant, incongruous insertions. Personally I¿m not going defend our massive, often dysfunctional federal government and the resultant off-putting tax burdens supplementing behemoth corporations and hardly anyone else. Certainly if a coach-and-four pulls up to 2009 and drops off Jefferson in his best wig, the ex-Pres would be quite bewildered and perturbed with all this dysfunction as well. Obviously President Three would also express little more than complete befuddlement in the face of the innumerable transformations that have taken place since the Industrial Revolution. He would no doubt raise an eyebrow when the President 43 (and 44) ships thousands of troops off to the Middle East, but then he¿d see some national embarrassment like Dancing With the Stars and wonder why we¿re not exiling all those people to Afghanistan! Perhaps gun control would strike him as unconstitutional, but an hour with You Tube might convince him that some people just shouldn¿t pack heat. As intelligent and well read (in Greek Classics, Ye Olde English Law, and the like) as these gentlemen were ¿ and certainly one could argue for a few timeless principals in political theory ¿ the discussions and debates they had back in the day seem a bit quaint don¿t they? At the very least, Jefferson¿s isolationist, agrarian-gentlemen-farmer-sporting-a-love/hate-relationship-with-slavery ideal for each US citizen would have to be pretty damn elastic in regards to the 294 trillion transformations that have impacted our country since 1826.In contrast, I recently read the aforementioned Loewen¿s Lies My Teacher Told Me and didn¿t necessarily think his writing was from some resentful, leftist, anti-patriotic standpoint. It was merely an attempt to position these founders as real people that made occasional mistakes so A) every single real human that reads only the canned textbook crap doesn¿t feel eternally inferior to the flawless, epic heroes presented by some of these ¿histories¿ and/or B) current students know these founders even existed as many post-sixties texts purge out an Alexander Hamilton completely to make room for three pages on Helen Keller (while then further purging all controversial aspects of her political activism) and/or C) the current student might find some of these histories interesting instead of simply rote, test-prep trash revolving around the memorization of key dates and titles (such as his example of college freshman understanding Keller as an inspirational hero without knowing a damn thing about anything she did post-Radcliffe). This is Loewen¿s agenda and I think it¿s much more signi
Very good companion book for teaching history. I think that school libraries should have it. I also give the same recommendation for the rest of the series.
Brion McClanahan clearly knows his stuff. Unfortunately he offers very little in the way of startling new information. Marketing P.I.G as a book that provides information that competent historians would rather you didn't know is a provocative yet very misleading claim. The book reads more like a bad version of Monarch notes.