Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, America’s most storied Founding Fathers, shared a complex and, at times, contentious personal relationship. Three early American historians reveal the complicated story of these iconic statesmen who, though never true friends, worked together tirelessly to establish the Nation.
When the Constitution was being drafted, James Madison—a congressman, intellectual, and politician extraordinaire—was initially skeptical that a “Bill of Rights” was necessary. But by 1789, after being lobbied by his dearest friend Thomas Jefferson, Madison was determined to include it. Celebrated historian Richard Brookhiser recounts the “Father of the Constitution’s” evolution and how, after a hot summer of arguing and bargaining, he persuaded Congress to agree.
Abraham Lincoln sought guidance in all aspects of his life from the Founding Fathers, including politics, humor, poetry, and leadership. From them, he ultimately derived a vision of America that became instrumental in his handling of the Civil War and the question of slavery. Richard Brookhiser traces the trajectory of Lincoln’s career and private life and shows how, like Lincoln, we can engage with the Founders.
What distinguishing factors made the American Revolution the only enduring successful revolution? Myron Magnet’s lively biographies—spanning eighty years from the first seeds of revolution all the way to the firmly established new republic—question what kind of America the Founding Fathers sought to create. Mr. Magnet draws on the lives of Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, John Jay, the Lees of Stratford Hall, and others, and examines how these accomplished men united as one to achieve an historical feat.
Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman were two of the most famous — and some might say infamous — generals of the American Civil War. Two historians gather to discuss the lives, careers, and complicated legacies of Grant and Sherman.
America’s written Constitution proclaims itself “the supreme Law of the Land,” but it only begins to map out the basic ground rules governing modern America. “Bill of Rights” and the phrases “separation of powers,” “checks and balances” and “the rule of law” are absent, yet these concepts are all part of America’s working constitutional system—part of America’s unwritten Constitution.