The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America

Winston Groom. National Geographic, $30 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4262-2149-1
Historian and novelist Groom (The Allies) delivers an entertaining group portrait of founding fathers Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams and their disputes over how to balance federal and state power in the American system of government. Groom’s colorful and evenhanded presentation highlights Adams’s irritability and intelligence, Hamilton’s idealistic streak and tendency toward pomposity, and Jefferson’s habit of envisioning himself as a man of the people, despite his erudition and taste for “elegant objects.” Though Groom documents their widely divergent backgrounds (Hamilton was a Caribbean immigrant born out of wedlock; Jefferson was an aristocratic Southerner; Adams was descended from the Puritans) and fierce disagreements (Hamilton’s pamphlet attacking John Adams may have contributed to Jefferson taking the presidency from Adams in 1801), he pays particular attention to their fierce commitment to the good of the nation. Though readers well-versed in American history won’t learn a great deal new, Groom spins his familiar tale with aplomb. This solid history reveals that the art of compromise is an essential ingredient in American democracy. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/21/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4262-2150-7
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