A provocative and penetrating investigation into the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, whose infamous duel left the Founding Father dead and turned a sitting Vice President into a fugitive.
In the summer of 1804, two of America’s most eminent statesmen squared off, pistols raised, on a bluff along the Hudson River. That two such men would risk not only their lives but the stability of the young country they helped forge is almost beyond comprehension. Yet we know that it happened. The question is why.
In War of Two, John Sedgwick explores the long-standing conflict between Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr. A study in contrasts from birth, they had been compatriots, colleagues, and even friends. But above all they were rivals. Matching each other’s ambition and skill as lawyers in New York, they later battled for power along political fault lines that would not only decide the future of the United States, but define it.
A series of letters between Burr and Hamilton suggest the duel was fought over an unflattering comment made at a dinner party. But another letter, written by Hamilton the night before the event, provides critical insight into his true motivation. It was addressed to former Speaker of the House Theodore Sedgwick, a trusted friend of both men, and the author’s own ancestor.
John Sedgwick suggests that Hamilton saw Burr not merely as a personal rival but as a threat to the nation. Burr would prove that fear justified after Hamilton’s death when, haunted by the legacy of his longtime adversary, he embarked on an imperial scheme to break the Union apart.
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have no interest in Us history of this period and bought it as a gift. I couldn.t put the damn thing down, it was endlessly fascinating. Unlike the first gentleman who reviewed it with whose review I basically agree with, I felt the period letters spelling and all added to the book. I even found the financial dealing interesting. What a cast of characters, horndogs, wife chasers, bimbo eruptions, maybe stolen elections, financial skullduggery, backroom deal making, blackmailers,,,,,,it is as colorful as a current tabloid. Did I mention candidates insulting their opponents? I think this would make an excellent gift for anyone with an interest in American history. The book has illustration in color and black including portraits of the various people and cartoons. There are 2 drawings of their houses, and drawings of the period at the front of each part. I never knew how much Hamilton contributed to this country and I hope he remains, as he deserves on our money. Oddly both...
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book opens with a letter from Alexander Hamilton to the author (John Sedgwick's great, great, great --many times great grandfather who was the Speaker of the House). Although the letter itself does not play a prominent role in the book, it is a very interesting factoid and offers a connection between the author and Hamilton.
Being a student of history, and having read several historical biographies like this I found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable. The story of Hamilton and Burr's duel (and the eventual end of one of the founding fathers lives via a duel) is a fascinating story in history. Both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had a tremendous impact on this nation. One cannot go far anywhere in America and not see the impact of Hamilton's national bank.
The book is extremely well written and researched. The author traces both histories of Hamilton and Burr from birth until their eventual deaths. The book is perfect for history buffs who want to...
I got this book as a gift for my husband. Overall, he really enjoyed the detail and research the author used in writing this book. My husband taught history for over 30 years, so that tells me the author did know what he was talking about. My husband did say one longer section in the last third of the book bogged down a bit. He had to push himself to finish it. Still, he learned some new information and thought the book was well-written.
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