Best Biographies of Jefferson

There is excellent Jefferson scholarship… available to interested readers.  Current scholars seem bound by political correctness to debase the Jeffersonian legacy with tales of slave concubines and youthful indiscretions.  Look to the work of the established Jefferson scholars to find the elusive inroads to one of America’s greatest, but most enigmatic minds. Jefferson and the NewContinue reading “Best Biographies of Jefferson”

Texas and Secession

Far from being a stronghold of secession in 1860, Texas gave substantial support to Constitutional Union Party candidate John C. Bell. The Unionist spirit in Texas sprang from its First Citizen, the venerable Sam Houston. Sam Houston…. had some emphatic words for the lunatics who took his proud state out of the Federal Union heContinue reading “Texas and Secession”

Honoring the Fallen

Appropriate remarks from former Presidents in regard to men who gave the last full measure of devotion to this country- Lincoln- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract…The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but itContinue reading “Honoring the Fallen”

Context for Historic Monuments is Subjective

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington DC has submitted a list of Federal monuments in her city which should be “removed, relocated, or contextualized.” She recently formed a commission to study this highly contentious issue. These recommendations come at a crucial time in our analysis of American remembrance. Bowser’s commission actually lists the Washington Monument andContinue reading “Context for Historic Monuments is Subjective”

Madison on Separation of Powers

Events of recent weeks necessitate a reminder from Madison on the appropriate division of power in Washington. In Federalist 47, he emphasizes: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definitionContinue reading “Madison on Separation of Powers”

Essential Civil War Reading

Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this is the best one volume account of the War told by its greatest storyteller.  It traces the conflict from Free Soil to the assassination of Lincoln in an authoritative voice that has yet to be rivaled. To the Gates of Richmond, byContinue reading “Essential Civil War Reading”

Criticism from Former Presidents

Barack Obama is being hailed as the first former President to bluntly criticize a sitting Executive publicly. While his words at the Democratic National Convention were frank, they are far from the most biting commentary ever recorded. During Wilson’s bid for reelection in 1916, none other than Theodore Roosevelt shared a rather harsh opinion ofContinue reading “Criticism from Former Presidents”

Defense of the Electoral College

Madison and Hamilton created the Electoral College for specific reasons… and suppressing minority voters was not one of them.  Plurality is part of the Federal electoral process, but integrated to meet the needs of federalism.  States matter in our compound republic.  Madison wanted them involved in the process of choosing the executive. Madison said,  “TheContinue reading “Defense of the Electoral College”

Bailyn May be Irreplaceable

Bernard Bailyn rescued our remembrance of the American Revolution from the cynical hands of so-called Progressive historians, primarily Charles Beard and his acolytes. Beard propagated the one-dimensional theory that our Founders were acting purely out of economic self-interest. An entire generation of academics were groomed to believe this. Bailyn’s Ideological Origins, came along in 1967Continue reading “Bailyn May be Irreplaceable”

The Authority Passes- Bernard Bailyn

Eminent historian Bernard Bailyn passed away Friday at the age of 97. His work earned him all the important historical accolades, including two Pulitzers. Many credit him with creating an American Cambridge(Mass.) school of historiography, influencing such students as Pauline Maier, Mary Beth Norton, and Gordon Wood. No other scholar impacted the study of theContinue reading “The Authority Passes- Bernard Bailyn”