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Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation
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Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  26 reviews
From the award-winning author of Almost a Miracle and The Ascent of George Washington, this is the rare work of scholarship that offers us irresistible human drama even as it enriches our understanding of deep themes in our nation’s history.

The decade of the 1790s has been called the “age of passion.” Fervor ran high as rival factions battled over the course of the new re
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Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Bloomsbury Press
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Marilyn
One of my professors in college was Broadus Mitchell. He was the foremost Hamiltonian scholar of his day, author of multiple biographies of Hamilton and associates. Not surprisingly, my freshman year at Hofstra's New College with Broadus Mitchell was an intensive study of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of America. The textbook was (surprise!) one of the several biographies of Hamilton authored by Broadus Mitchell.

When I had was given the opportunity to review this book, I was intrigued. I w
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Charles Inglin
Well written and very informative book about two of the men whose competing visions of America's future shaped the America of today. Indeed, the contentious issues of the 1790's are the same as today. Hamilton favored a strong central government, a central bank, encouragement of commerce and investors, and he distrusted democracy. If Hamilton had had his way, the presidency and senators would have been elected for life. Jefferson distrusted almost everything Hamilton favored, believing the Unite ...more
Jill
John Ferling, a respected scholar of the American Revolution, sets forth the ideological differences between two of our most influential Founding Fathers, and recounts the poisonous enmity between them that arose as a result. The story is relevant even today, since the bitter partisan divide America is now experiencing is quite similar to what threatened to tear apart the fabric of the country apart in its infancy.

Ferling provides a more dispassionate (i.e., less hagiographic) portrait of the tw
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Oma
This is a well researched book. It compares and contrasts Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. The book begins by examining their early lives and aspirations. Jefferson was the son of privilege and spending years reading and studying in his home after completing his formal education. Hamilton came from humble, scandalous beginnings and was able to come to the American colonies to study due to the generous support of benefactors who recognized his intelligence and potential.

These men were ma
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Jason
One could read the introduction to say the author believes Thomas Jefferson equals Bill Clinton and Alexander Hamilton equals George W. Bush. The introduction also contains the assertion that the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that “all men are born equal” when it says we are created equal. After that inauspicious start, the first two-thirds of the book are well done, relatively concise, parallel biographies of the two title subjects. Readers could pick up most of what they should know a ...more
Eschargot
Continuing my never ending fascination with this period in US history. A well written book delving into the characters of two of the most brilliant (albeit flawed) founders. We continue to love the idealism of Jefferson while living in a Hamiltonian world.
Iain
'Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation' by John Ferling is a reasonable history book but disappointing in the sense that the "rivalry" between these two revolutionary founding fathers does not commence until about chapter 10. The first nine chapters provide a side by side biography of the two men but you would be better served by reading more definitive biographies like Ron Chernow's 'Alexander Hamilton' and either 'American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson' by Joseph ...more
Jennifer
Very interesting. Obviously knew who both were, but didn't realize that Hamilton played such a big role in this country's development. The differences between the two were enhanced by the author's over the top description of Hamilton's appearance and intelligence. When the segment was about Hamilton, it kind of felt like I was reading a romance novel. I got a bit tired of reading how exceptional he was, how beautiful and handsome and gifted and smart and blah blah blah. Contrast that to the desc ...more
Linda
I simply couldn't resist a book that places Jefferson and Hamilton head to head. Obviously both Founders impacted this country immensely, but my vote still goes to Hamilton as "Favorite Founding Father" for the simple reason that America couldn't have survived without his financial acumen. Both men possessed admirable and morally reprehensible qualities, yet I concur with the author:

Quotations:

With reference to Hamilton, Ferling writes: "I saw much that was noble in his sacrifices and valor as a
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Nicole
I found it virtually impossible to take seriously a double biography where the two people don't even meet each other until well into the latter years of their lives. The first half of the book bounces back-and-forth between the biographies of Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Jefferson without being able to tie the two of them together in any meaningful way. Yes, both of them were closely involved in the American Revolution but their spheres never touched each other. Yes both of them played a role in the for ...more
Gary
Review Title: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Enemy

I enjoyed this book, Jefferson and Hamilton: John Ferling book The Rivalry That Forged a Nation.

I had previously read a fair amount about Jefferson (including Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham); However, I had never read a book dedicated to Hamilton. This book has encouraged me to find such a book to learn more about Hamilton.

I have always felt Jefferson was complicated and a bit of an “odd duck”. He is praised highly by many today,
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Kathy
If you were to peruse my bookshelves you would find a lot of fluff, and I don't mean dustbunnies, though you'd likely find those too, along with a resting cat or two or three. What you won't find a whole lot of are serious history books.

Now, it's not because I hate history or something like that, but..well, there's always a lovely gardening book to read, or a mystery, or a romance, or the latest book of poetry. History ends up towards the bottom of the stack.

But I did enter to win this book, bec
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Allen Adams
http://www.themaineedge.com/buzz/a-ri...

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton

Barrels of ink have been spent singing the praises of this nation’s founding fathers. We have seen a thorough documentation of the men who served instrumental roles in the formation of this country. As a young nation, we are lucky enough to be able to recount our history freely and fully.

However, this doesn’t mean tha
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Erik Lindahl
This was my first book by John Ferling and it was a really enjoyable examination of the ways in which these two great men shaped the United States in its infancy. Hamilton and Jefferson's lives are examined chronologically. Ferling moves back and forth between the two several times within each chapter. When their lives aren't intersecting neatly, Ferling does a good job in providing a framework with quick references to what the other man was doing at the time. There were a few editing issues whe ...more
Aimee
I have always wanted to know more about Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton and this book gives such a detailed look at both men that I found it to be a fascinating read. I have read a lot about the revolutionary war but I have not read a lot about the years after the war. Ferling does a great job of telling about the many difficulties the United States faced right after the revolution. I never realized the great problems we had to overcome in those early years and I loved reading about Jeff ...more
Brian
I won this ARC as part of Goodreads' first reads program in exchange for my honest review.

I really enjoyed this biography about two of America's founding fathers. It explored the lives of two rival politicians who were at the forefront of their parties, Jefferson's Republicans and Hamilton's Federalists. It was well researched and got really in depth in its subjects and their impact on the country, even exploring their moral failures. The only real issues I have with the book was at times it cou
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Laurie
Here is an excerpt from my review: "Both Hamilton and Jefferson had some personal issues, but they both had passion for America and trying to make it the best country that it could be. If you enjoy reading about history and want to know more about some of the United States' early founders, then this book would be a good choice for you. It might help to already have some knowledge of U.S. history during this time period - and more than just what they teach you in middle school and high school - b ...more
Naomi
Read my full review:http://bit.ly/19Okbq1

My opinion: This was an excellent, well researched read. The details of what this author knew was amazing and was unbiased in its presentation. On that note, because of the vast amount of detail, this was an incredibly slow read. I was able to read about 10 pages per day to ingest the information.

On that note, I would recommend readers invest in purchasing the book or acquiring a print copy from the library. I found reading it on my Nook incredibly frustr
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Steve
Interesting dual biography and Thomas Jefferson who was our nation's third president. He also was the author of the Declaration of Independence as well as an architect, Who designed his home in the mountains of Virginia known as Monticello and was responsible for the design of the University of Virginia. Alexander Hamilton served in the artillery as a captain in General Washington's army during the American Revolution. He grew up in the West Indies where slavery was a common and much cruel life. ...more
Lynn
Though it is fairly long for the subject, this is a very interesting exploration of the two directions the American revolution could have gone, with Jefferson advocating radical democracy and Hamilton leaning toward an elected monarchy with power focused on wealth and status. It is rather chilling that the author concludes modern America is Hamiltonian.
Tom
An interesting book on 2 great Americans. Every so often in American History government divides over 2 individuals and their ideas. This is a good overview of 2 of them.
Larry Van bibber
A very good history of the interaction of TJ and AH driving home their importance to the development of America. Although Hamilton had a challenging history, his creation of our banking and finance systems helped lay the foundation to our strong federal government.



James Ray
Excellent detailed background of the major players at the end of the Civil War. A definite read to help understand the events the why and how. Fast paced and kept my interest throughout.
Pheisey Heisey
Great book about my two favorite founding fathers, two different men with completely different ideas about which way a young country should go.
Linda Homer
Informative fun read. Read to learn about founding fathers. Totally relevant to today. Couldn't tell whether quotes were from "then" or now.
James
Eh, more of dueling biographies than any type of revelation on how their relationship shaped government
Matt Servinskas
Matt Servinskas marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2014
Scottjmath
Scottjmath is currently reading it
Nov 22, 2014
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John E. Ferling is a professor emeritus of history at the University of West Georgia. A leading authority on American Revolutionary history, he is the author of several books, including "A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic", "Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence", and his most recent work, "The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Politi ...more
More about John Ferling...
Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon John Adams: A Life A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic

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