Hamilton's Curse
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Hamilton's Curse

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  220 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Two of the most influential figures in American history. Two opposing political philosophies. Two radically different visions for America.

Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were without question two of the most important Founding Fathers. They were also the fiercest of rivals. Of these two political titans, it is Jefferson—–the revered author of the Declaration of In...more
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Published October 21st 2008 by Crown Forum (first published 2008)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Thomas Jefferson:
"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases."
— Thomas Jefferson

We as a society honor Thomas Jefferson, we laud his intelligence, name him as one of the greatest founding fathers and thinkers in American history. YET we have chained ourselves to a growing government that has now become so big and bloated it threatens to destroy the very America that Je...more
Stephen
4.0 stars. I thought this was a terrific book that made some very good arguments as well as being easy to read. While I can't say I agree with everything the author said (being more favorably disposed to a strong foreign policy than the author), I think he makes a compelling argument for how the implementation of Hamilton's vision of the U.S. has led to our government being bloated, top heavy and detrimentally centralized, in direct conflict with the ideals of the founding fathers and the drafte...more
Glen
"Hamilton's Curse" continues the welcome revisionist history tradition of the scholars of the Mises Institute and the Lew Rockwell circle. With this book, Prof. DiLorenzo goes back earlier in American history to expand on the thesis he presented in his two prior works on Abraham Lincoln ("The Real Lincoln" and "Lincoln Unmasked"), i.e. the lamentable victory of the empire-builders, strong central government advocates, and mercantilists of the Federalist Party tradition over the Jeffersonian limi...more
Annelida
It is rare, if not entirely atypical, for me give a book 1 star. But this one deserved just that.

In the first 30 pages of the book, there was more blunt, unjustified, and sometimes even flawed bias than any rational, historical argument.

Let’s look at page 31-32 for instance. You’ll see what I am talking about.
First, DiLorenzio informs us of our ignorance by saying that “Hamilton’s language is rather convoluted by modern standards but I’ll give you a vague example of what he said so you won’t...more
Nathan
Many worship Hamilton blindly. What they don't realize is that Hamilton spent his political life trying to turn us into England. Hamilton and his buddy's (mostly his buddies) got rich off his banking and government bond schemes. He disregarded the constitution, he called it a "frail and worthless piece of fabric" and is responsible for implicit interpretation. He turned the "general welfare" clause into a blank check. It's also interesting that he had slaves. When history books praise him for be...more
David Robins
I learn a lot from each of DiLorenzo's books. His books on Lincoln were excellent; but this provides more of the story. While not at all excusing Lincoln for his heinous and tyrannical acts, Hamilton's founding of crony capitalism, and plan for powerful, centralized government able to use and threaten arbitrary violence and confiscate land and property at will is shown to be the root of so many of the failures of American liberty. Jefferson did what he could; but the system ultimately yielded to...more
Tyler L. Boyd
This book has what I call an "attention grabber" title. It is not really about Alexander Hamilton as much as it is a critique of mercantilism.

The author does a fine job in exposing the many failures of the economic system known as mercantilism. It is a system that prevailed in England for a long time and has influenced much of America since its founding. This book documents actual laws that were passed and policies that were carried out by the federal government and how they failed. Because of...more
John
When Thomas DiLorenzo published his work The Real Lincoln in 2002, the Lincoln cult was in for a shock. DiLorenzo was attacked with the usual smears-"racist" "neo-confederate"-by the neoconservatives and social democrats, both of whom wish to justify their philosophy of more government and less freedom.

With this book, DiLorenzo is back at it again, this time exposing American founding father Alexander Hamilton for the big business and big government worshipping statist that he was. DiLorenzo not...more
John
DiLorenzo looks at the legacy of Alexander Hamilton and determines that this founding father did more to undermine the victory of the American Revolution by modeling our system of government on the very model which we rejected in the British Empire. He also follows Hamilton's followers to the modern day and shows the debt most modern politicians owe to Hamilton.

Hamilton favored a mercantilist system of government, meaning that he wanted to see government and business working together through pub...more
Michael Newton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg
Interesting analysis of the impact of Alexander Hamilton's policies on our current governmental issues and problems. I was a little doubtful, particularly when the author extended his criticisms of Hamilton to include Abraham Lincoln. By the end of the book, I think that, while I did not agree with the author on all of his theories, his points made me think about our current governmental institutions and how they impact our individual freedoms.
Clinton
Thomas Jefferson is my new hero. Where is America's modern day Jefferson who can once again help restore the sovereignty back to the people?
SpyroNinja
Utterly biased borderline propaganda.
J. Keith
Most people's understanding of when and how the political divide began has a very shallow scope. Some when asked would pick a point within their own lifetimes, most others would draw it to a particular administration or period within the last hundred years. The most common answers would likely be Johnson's War on Poverty or Roosevelt's New Deal. Some more astute might reach back to the Lincoln administration and the misnamed American Civil War. While those would be getting warmer, they are still...more
Jeffrey Howard
Albeit a bit sensational, DiLorenzo convincingly connects the dots between Hamilton's vision of America and the disastrous mess that has been made of the United States. I wish the book expanded more upon the ideas contained so as to help people less-initiated in economics to more fully understand it.

It breaks my heart to see the vision of Thomas Jefferson cast aside. Despite sounding more like a smear piece of Hamilton at times than an academic treatise, DiLorenzo demonstrates how Hamilton is a...more
Lisa
Why didn't they teach us this kind of history in our public education system? Big government vs individual rights. Lots of juicy fights and great citations for further research. Also an easy read because our history is so interesting and relevant to what is happening today.
Christopher
Dec 05, 2012 Christopher rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every American
Outstanding book! Every high school student should read this book. More than that, every American should read this book! DiLorenzo does an outstanding job of demonstrating the course that our nation has took since the Constitution was ratified. Hamilton did not leave us a blessing. For those who are tired of the status quo, you must read book this to understand the issues deeper. I have often been frustrated that people are tired of big government and yet still support people such as Mitt Romney...more
Rick
An extraordinary account of how two hundred years ago, Alexander Hamilton set in motion the absolute economic mess that we have today. He believed in big government, subjugation of the people, corporate welfare and a central bank that excessively controls the money supply as dictated by politics, not sound fiscal policy. Should be required reading for all of us. Highly recommend.
Bruce
Dilorenzo goes back to the founding period to explore the American version of the eternal battle between power and freedom. Hamilton's legacy continues to haunt our political landscape.

While I agree with the thesis, the material is presented in a repetitive style that becomes tedious. If you get half-way through the book, you'll have covered most of what is there.
Jeremy Purves
Only a fringe libertarian crackpot would write something with this selective of a view of history arguing that the mainstream Federalist point of view is responsible for the modern liberal misinterpretation of the Federalist point of view. A dumb book that no one active in the public square would ever take seriously.
Bill
A liberatarian revision of the Hamilton v Jefferson debate. Lots of interesting perspective on what has turned into a boring big vs small government debate. Interesting if you are interested in old letters from the founders.
Ian Hammond
This book did what it set out to do. It is Libertarian revision that fuses sound economics with generally accepted historical facts. To be honest, I was quite skeptical, but in the end I was very pleased.
Tracey
I really enjoyed this book. The author explains why our country is in the mess that it is in. Alexander Hamilton essentially changed how we view and use the constitution. This is a must read.
Greg Hoyle
excellent read on the evolution of our government.....away from Jeffersonian democracy and more towards supreme power of the fed and the executive branch
VoteTassia
Great book comparing Jeffersonian Principles, to Hamiltons, and how unfortunately for us, Hamilton's won out.... at least for now.
Kim
Picked this up for a book review for my history class since we were covering the subject in lecture. Pretty interesting.
Tom
libertarian view of one of the first big govt politicians in our country. very insightful. quick read.
Denver
Great book chronicling the paradox that was Alexander Hamilton.
Heath
Good political book.
Grant
Grant marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
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Thomas James DiLorenzo is an American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland. He identifies himself as an adherent of the Austrian School of economics. He is a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and an associated scholar of the Abbeville Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech.
More about Thomas J. DiLorenzo...
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