I really enjoyed this book. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to use "the founders believed..." in a political argument. The truth isI really enjoyed this book. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to use "the founders believed..." in a political argument. The truth is that the founders believed a wide variety of things and created a form of government in which these often conflicting beliefs can be held in tension for the betterment of the country.The size and role of government in our lives has been debated since the founding of our country and the election of 1800 was defined by this question. This question is nothing new and there is no agreed upon "right" answer.
I enjoyed Ferling's telling of the story as well as learning more about the relationships and history of the key players. He does a good job of "setting the scene" and provides just enough background to give a full picture of what was at stake. I also found it somewhat reassuring to realize that politics has always been an ugly and messy process, even when done by brilliant, thoughtful men. I have always been fascinated by Thomas Jefferson and more recently John Adams (I am particularly drawn to his personal angst and introspection - he is so utterly human and flawed). Their relationship (with all its ups and downs as well as agreements and disagreements) is particularly interesting to see unfold....more