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Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today
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Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  411 ratings  ·  42 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
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Hardcover, 245 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Crown Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  411 ratings  ·  42 reviews


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Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political, history
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 Ame
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Annelida
Jan 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
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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
Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
"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
Nathan
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Chris
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Rebecca
Jun 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
If I had to sum up this book in a way as short and sweet as I possibly could, it would be:
- A wonderful fountain of political propaganda.
- A wonderful fountain of bias by omission.
To emphasize, let's read a passage from the first chapter.
"The liberal reverence for Hamilton's statism has progressed to the point that in 2006 the Brookings Institution, the nation's leading liberal think tank..."
"The LIBERAL political scientist Stephen F. Knott, recognized Hamilton as "the f
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David Robins
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Michael Newton
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.A.A. Purves
Jun 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Thomas Mick
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very revealing look at the motives and actions of Alexander Hamilton, that set into motion the destruction of the republic under the bankers he promoted.
Clinton
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
Tyler L.
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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Colt
Jun 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A difficult book to read, one that's rife with bias, lack of context, and intentional omissions. Alexander Hamilton was a nuanced complex character in American history. Like any human he was fallible, though the author seems to frame everything within his book as black and white and a battle of good vs. evil in the guise of Jefferson vs. Hamilton.

This wouldn't be so bad if it was done by an amateur author or amateur student of history. But to be done by one that is a college professor does caus
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John
Oct 30, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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Jeffrey Howard
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, economics
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
Greg
Sep 26, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Brian
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: u-s-history
Absolutely amazing and worth reading. This scathing critique of Alexander Hamilton and his policies will make you think about current issues and the direction of the nation. While I may have some minor disagreements with some of the author's conclusions, he is on point on many of the challenges we face today.
Rick
Sep 16, 2011 added it
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.
Lisa
Apr 14, 2014 added it
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.
ELB
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great Book! For anyone that wants to find out why the U.S. is in the shape we are in today. It all started with Hamilton!
I enjoy reading DiLorenzo’s writing, he has a style that is very easy to read. As for the book, Mr. DiLorenzo’s research is deep and rewarding. He proves that Hamilton is the root cause of most problems we experience with the government today. From our economic situation to the way Judges misinterpret the meaning of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Convention o
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Kris Schnee
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Your view of Hamilton is likely to depend on how much you want to be ruled. He's popular lately. But if you delve into what the man argued for in the Federalist Papers -- a limited government under a constitution -- versus what he advocated the moment the Constitution was ratified, you find a dangerous man who had, shall we say, long-lasting effects on American society. The author explains how and why.
Jim Carroll
Okay

It is almost always interesting to get a good argument for a contrarian position and this book does that for a smaller federal government and states rights. However most of his arguments are too hyperbolic to be credible. He does present some very legitimate complaints but not very compelling solutions.
Thomas Hunt
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angry. So true it makes me angry. Must read if you’d like to understand the position of ALL politicians today.

Angry. So true it makes me angry. Must read if you’d like to understand the position of ALL politicians today.
Nick MacCudden
Really interesting but really biased. I generally agree with the author's biases, but it certainly influences his conclusions and should be read with caution because of it.

Ari Lapin
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
As someone who enjoyed Chernow’s Hamilton, this book was an eye-opening counterpoint that must be read by anyone who wishes for a more balanced perspective on Hamilton.
Jamie  Bahrami
Trump would have been very happy with Hamilton at his side !!
J. Keith
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Bruce
Mar 20, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Ian Hammond
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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.
“The Jeffersonians “hated and feared” the Jacobin concept of a “general will,” wrote Felix Morley in Freedom and Federalism.29 For if “the general will” were to become a practical reality regarding the operation of government, then all voluntary associations must be subjected to government regulation and control in the name of “the people” and their “will”—as interpreted by a ruling elite. This would be the road to serfdom and the end of individual liberty.” 2 likes
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