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War of Two : Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel That Stunned the Nation
by John Sedgwick


Overview -

A provocative and penetrating investigation into the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, whose infamous duel left the Founding Father dead and turned a sitting Vice President into a fugitive.
In the summer of 1804, two of America's most eminent statesmen squared off, pistols raised, on a bluff along the Hudson River.  Read more...


 
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More About War of Two by John Sedgwick
 
 
 
Overview

A provocative and penetrating investigation into the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, whose infamous duel left the Founding Father dead and turned a sitting Vice President into a fugitive.
In the summer of 1804, two of America's most eminent statesmen squared off, pistols raised, on a bluff along the Hudson River. That two such men would risk not only their lives but the stability of the young country they helped forge is almost beyond comprehension. Yet we know that it happened. The question is why.

In War of Two, John Sedgwick explores the long-standing conflict between Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr. A study in contrasts from birth, they had been compatriots, colleagues, and even friends. But above all they were rivals. Matching each other's ambition and skill as lawyers in New York, they later battled for power along political fault lines that would not only decide the future of the United States, but define it.
A series of letters between Burr and Hamilton suggest the duel was fought over an unflattering comment made at a dinner party. But another letter, written by Hamilton the night before the event, provides critical insight into his true motivation. It was addressed to former Speaker of the House Theodore Sedgwick, a trusted friend of both men, and the author's own ancestor.
John Sedgwick suggests that Hamilton saw Burr not merely as a personal rival but as a threat to the nation. Burr would prove that fear justified after Hamilton's death when, haunted by the legacy of his longtime adversary, he embarked on an imperial scheme to break the Union apart.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781592408528
  • ISBN-10: 1592408524
  • Publisher: Berkley Books
  • Publish Date: October 2015
  • Page Count: 480
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Historical - General
Books > History > United States - 19th Century

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-09-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

Journalist and novelist Sedgwick (In My Blood) looks back on one of Americas earliest scandals: the duel between Alexander Hamilton, the nations first secretary of the treasury, and Aaron Burr, the sitting vice president. The standoff stemmed from Hamilton calling Burr dangerous, but it was fueled by the interaction of two men for whom relative standing was everything. Hamilton, who had risen from illegitimacy and poverty to great power, possessed a protean ability not just to make enemies but to create them, and his influence waned accordingly. The nations rising star was Aaron Burr, whose political career began as a testament to his high standing as a lawyer and to his elite background. Sedgwick perceptively suggests that Burrs skill at influencing public opinion epitomized for the emerging Republicans what Hamiltons preference for elite governance did for the Federalists: competing versions of democracy. Never gaining Thomas Jeffersons trust even as his vice president, Burr sought a power base in New Yorkwhere Hamilton had returned after leaving the government. Both men felt unacceptably diminished; each focused on the other as cause and symbol of his own relative decline. Sedgwick shows that while the duel was not inevitable, the pairs final encounter was predictable. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (Nov.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews