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The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Elusive Founding Father

New York University Press

By Douglas Ambrose
Posted April 3, 2006
Tags Faculty Books
Douglas Ambrose, the Sidney Wertimer Associate Professor of History, and Associate Professor of Government Robert Martin co-edited a recently published book titled The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America's Most Elusive Founding Father. This book, published by New York University Press, addresses perennial questions about Hamilton; for example, "Was Hamilton a closet monarchist or a sincere Republican? A victim of partisan politics or one of its most active promoters? A lackey for British interests or a foreign policy mastermind?" Ambrose wrote the introduction and Martin contributed a chapter as did John Patrick Diggins, Stephen Knott, Daniel G. Lang, Robert M.S. McDonald, Peter McNamara, James H. Read, Carey Roberts, Barry Alan Shain, and Colleen A. Sheehan. The book is dedicated to Hamilton College trustee Carl Menges.

Chapters in The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton were inspired by a conference, "The Hamilton Conference at Hamilton College," hosted by Ambrose and Martin in April 2001. The conference examined the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton, bringing together a wide range of scholars who analyzed the historical significance of Alexander Hamilton to American political, economic, and intellectual life. Panels included "Hamilton and the Dilemmas of Slavery in the Young Republic," "Hamilton and Domestic Policy," "Hamilton's Legacy" and "Hamilton and his Contemporaries."

Ambrose is the author of Henry Hughes and Proslavery Thought in the Old South, published in 1997 by Louisiana State University Press. Martin is the author of The Free and Open Press: The Founding of American Democratic Press Liberty, published in 2001, also by New York University Press.

Reviews

"Here are many fresh thoughts by many of the most innovative scholars at work on Alexander Hamilton today. Every student of the new republic and many general readers who are captivated by the subject will want to read this volume."
—Lance Banning, author of Conceived in Liberty: The Struggle to Define the New Republic, 1789-1793

Paul A. Rahe, author of ,Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution, in describing this book, said, "Talleyrand, who was acquainted with all of the statesmen of Europe, once remarked that he had never encountered anyone 'equal to Alexander Hamilton.' Hamilton may, if fact, have been the greatest of the American Founding Fathers. He was certainly one of the most important. Despite this, he has rarely been given his due. This superb collection of essays goes a considerable distance towards redressing the balance and towards restoring an American statesman to the central place that he occupied in his own time."

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