Catalogue


Fallen founder : the life of Aaron Burr /
Nancy Isenberg.
imprint
New York : Viking, c2007.
description
xiii, 540 p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0670063525, 9780670063529
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Viking, c2007.
isbn
0670063525
9780670063529
contents note
A man of promising parts -- To concert with my brother officers -- Such are the letters I love -- An unprejudiced mind -- A certain little senator -- The statesman and the soldier -- The ruin of the vice president -- Little quid emperor -- Will O' Wisp treason -- That stranger was Aaron Burr -- Epilogue: He used no unnecessary words.
catalogue key
6178929
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [415]-521) and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, USA, 2007 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2007-04-01:
In this flawed work about one of American history's most fascinating characters, Isenberg (history, Univ. of Tulsa; Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America), an unabashed Aaron Burr apologist, attempts to restore her subject's reputation by investigating his political and personal conduct. She examines three major episodes in Burr's long, turbulent, and ultimately tragic life: his failed bid for the 1800 presidency, his escalating hostility toward Alexander Hamilton that culminated in the duel that ruined Burr's once-promising political career, and his trial for treason that ended in acquittal but forced him into exile. Burr is portrayed as an innocent victim of unsubstantiated slander, gossip, and enmity throughout his career as an attorney, a U.S. senator from New York, and vice president. It is an unconvincing and highly subjective portrait that raises more questions than it answers. Roger G. Kennedy's Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson: A Study in Character is a superior title for general readers that provides objective analysis of Burr's political machinations and personal behavior. Milton Lomask's two-volume biography of Burr, now o.p., is the more scholarly work that libraries should possess. Not recommended.-Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2007-03-05:
Does Burr belong in the pantheon of founding fathers? Or is he, as historians have asserted ever since he fatally shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel, a faux founder who happened to be in the right place at the right time? Was he really the enigmatic villain, the political schemer who lacked any moral core, the sexual pervert, the cherubic-faced slanderer so beloved of popular imagination? This striking new biography by Isenberg (Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America) argues that Burr was, indeed, the real thing, a founder "at the center of nation building" and a "capable leader in New York political circles." Interestingly, if controversially, Isenberg believes Burr was "the only founder to embrace feminism," the only one who "adhered to the ideal that reason should transcend party differences." Far from being an empty vessel, she says, Burr defended freedom of speech, wanted to expand suffrage and was a proponent of equal rights. Burr was not without his faults, she concludes, but then, none of the other founders was entirely angelic, either, and his actions must be viewed in the context of his political times. As this important book reminds us, America's founders behaved like ordinary human beings even when they were performing their extraordinary deeds. Illus. (May 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, March 2007
Library Journal, April 2007
Booklist, May 2007
Boston Globe, May 2007
New York Times Book Review, May 2007
Wall Street Journal, May 2007
Los Angeles Times, February 2008
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
This definitive biography of the revolutionary era villain overturns every myth and image we have of him The narrative of Americas founding is filled with godlike geniusesFranklin, Washington, Adams, Jeffersonversus the villainous Aaron Burr. Generations have been told Burr was a betrayerof Hamilton, of his country, of those who had nobler ideas. All untrue. He did not turn on Hamilton; rather, the politically aggressive Hamilton was preoccupied with Burr and subverted Burrs career at every turn for more than a decade through outright lies and slanderous letters. In "Fallen Founder," Nancy Isenberg portrays the founders as they all really were and proves that Burr was no less a patriot and no less a principled thinker than those who debased him. He was an inspired politician who promoted decency at a moment when factionalism and ugly party politics were coalescing. He was a genuine hero of the Revolution, as much an Enlightenment figure as Jefferson, and a feminist generations ahead of his time. A brilliant orator and lawyer, he was New Yorks attorney general, a senator, and vice president. Denounced as a man of extreme tastes, he in fact pursued a moderate course, and his political assassination was accomplished by rivals who feared his power and who promoted the notion of his sexual perversions. "Fallen Founder" is an antidote to the worshipful biographies far too prevalent in the histories of the revolutionary era. Burrs story returns us to reality: to the cunning politicians our nations founders really were and to a world of political maneuvering, cutthroat politicking, and media slander that is stunningly modern.
Main Description
This definitive biography of the revolutionary era villain overturns every myth and image we have of him The narrative of America’s founding is filled with godlike geniuses—Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson—versus the villainous Aaron Burr. Generations have been told Burr was a betrayer—of Hamilton, of his country, of those who had nobler ideas. All untrue. He did not turn on Hamilton; rather, the politically aggressive Hamilton was preoccupied with Burr and subverted Burr’s career at every turn for more than a decade through outright lies and slanderous letters. In Fallen Founder, Nancy Isenberg portrays the founders as they all really were and proves that Burr was no less a patriot and no less a principled thinker than those who debased him. He was an inspired politician who promoted decency at a moment when factionalism and ugly party politics were coalescing. He was a genuine hero of the Revolution, as much an Enlightenment figure as Jefferson, and a feminist generations ahead of his time. A brilliant orator and lawyer, he was New York’s attorney general, a senator, and vice president. Denounced as a man of extreme tastes, he in fact pursued a moderate course, and his political assassination was accomplished by rivals who feared his power and who promoted the notion of his sexual perversions. Fallen Founderis an antidote to the worshipful biographies far too prevalent in the histories of the revolutionary era. Burr’s story returns us to reality: to the cunning politicians our nation’s founders really were and to a world of political maneuvering, cutthroat politicking, and media slander that is stunningly modern.
Main Description
This definitive biography of the revolutionary era villain overturns every myth and image we have of him The narrative of America’s founding is filled with godlike geniuses—Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson—versus the villainous Aaron Burr. Generations have been told Burr was a betrayer—of Hamilton, of his country, of those who had nobler ideas. All untrue. He did not turn on Hamilton; rather, the politically aggressive Hamilton was preoccupied with Burr and subverted Burr’s career at every turn for more than a decade through outright lies and slanderous letters. In Fallen Founder, Nancy Isenberg portrays the founders as they all really were and proves that Burr was no less a patriot and no less a principled thinker than those who debased him. He was an inspired politician who promoted decency at a moment when factionalism and ugly party politics were coalescing. He was a genuine hero of the Revolution, as much an Enlightenment figure as Jefferson, and a feminist generations ahead of his time. A brilliant orator and lawyer, he was New York’s attorney general, a senator, and vice president. Denounced as a man of extreme tastes, he in fact pursued a moderate course, and his political assassination was accomplished by rivals who feared his power and who promoted the notion of his sexual perversions. Fallen Founderis an antidote to the worshipful biographies far too prevalent in the histories of the revolutionary era. Burr’s story returns us to reality: to the cunning politicians our nation’s founders really were and to a world of political maneuvering, cutthroat politicking, and media slander that is stunningly modern.

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