A controversial challenge to the works of Ron Chernow and David McCullough
With Fallen Founder , Nancy Isenberg plumbs rare and obscure sources to shed new light on everyoneâ's favorite founding villain. The Aaron Burr whom we meet through Isenbergâ's eye-opening biography is a feminist, an Enlightenment figure on par with Jefferson, a patriot, andâ?most importantlyâ?a man with powerful enemies in an age of vitriolic political fighting. Revealing the gritty reality of eighteenth-century America, Fallen Founder is the authoritative restoration of a figure who ran afoul of history and a much-needed antidote to the hagiography of the revolutionary era.
This revisionist biography of Aaron Burr presents a fresh view of the man reviled both in his own time and by many historians after. Nancy Isenberg argues that Burr was not the villain, rake, or rogue he is often portrayed to have been; and she sifts the primary sources to trace the origins of some of these libelous allegations to his famous rival, Alexander Hamilton. The Founding Fathers lived in contentious times, and even then politics was a game of hardball. Isenberg strives to find the good in Burr: he was, she says, a war hero, an enlightened thinker, a good public official, and progressive on matters such as women's rights. Isenberg explores what really happened at the famous duel between Hamilton and Burr, seeing it as the culmination of a decade-long animosity. Isenberg traces Burr's rich and fascinating life, which included the vice-presidency, a charge of murder for which he was never tried, a trial for treason in which he was acquitted, and several years abroad in self-imposed exile.
- Biography + Autobiography
- April 29, 2008
- April 29, 2008
- Nancy Isenberg