All school children know the story of the fatal duel between Hamilton and Burr - but do they really? In this remarkable retelling, Thomas Fleming takes the reader into the post-revolutionary world of 1804, a chaotic and fragile time in the young country as well as a time of tremendous global instability.The success of the French Revolution and the proclamation of Napoleon as First Consul for Life had enormous impact on men like Hamilton and Burr, feeding their own political fantasies at a time of perceived Federal government weakness and corrosion. Their hunger for fame spawned antagonisms that wreaked havoc on themselves and their families and threatened to destabilize the fragile young American republic. From that poisonous brew came the tangle of regret and anger and ambition that drove the two to their murderous confrontation in Weehawken, New Jersey.Readers will find this is popular narrative history at its most authoritative, and authoritative history at its most readable.
Thomas Fleming is the author of more than forty books, including The New Dealers' War, Duel, and Liberty! The American Revolution, as well as best-selling novels about America's war experience such as Time and Tide and The Officers' Wives. Fleming is a frequent guest on and contributor to NPR, PBS, A&E, and the History Channel. He lives in New York City and Westbrook, Connecticut.
* List of Illustrations xi * Acknowledgements xiii * A General Nurses His Wounds * The Quarrelsome Men of Gotham * The New Caesar's Long Shadow * The Temptations of a Vice President * Politicians in the Wilderness * A Wary Candidate Tests the Waters * From Migraine to Miracle * Resist, Resist, Resist the Demagogues * Does Impeachment Justify Secession? * Mudslingers Front and Center * From the Low Road to the Depths * A Distracted Dictator and an Etiquette - Mad President * A Ruined Politician Has a Midnight Visitor * Light in the Labyrinth * Honor's Deadly Ritual * Why Soldiers Why? * This is a Moral Wound, Doctor * Muffled Drums and Beckoning Destiny * Afterward * Notes * Index