Synopses & Reviews
A major reconsideration of early American politics, Affairs of Honor offers a profoundly human look at the anxieties and political realities of leaders struggling to define themselves and their role in the new nation.
"A scintillating contribution to the recent revival of interest in the political culture of the early Republic. Vividly written and analytically incisive, Affairs of Honor heralds the debut of an imaginative and perceptive scholar." Jack Rakove, Stanford University
"The most important book that has been written on the origins of American politics in many, many years. Joanne Freemanbs work is enormously original, and the scholarship is impeccable. This book is a real breakthrough well never look at politics in this period in the same way." Jan Lewis, Rutgers University
"Affairs of Honor stunningly transforms our understanding of the Founding Fathers and their political culture. This dynamic and penetrating work will be debated and increasingly appreciated for many years to come." Bertram Wyatt-Brown, author of Southern Honor
"Affairs of Honor is a landmark work in the history of our national origins. With considerable style and grace, Freeman shows that the central story line must include such old-fashioned notions as honor and character, and that, in her capable hands, political history is once again alive and well." Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers
"Professor Freeman not only sheds new light on that complex code cult? of honor in American eighteenth-century life and politics which made inevitable the Burr-Hamilton duel, but she has also, à propos, written the clearest account to date of the presidential election of 1800, in which Jefferson and Burr tied for first place, causing Jefferson to behave with more than his usual subtlety while imputing, characteristically, bad faith to his rival Burr, who, according to their original agreement, raised not a finger in his own behalf and so behaved honorably. After two centuries, it is nice to know what really went on in that Dark Age when we had no kindly Supreme Court to determine our elections 54." Gore Vidal
By exploring both the public actions and private papers of key figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic. 38 illustrations.
About the Author
Joanne B. Freeman is assistant professor of history at Yale University. She recently appeared in the PBS American Experience documentary "The Duel," exploring the fatal 1804 clash between Burr and Hamilton. She is also the editor of Alexander Hamilton: Writings, published by the Library of America.