A New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2000.
Synopses & Reviews
The bestselling historical novel that exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers by the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist.
In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nation's first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the "scandalmonger" of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamilton's reputation, thereby paving the way for Jefferson's success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries.
By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians' cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution.
"A devilishly constructed entertainment about political warfare, legal brinkmanship, and assassination by quill pen." Time
"A gripping tale, a controlled and captivating web of carefully chosen truths and imagination." Los Angeles Times
"Handsomely constructed and politically sophisticated." The New York Times Book Review
"A smart, rollicking dramatization of the scandals that shook Thomas Jefferson's administration and barred Alexander Hamilton from the presidency." The Christian Science Monitor
Exploding any notion that political sex scandal is a recent phenomenon, our press-hounded Founding Fathers star in an outrageous--and fact-based--historical novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. The bestseller, now in paperback, exposes the less-than-honorable side of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and others of the day.
About the Author
William Safire is a senior columnist for the New York Times. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and is also the most widely read writer on the subject of the English language. A former speechwriter for President Nixon, Safire is the author of twenty-four books, including On Language, Lend Me Your Ears, and the novels Freedom and Sleeper Spy. He lives in Washington, D.C.