Inventing American History (Boston Review Books)

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May be ex-library. The MIT Press. Used - Very Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. He suggests that Hamilton felt sorry for Daniel Shays, leader of a debtor uprising in Massachusetts, arguing that federal assumption of state debts was intended to relieve small-farming debtors.

To the extent that he thought about it at all, Hamilton wanted people to stop talking nonsense about their own economic aspirations and get ahead his way and his way alone, by becoming efficiently organized laborers and farm workers for the financiers and industrialists. Hamilton crossed the line too, and with a vengeance, when he engaged yet again in what some might prefer to write off as a youthful fling with militarism at Newburgh.

The rebels, fatally romanticized by both progressive and libertarian historians, were militarists too. They tortured and terrorized officials and civilians, took over militias and courts in western Pennsylvania, marched against soldiers of the U. Army, came close to burning Pittsburgh, purged the region of wealthy citizens, and threatened the union with secession.

Long before the rebels took military action, Hamilton was eager to define what were only a few, scattered crimes as acts of war. He pressured Washington to subdue, police, and occupy the entire area with overwhelming force. When matters reached a fevered pitch in the summer of , Attorney General William Bradford engaged in sham negotiations with the rebels to buy time for a secret military buildup run by Hamilton, who had eagerly volunteered to lead the mission. To give the impression that the government sought a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Hamilton told Henry Lee, governor of Virginia, to postdate orders calling out the Virginia militia.

When the buildup was complete, Hamilton took command of a 20,troop operation. Washington wisely led the troops only part of the way, then turned back, leaving the dirty work to Hamilton. The writ of habeas corpus was not suspended, as required in such cases by the Constitution, yet men were detained by the hundreds without charge and for indefinite periods.

They were also threatened with worse punishment, at times personally by Hamilton, in an effort to extract false testimony against other rebel citizens. That occupation subjected law-abiding citizens, who had already been terrorized by the rebels, to martial law; as their scarce food and supplies were impressed, soldiers went from house to house administering loyalty oaths. Hamilton hoped to use the false evidence to silence his political opponents by hanging them for treason.

Unleashed, the existential hero was in a white heat. Using the military to trounce the rule of law and violate civil rights was integral to his vision of federal power, national wealth, and a strong union. Hamilton also envisioned leading the U. Hamilton is routinely credited as favoring a strong executive branch. What he really favored, from Newburgh through the Whiskey Rebellion, from the quasi-war with France through his response to the anti-federalism of the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions, was an executive branch run by him, strong enough to do anything it deemed in the national interest.

For Hamilton, personal and military force, unrestrained by the slightest consideration of law, were joined ineluctably to American wealth, American unity, and America modernity. You might have noticed the absence of paywalls at Boston Review. We are committed to staying free for all our readers.

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William Hogeland

Nov 1, Topics: United States history politics. While we have you Du Bois and Booker T. While some play poker, Ray reads Crime and Punishment. Maybe that was why he felt he had to write. At his most Procrustean, he stretches shreds of evidence into a shape that suits his overall argument. Loading the shreds with significance, he tends to stretch the evidence past the breaking point.

Thus, he devotes an entire chapter to the image of Albert Einstein and the theory of relativity after the First World War. This is more than one-tenth the entire length of the book, but what it delivers is meager. But how representative was Poor? Lecklider ends this chapter in a conceptual blur:. Though representations of Einstein failed to resolve the contradictions at stake in defining American identities following World War I, his brainpower was used to filter these contradictions through a fascinating individual whose legacy was the subject of contentious division.

If anything, the worker-hero of the s was muscle-bound, not effete. Although here too Lecklider might be accused of Procrustean overstretch, he does intriguingly suggest that, in her view, at least, it is within same-sex relationships that body and mind best match. What then of the explosive image of brainpower at work that followed Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

9 Books for Teaching Early US History

He pays little attention to the mad scientist so beloved of popular imagery in the Frankenstein tradition. In popular imagery, why did the egghead loom so large, so contemptible? Lecklider answers his own question:.

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The Cold War egghead refracted cultural fears about the challenges to the American way of life posed by homophile politics, antiracist social movements, and a left that refused to disappear in spite of intimidation tactics, blacklists and HUAC belligerence p. Lecklider, however, once again overplays his hand, focusing sharply, almost exclusively, on materials that make his point. But why do these particular two artifacts deserve such attention?


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