Daily Archives: June 1, 2024

Book Bits: 1 June 2024

The Hamilton Scheme: An Epic Tale of Money and Power in the American Founding
William Hogeland
Summary via publisher (Macmillan)
Forgotten founder” no more, Alexander Hamilton has become a global celebrity. Millions know his name. Millions imagine knowing the man. But what did he really want for the country? What risks did he run in pursuing those vaulting ambitions? Who tried to stop him? How did they fight? It’s ironic that the Hamilton revival has obscured the man’s most dramatic battles and hardest-won achievements—as well as downplaying unsettling aspects of his legacy. Thrilling to the romance of becoming the one-man inventor of a modern nation, our first Treasury secretary fostered growth by engineering an ingenious dynamo—banking, public debt, manufacturing—for concentrating national wealth in the hands of a government-connected elite. Seeking American prosperity, he built American oligarchy. Hence his animus and mutual sense of betrayal with Jefferson and Madison—and his career-long fight to suppress a rowdy egalitarian movement little remembered today: the eighteenth-century white working class.

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