Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I just read Garry Wills' "Negro President" (Jefferson, because he courted the slave states, where negros though they couldn't vote comprised 3/5ths of a person for electoral college purposes). It covers much of the same ground as the following book. Jefferson called it the second revolution. Any notion that our founding fathers were calm dispassionate sages pontificating in their white powdered wigs will fade quickly upon close examination of the actual bitter partisanship and acrimony of the times.

A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign

by Edward J. Larson

Reviewed by Thom Hartmann

One of the most startling things we learn from history is how little we've learned -- and how often that failure to learn causes history to repeat itself. The election of 2008 may well -- depending on who is the Democratic nominee -- end up being a startling replay of the election of 1800. In that election, Thomas Jefferson, who along with James Madison founded what is today's modern Democratic Party (known then as the Republican Party), challenged sitting president and ardent conservative Federalist (what today would be called "Republican") John Adams.

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