Reconciling Irreconcilables

image from www.history.comHave you noticed the Alexander Hamilton worship? Paradoxically, many of his acolytes also adulate Thomas Jefferson.

In life, they were bitter opponents and greatly disliked each other personally. How do we reconcile the current love of both? Revisionist history, rose-colored glasses, and two centuries remove.image from

They were both great men, though they differed in almost every way. Our nation was fortunate to have both among its founders. If we hadn’t (along with G. Washington, B. Franklin and a few others), America might have gone the way of the French Revolution, which would have been fine with one of them.

Book Review: The Light and the Glory: Did God have a Plan for America? (Second Edition) by Peter Marshall and David Manuel Four Stars

Book Review: The Light and the Glory: Did God have a Plan for America? by Peter Marshall and David Manuel

Four Stars

As the cover asserts, the second edition is “revised and expanded.” (For a fuller review of the first edition, read here.) Some material has been deleted, some of which had doubtful providence, some perhaps to keep the book close to 500 pages. The result is a better, tighter argument of the author’s thesis.

As reviewed previously, this book presents an argument, that “Since the first Christian settlers entered into covenant with Him, God has called the people of this country to be ‘a City on a Hill,’” referring to John Winthrop’s 1630 quote from Matthew 5:14.

Thirty years elapsed between editions. This writing is tauter and reads better. While the cover art of the first edition is more striking, this edition is preferred for the text.

(Both authors are now deceased. The link in is erroneous, to Marshall’s father.)

Book Review: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (Four Stars)

Book Review: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Four Stars

“Instead of glorying in his might, he feared its terrible weight’s potential misuse.”

An encyclopedic survey of the life of George Washington. Well done, but Chernow was so heavily engaged in selling his theories of Washington’s personality and style that parts felt like the 2016 election campaign. “The most interior of the founders.” Pages of pithy epigrams by and about Washington. At 900 pages, it’s hardly “crisply paced”

“Things seldom happened accidentally to George Washington, but he managed them with consummate skill that they often seemed to happen accidentally.”

Modern availability and cataloguing of founder correspondence allows Chernow to explore both sides of many conversations, facilitating greater understanding of the bonds and divisions between Washington and Continue reading