Author & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Burr’

Burr's Corsets . . .

Aaron Burr’s devotion to the charms of the fair sex is the apparent justification for a new exhibition at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Upper Manhattan, where Burr lived for a few months during his short-lived second marriage at age 77.  The show is titled “The Loves of Aaron Burr:  Portraits in Corsetry and Binding.” I did…

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Blagojevich and the Founders

It’s open season on the Founders. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), who is looking at a run for president as an Extreme Right-wing choice, has already revealed that she became a conservative in reaction against the “snotty” Aaron Burr.  Upon examination, it turned out that she really was reacting against Gore Vidal’s novel, Burr, and its…

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Still Looking for Alexander

I applaud those who try to bring history to life and share it with the largest possible audiences.  But it’s not an automatic pass.  You still need to tell the stories and tell them well. By those standards, Monday night’s PBS special Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton probably gets a C, mostly for good intentions, as I explicate over…

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The Fascination of Aaron Burr

Scores of novelists and playwrights have explored the stories of Aaron Burr.  I was amazed to discover that his achievements and failures had appealed to such diverse writers as Eudora Welty and James Thurber, both of whom wrote short stories about him.    Yesterday, brought two more examples of Burr’s appeal to the literary imagination.  An obituary for…

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The Shores of Tripoli, Again

The riveting news of rebellion in Libya, and possible American involvement against Tripoli, brings to mind the first time American forces attacked the North African shore, in the early 1800s.  The episode, unsurprisingly, intersected sharply with the path of Aaron Burr.  (So much did!) The events are enshrined in the Marine Hymn, of course (“From the Halls…

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Aaron Burr at 255: Still Ticking People Off

Repeatedly over the last several months, Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota has blamed Aaron Burr for her lurch to the Far Right.  Her epiphany came during her college years in the 1970s, when she read of Burr’s jaundiced view of the true character of the men who founded the country. “He was going after our founders,” she said…

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American Emperor: October 4!

We now have a schedule and a cover!  Simon & Schuster will release my new book on October 4:  American Emperor:  Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America.  The book explores the story of Burr’s audacious “Western conspiracy,” which involved an invasion of Mexico and Florida, or an insurrection in New Orleans, or the secession of the Western…

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Aaron Burr Leaves the Senate

The Washington Post ran a piece on Saturday about how current senators ignore the deeply-felt farewell addresses of their departing colleagues.  Having just completed my manuscript about Aaron Burr’s Western expedition, which will be published next fall — American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America — I was reminded of Burr’s emotional departure from the Senate in…

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Do You Know Where These Maps Are?

Writing books about history means trying to find out secrets that once were not secrets.  In my current project about Aaron Burr and his dream of creating an American empire, I am feverishly trying to track down three maps that Burr was using when he was arrested for treason in Mississippi, which supposedly provide insight into…

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Chestertown

For the next two months, I will be in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, as part of the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellowship.  The deal involves living in a 1730s-era home (restored, of course), access to the resources of Washington College, a stipend, and . . . finishing my book on the Western…

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