After sailing into the marketplace on Tuesday, American Emperor picked up a terrific review from David Holahan at the Christian Science Monitor, which featured a great opening line: “If you feel that our contemporary politics are off the rails, you should read David O. Stewart’s vivid account of 19th-century American machinations.” The review goes on to call the book a “rattling tale” (I’m pretty sure that’s good) and adds the gratuitous but welcome assertion that “The author, who has written two other compelling works of American history, is that rare commodity: a lawyer who writes well.”
And the book picked up a couple of quick 5-star write-ups on Amazon — always welcome.
I have been banging the drum for AB, as Burr signed his letters, in a couple of forums.
I argued in favor of installing Burr in the New Jersey Hall of Fame in a piece in the Newark Star-Ledger. Not only was Burr a true son of the Garden State, raised in Elizabeth and always loyal to his boyhood friends from the ‘hood, but also earned his place through is achievements and even his notoriety. “The vote,” I argued, “is for the Hall of Fame, not the hall of virtue. Burr has weathered harsh comment for two centuries, but his fame stands.” If you go to the Hall of Fame’s website, you too can vote for Burr!
Over at Constitution Daily, put out by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, I explored the Burr-Hamilton duel in a piece titled, “What was Aaron Burr supposed to do?” Though I’m no advocate of dueling as a means of dispute resolution, Burr’s conduct in his dispute with Hamilton was entirely proper under the rules of the time. Once Hamilton arrived at the dueling grounds — and he was the one who brought the guns and bullets — then the duel was on.
The pace will be picking up. Tomorrow I will speak to the Aaron Burr Association in Nashville. Next week is busy:
- Tuesday, November 1, at 6 p.m., I’ll be at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, where I did some of the research for the book.
- Wednesday, November 2, at 8 p.m., I’ll be at the Atlanta History Center in, yup, Atlanta.
- Thursday, November 3, at 6:30 p.m, it’s the Kansas City Public Library.
If you’re in any of those towns next week, come out and share with me your thoughts about AB . . . .