Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review/Recommendation

I just finished a book that I would recommend to anyone with a thirst for history. The book is The Last Founding Father - James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger. When I read a non-fiction book, particularly biographies, my hope is that the tome will add to my existing knowledge and cause me to reassess my opinion of the subject. The Last Founding Father definitely meets that requirement. Each year around President's Day a theme on the internet will be to rank the presidents. Usually Washington and Lincoln vie for the top of the list followed by Jefferson, Reagan, the two Roosevelts and so on with James Buchanan almost universally ranked last. Monroe would often get lumped in the second ten with the likes of Eisenhower, Polk, John Quincy Adams, etc. After reading this book I'm inclined to rank Monroe much closer to the top. Also, having read this book just after reading David McCullough's John Adams' biography I would move Thomas Jefferson down considerably as he seems to have been vastly overrated.

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Blogger bob said...

In my mind Jefferson is most highly thought of because of his flowing words in the Declaration of Independence. Although his greatest Achievement was reluctantly carried out against his desires, The Louisiana Purchase.

Monroe and his doctrine were natural off shoots of the purchase and a young countries growing influence.

May 22, 2010 at 3:55 AM


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