The Price of Greatness

The Price of Greatness

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and the Creation of American Oligarchy

An incisive account of the tumultuous relationship between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and of the origins of our wealthy yet highly unequal nation

In the history of American politics there are few stories as enigmatic as that of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison’s bitterly personal falling out. Together they helped bring the Constitution into being, yet soon after the new republic was born they broke over the meaning of its founding document. Hamilton emphasized economic growth, Madison the importance of republican principles.

Jay Cost is the first to argue that both men were right–and that their quarrel reveals a fundamental paradox at the heart of the American experiment. He shows that each man in his own way came to accept corruption as a necessary cost of growth. The Price of Greatness reveals the trade-off that made the United States the richest nation in human history, and that continues to fracture our politics to this day.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)

On Sale: June 5th 2018

Price: $27

Page Count: 256

ISBN-13: 9781541697461

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Praise

"Thoughtful people differ concerning why so many of today's most talented writers on American history practice their craft outside academia. Thoughtful people agree, and this book demonstrates, that Jay Cost is among those writers."—George F. Will, Washington Post columnist
""Jay Cost has managed to do the unthinkable. He's written an insightful account of the principles and practices of two great founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, without savaging one or the other. This terrific book is destined to reshape our thinking about the key events of the early republic including the tragic break between Hamilton and Madison.... A must-read for those interested in a deeper understanding of two giants whose principles animate America's conflicted soul."—Stephen F. Knott, author of Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth
"Jay Cost brings alive the profound dispute between Madison's republicanism and Hamilton's nationalism and helps us see why it still matters. At once a discerning scholar of political theory and a perceptive student of political practice, he is the perfect guide to this rich story."—Yuval Levin, author of The Fractured Republic and editor of National Affairs