Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Not Taking Sides

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Not Taking Sides

Article excerpt

I read professor Glenn Altschuler's review of my book, "The Price of Greatness," with eagerness (Aug. 26 Books, "Birth of an Oligarchy"). He holds an endowed chair at Cornell, where he teaches American studies. So, I was eager to learn. Unfortunately, I came away from his review with more confusion than clarity.

Mr. Altschuler's chief objection to my book appears to be its partiality to James Madison over Alexander Hamilton. Yet it is precisely against such one-sidedness that I wrote "The Price of Greatness." My thesis is that Madison and Hamilton were both right and wrong. Nobody is perfect, and it's silly to invest these early disputes with much partisan passion, except the passion for history that Mr. Altschuler and I share.

Another source of confusion: Mr. …

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