Radical Hamilton: Economic Lessons from a Misunderstood Founder

October 31, 2020
Radical Hamilton: Economic Lessons from a Misunderstood Founder

In retelling the story of the radical Alexander Hamilton,Parenti rewrites the history early America and global economichistory writ large. For much of the twentieth century,Hamilton-sometimes seen as the bad boy of the founding fathers orportrayed as the patron saint of bankers-was out of fashion. Incontrast his rival Thomas Jefferson, the patrician democrat andslave owner who feared government overreach, was claimed by all.But more recently, Hamilton has become a subject of seriousinterest again.He was a contradictory mix: a tough soldier, austere workaholic,exacting bureaucrat, yet also a sexual libertine, and aglory-obsessed romantic with suicidal tendencies. As Parentiargues, we have yet to fully appreciate Hamilton as the primaryarchitect of American capitalism and the developmental state. Inexploring his life and work, Parenti rediscovers this gadfly as apath breaking political thinker and institution builder. In thisvivid historical portrait, Hamilton emerges as a singularlyimportant historical figure: a thinker and politico who laid thefoundation for America's ascent to global supremacy-for better orworse.