Jefferson's Vendetta: The Pursuit Of Aaron Burr And The Judiciary

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PublicAffairs, Jan 1, 2005 - Political Science - 344 pages
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Generations of Americans have known Thomas Jefferson as one of our unambiguously great presidents, a man of honor and optimism unencumbered by pettiness and spite; and so they have known Aaron Burr, his greatest adversary, as a traitorous would-be destroyer of that distinguished legacy. In Jefferson’s Vendetta, Joseph Wheelan examines one of the eminent political rivalries in our history, set against the backdrop of postcolonial Virginia, and discovers a truth vastly different from what is taught in high schools and universities. Here is Burr, the flawed but gifted politician who made powerful enemies because his charm and skill rivaled Jefferson’s own, and who trusted the fairness of American democracy too deeply to rebut the wild criticisms aimed at him by slanderers in the U.S. government. Supreme Court chief justice John Marshall is also presented, who knew that he and his weakened federal judiciary could be redeemed by a few shrewdly considered words—or condemned by miscalculated ones—during America’s first “trial of the century.” Lastly, in vivid detail, is Jefferson, whose obsessive crusade to destroy Burr was undone by one mammoth but historically overlooked miscalculation. Eight pages of illustrations are featured in this detailed account of an historic reversal of roles.

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Jefferson's vendetta: the pursuit of Aaron Burr and the judiciary

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Wheelan (Jefferson's War ), a former AP reporter and editor, provides a highly engaging account of Aaron Burr's trial for treason and the events leading up to it. The author challenges Burr's ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

Joseph Wheelan, a graduate of the University of Wyoming and University of Colorado, Denver, was for twenty-six years an editor and reporter for the "Associated Press" and the "Casper Star-Tribune" (Wyoming). He is the author of "Jefferson's War" and "Jefferson's Vendetta," each available from Carroll & Graf. He lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife, Pat.

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