Gallatin: America's Swiss Founding Father

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NYU Press, Sep 28, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 193 pages
"This new biography of Albert Gallatin is especially welcome for the strong emphasis that it puts on the Geneva roots and education of Albert Gallatin, which he constantly applied in the service of America in later life."---Jacques de Saussure, senior managing partner, Pictet & Cie

"Dungan's exemplary new biography shows how much we owe to a European patrician who asked not what America could do for him, but what he could do for his adopted country."---Charles Scribner III, art historian and author of The Shadow of God: A Journey Through Memory, Art, and Faith

"In this elegant biography, Dungan charts the rise of Albert Gallatin from Congress to the Treasury to international affairs---and convincingly makes the case that Gallatin helped guide the United States to genuine independence by negotiating the end of the war of 1812."---Charles A. Kupchan, author of How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace

"Many U.S. envoys to France have had distinguished careers, but none exceeded Albert Gallatin in his contribution to the United States. Nicholas Dungan gives Gallatin's diplomacy its well-deserved emphasis in this fast-paced biography of a great European-American."---Walter J. P. Curley, former United States ambassador to France and Ireland

"In this perceptive new life of Albert Gallatin, Nicholas Dungan rightly highlights Gallatin's later years as an intellectual and public figure in New York City."---Louise Mirrer, president, New-York Historical Society

"In domestic politics as in diplomacy and the private sector, Albert Gallatin is a compelling example of the contribution of the Swiss to American achievement Nicholas Dungan helps bring alive this oft-forgotten statesman."---Laurent M. Roux, founder, Gallatin Wealth Management

Your won't find his portrait on our currency and his signature isn't penned on the Constitution, but former statesman Albert Gallatin (1761-1849) contributed immeasurably to the formation of America.

Born in Geneva to an old and noble family and highly educated in the European tradition, Gallatin made contributions to America throughout his career that far outweighted any benefit he procured for himself. He got his first taste of politics in the Pennsylvania state legislature and went on to serve in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He became Secretary of the Treasury in the Jefferson Administration and later undertook a diplomatic mission for President Madison, which ended the War of 1812 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent ---and thus gave the United States its genuine independence. Gallatin continued in diplomacy as minister to France and to Great Britain. At the age of seventy he retired from politics and commenced a new career in New York City as a banker, public figure, and intellectual, helping establish New York University and the American Ethnological Society, and serving as president of the New-York Historical Society. Gallatin died at age 88 and is buried in Manhattan's Trinity Churchyard at Broadway and Wall Street.

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User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

This biography of Gallatin may be brief, but it's thoroughly done and quite well written. Recommended. Read full review


American Beginnings 17801793
The Senate and the House 17931801
Jeffersons Secretary of the Treasury 18011809
Madisons Secretary of the Treasury 18091813
The Debut of a Diplomatist 18131815
American Minister to France 18161823
Searching for Stability 18231829
The Capstones of a Career 18301849
Gauging Gallatins Greatness

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About the author (2010)

Nicholas Dungan is a transatlantic expert and commentator. He has been president of the French-American Foundation in New York, Associate Fellow of Chatham House in London, and a banker in Europe and the United States.

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