Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America
By David O. Stewart
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781439157206, 432pp.)
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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In this vivid and brilliant biography, David O. Stewart portrays Aaron Burr, the third vice president, as a daring and perhaps deluded figure who shook the nation’s foundations in its earliest, most vulnerable decade. Stewart’s vivid account of Burr’s tumultuous life offers a rare and eye-opening description of the brand-new nation struggling to define itself.
David O. Stewart turned to writing after more than a quarter century of law practice in Washington, D.C., defending accused criminals and challenging government actions as unconstitutional. His first book about the writing of the Constitution, The Summer of 1787, grew out of Supreme Court case he was working on. It was aWashington Post bestseller and won the Washington Writing Prize for Best Book of 2007. Impeached had its roots in a judicial impeachment trial Stewart defended before the United States Senate, in 1989, and then argued to the Supreme Court. His most recent book, American Emperor, tells this astonishing tale, which traces Aaron Burr’s descent from made man to political pariah to imperialist adventurer. For more information about the author, go to DavidOStewart.com.
Advance Praise for American Emperor
“A proven storyteller, David O. Stewart takes us on a wonderful journey back to a fascinating chapter of American life: the challenges and controversies embodied in Aaron Burr. American Emperor is a great tale.”
--Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
“A luminous portrait of Aaron Burr as well as the first high-definition picture of an endlessly baffling, infuriating, and mesmerizing life.”
--Patricia O’Toole, When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House
“Aaron Burr is the American Lucifer, a figure of immense talents and heroic qualities whose voracious ambition thrust him into a position as adversary to the goodness around him. David Stewart captures this tale in all its drama, treachery, and historical dimension. This is a truly absorbing narrative.”
--Robert W. Merry, author of A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent
“The generation of the Founders produced some intriguing characters, but Aaron Burr has to be the most charismatic, quixotic, and mysterious. David Stewart brings the scheming, brilliant Burr to life in this lively but also judicious portrait of grand and unfulfilled ambition.”
--Evan Thomas, author of The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898
“With remarkable evenhandedness and superb pacing, David O. Stewart has given us a real Aaron Burr and a real Thomas Jefferson in a gripping narrative about a political adventure that might have changed the history of the United States and Mexico.”
--Thomas Fleming, author of Duel: Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton and the Future of America
“Stewart’s sympathetic but unapologetic study of the enigmatic Burr…transcends its subject in exposing the frailty of early America’s westward ambitions. Highly recommended for readers of Revolutionary-era biographies and early U.S. history.” –Library Journal
“A fresh, vivid exploration of the exploits and trial of Aaron Burr… Two parts adventure story and one part courtroom thriller… A persuasive, engaging examination of the post-political career of a shadowy and much-maligned figure from the era of the Founders.” –Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
“Great men behaving badly makes for entertaining reading…[this book] will keep [readers] turning the pages of this meticulous, almost day-by-day account of a plot so bizarre that it’s hard to believe it actually happened.” –Publishers Weekly
“Stewart strives admirably to sort through the maze of facts and speculations about the nature of the conspiracy and Burr’s place in it. This is also a personality study of Burr, in whom Stewart sees an extraordinary combination of talent, vision, arrogance, and insatiable ambition….readers should enjoy this account of a dangerous episode that threatened our young republic.” –Booklist
“American Emperor offers a compelling, provocative portrait of Aaron Burr….a skilled historian and a splendid storyteller, Stewart makes the most of the episode and its…cast of characters.” —Kansas City Star