A Book for this 4th of July

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Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton,
originally uploaded by cliff1066™.

In The Never Realized Republic, Peter O’Lalor describes the great heritage of freedom and liberty that informed America’s Revolutionary generation, the fundamental intentions of the Founders when they gathered in Philadelphia to write the Constitution, and the way these intentions were in many ways thwarted by the single-minded efforts of one man – the extraordinary Alexander Hamilton, the driving force of Washington’s administration. (It is noteworthy, and praiseworthy, that O’Lalor never questions Hamilton’s loyalty or good intentions; only his principles).

As a result, the Founders’ prevalent vision of a government with a duty to promote political, social, and economic justice for all its citizens, was transformed into Hamilton’s personal vision of a government striving to aggrandize itself – through the accumulation of national wealth and global commercial dominance backed up by military might.

He nicely weaves together elements of ancient and modern history, economics, philosophy, religion and education. He grieves over the loss of what might-have-been, deploring the empty consumer society that seems to be the final end of our great American experiment. But he concludes on a hopeful note: “The government has a moral duty to serve people. If that is a given, society will progress toward peace and harmony. Then will America realize the republic of the Revolutionary generation.”