Affairs of Honor

By Joanne B. Freeman,

Book cover of Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic

Book description

A major reassessment of American political culture in the days of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Burr

"[A] landmark study of Hamilton and the founders."-Jeff Sharlet, Chronicle of Higher Education

"Demands the attention of everyone with a serious interest in the history of American politics."-Pauline Maier, Washington Post

In this extraordinary book,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Affairs of Honor as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is one of the books that inspired and provided source material for the musical Hamilton. Freeman is a Pulitzer prize-winning historian of post-1776 United States. This masterful history of the early American republic shows how dueling needs to be understood as politics by other means, as part of the mad scramble for power and prestige in the context of never-ending “paper wars” in the partisan press. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ll never forget how much the cover art captured my imagination, and how brilliantly it reflects what you will find inside.…

Affairs of Honor was instrumental in shaping my understanding of political culture in the Early Republic. Freeman’s book vividly depicts the contentious social world of the Founding era and the logic behind colorful insults, duels, and political battles. Fans of Hamilton: The Musical will especially enjoy this book, as one of the chapters inspired the song “Ten Duel Commandments!” 

From Lindsay's list on for Father’s Day.

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