The Young Hamilton (Magill's Literary Annual 1979)
James T. Flexner’s name is well established as an author on a diverse range of American historical topics. His earlier writings delve impressively into the realm of American painters through such works as American Painting, Gilbert Stuart, and The World of Winslow Homer. In addition, Flexner developed a corresponding fascination with related vignettes of the American past and contributed fine perspectives on such varied matters as Doctors on Horseback and Steamboats Come True. Later, he was to emerge with a number of more political portraits, including essentially biographical looks at the Benedict Arnold controversies and, more notably, in-depth studies of the foremost founding father. These later writings, entitled George Washington and Washington: The Indispensable Man, remain among the better Washington offerings.
Flexner’s latest endeavor, The Young Hamilton, may be the best of his political biographies. Like Washington, the author’s previous subject, Alexander Hamilton clearly played a vital role during the formative years of the new United States of America and its federal government policies. Yet this biography, as the title suggests, chooses to focus upon Hamilton’s youthful career prior to his controversial stint as Secretary of the Treasury and his political confrontations with men such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
In order to provide the semblance of...
(The entire section is 1639 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1979)
Atlantic. CCXLI, April, 1978, p. 127.
Christian Science Monitor. May 10, 1978, p. 30.
Economist. CCLXVII, May 20, 1978, p. 129.
Library Journal. CIII, May 1, 1978, p. 966.
New York Times Book Review. March 26, 1978, p. 1.
Newsweek. XCI, March 20, 1978, p. 85.
Time. CXI, April 24, 1978, p. 95.
(The entire section is 33 words.)