Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic


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Ships with Tracking Number! Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory n. Joanne B. Publisher: Yale University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic. Review : The more things change, the more they remain the same. Buy New Learn more about this copy.


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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Published by Yale University Press Rather than feeling disjointed because of this, however, Freeman creates a natural flow between the chapters by having a politician present in one chapter be the focal figure of the next.

Jefferson's political disputes with Alexander Hamilton lead to his duel with Aaron Burr, which, in turn, leads to a discussion of Burr's handling of the electoral tie. It doesn't quite read like a novel, but because of this, it comes close. The narrative Freeman creates is always interesting and, at several points, entertaining.

As far as reading for class goes, I feel fairly lucky to have been assigned this book. Jan 26, Mr.

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Monahan rated it really liked it. Historian Joanne Freeman undertakes a very unique task in portraying the early republic through the complex lens of social reputation. Freeman familiarizes the reader with the founding generation through a social institution as strange and often unfamiliar to the modern American as slavery is: honor.

Often ignored, mocked, or oversimplified by previous scholars, Freeman chooses to analyze the social rules that governed the founders themselves. The results are crucial, interesting, bizarre, and—a Historian Joanne Freeman undertakes a very unique task in portraying the early republic through the complex lens of social reputation. The results are crucial, interesting, bizarre, and—at times—comical. Working from the famous and possibly exhausted Hamilton-Burr Duel, Freeman isolates and biographies not Alexander Hamilton or Aaron Burr, but the inner workings of the honor code that brought both men to this fateful encounter.

In doing so, Freeman makes it perfectly clear to the reader that this notable duel was neither a chance encounter nor a fringe occurrence for the time period. One of these conclusions is that a name was everything is , and to sully the name or reputation of a public figure was akin to an assault of his life. However further conclusion can be drawn about the workings and nature of early republican government. Where Freeman focuses exclusively on the conduct of honorable and thus wealthy American males, Catherine Algor attempts to shed light on the significant role played by women in the early republic.

In an interesting twist however, Algor opens Parlor Politics with and analysis of social Washington City during the Jeffersonian presidency. Unlike his predecessor John Adams, the Jeffersonian presidency coincides with a marked decrease in the previously emerging role of women in federal politics. This role was of course masked in the social orders that were simultaneously emerging Washington, and provided a select cadre of American women the unique opportunity to influence public matters by means of their male counterparts.

Aug 23, Michael Kleen rated it it was amazing. Joanne B. Freeman is a professor of History specializing in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History at Yale University. She earned her Ph. Maclay was not without his biases, however. He was an outsider who was critical of the non-republican nature of congress, and that certainly led him to highlight certain aspects of the political culture that played into his own viewpoint.


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  6. Using other documents, such as the papers and notes of Thomas Jefferson, Freeman convincingly shows how political disputes and positions were frequently interpreted as personal slights and insults. Politics was played out in alliances and anonymous newspaper essays and pamphlets where gossip became crucial for determining political allies. In that environment, Freeman argued, the election of became an honor dispute between Republicans Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson.

    The men involved were preoccupied with the outcome of that election for decades after, each convinced they had been personally insulted by the decision, especially the loser, Aaron Burr, who was eager to save his reputation. A reasonable conclusion, but it fails to take into account how the idea of personal honor in politics was carried on into the later nineteenth century, even though the formal duel had gone out of fashion.

    Freeman makes her case well, however, and opened up the possibility of examining the idea of honor in national political culture throughout American history. Jan 14, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: 1st-library-zotero , history-us. Early working out of ideas to be presented in the book. Freeman begins the article by stating the problem -- why, in short, did Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr go to the dueling grounds in Weehawken, NJ on July 11, ?

    To answer that question, she needs to put the practice of dueling into cultural context. Fortunately, the duelists wrote a great deal about the practice. In the case of Hamilton and Burr, Hamilton's 4 page letter of justification to posterity, written on the night before the duel, was particularly revealing. He was highly conflicted over the coming duel, but felt compelled to defend his honor on the dueling field. Arguing in his letter that he exhausted all options to avoid the duel, and he had decided not to fire at Burr.

    Understanding why this was the case, why he made that decision, provides up a window into the values of the political leadership of the Early National Period. Dueling to protect one's honor was a nationally significant political activity, as it provided the last check in the political system of checks and balances. In a system without political parties, where faction was decried as corrupt, every issue was a personal one. To be a leader, you needed to prove yourself honorable. The conduct of the honorable leader was governed by an intricate set of rules. Recounting the stories of James Monroe's quarrel with John Adams, she notes that Monroe considered challenging Adams to a duel, but decided not to because Adams was "old and the President.

    The objective was not to kill your opponent, but rather to show yourself worthy of leadership. Not only did the duelists have seconds, who aided and abetted the process, but the whole ritual of the affair of honor was facilitated by the "friends" of the principal parties. The cause of the affair was the individual around whom the lesser lights rallied. These bands of followers formed a fighting band not unlike the "interests" which Taylor describes. The affair of honor was often the result of a loosing politician trying to regain his honor after being defeated in an election.

    They were, in fact, ways in which political battles were fought. Appealing to public opinion, the objective of the affair was to show that your cause was upright and that of your opponent was corrupt. More than aristocrats fighting for a position at court, the American duelist was also a republican pursuing the public good! It began six weeks after Burr had lost the NY governor's race.

    Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    Anxious to remain a viable leader, he seized upon a reported slight of his character reported by a third party. An exchange ensued in which Burr demanded a humiliating apology from Hamilton. After the duel, the seconds of Burr van Ness and Hamilton Nathaniel Pendleton jockeyed to control public opinion about the outcome of the affair of honor. Burr ended up leaving NY state in dishonor. Because he failed to control the fallout coming out of the duel, Burr actually lost the affair of honor.

    Especially Hamilton felt this deeply, and his refusal to fire reflects this internal conflict. He wrote his last letter to justify to posterity why he was dueling and to vindicate his memory to posterity. He doesn't seem to have done that, but he did leave a tortured record of the political culture of the period.

    Mar 30, Jane rated it it was amazing Shelves: own , history , non-fiction. Essential commentary on Federalist-period American politics, and discussion of the oft-misunderstood honor code that lay at its core. So, read it. Aug 22, Chelsea rated it it was ok Shelves: history , nonfiction , popsugar More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm. My pick for the Popsugar Reading Challenge's category "A book you should have read in school but didn't" was pretty much the only book that I could remember not reading for a class, Affairs of Honor.

    AFFAIRS OF HONOR by Joanne B. Freeman | Kirkus Reviews

    This is a book about the Founding Fathers' generation politicking and how politics was tied up with personal honor, all of it building up to the election of While the concept is interesting, and it did reveal a few things I didn't More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm. While the concept is interesting, and it did reveal a few things I didn't know about American history, I wasn't thrilled with it overall and can remember why I started but decided not to finish it for my class.

    The thing is, it's boring. This is not a popular history book. It's decidedly academic, which means that it beats you over the head with its message--that honor played into politics--until you're pretty much ready to scream that yes, you get it, and you're ready to move on.

    The moving on, however, never happens. Oct 17, Brent McCulley rated it liked it Shelves: history. What Freeman offers in "Affairs of Honor" is a comprehensive study of the personal culture of America's earliest years as a nation. This text is unlike anything we've ever seen before, largely digging into personal diaries from American colonial times, showing a new perspective that goes beyond the 'show' and the 'facade.


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    Because of the lack of personal primary sources of such time periods, this area of history is often overlooked; but nevertheless, Freeman offers a remarkable well-researched book that is a must-read for any historian of early American-history. This book will open your eyes to the love, hate, and betrayal that went on in American politics behind the scenes during her greatest years. View 1 comment.

    Oct 15, Shelley rated it it was amazing Shelves: american-history. This is a fascinating look at the early republic from almost a purely emotional point of view--specifically, the culture of honor that was intrinsic to gentlemen at the time but which is pretty damned foreign to most people now. I now know the nuances involved in caning, spitting, and dueling, although I have little cause to use them in my daily life. I stumbled onto this while researching something else, but I'm glad I did.

    For one, it's engaging, and although I'm over the Revolution of This is a fascinating look at the early republic from almost a purely emotional point of view--specifically, the culture of honor that was intrinsic to gentlemen at the time but which is pretty damned foreign to most people now. For one, it's engaging, and although I'm over the Revolution of see further: Election of , Professor Freeman puts a new spin on it.

    Padma Awards 2019 Full Analysis पद्म पुरस्कार 112 हस्तियां सम्मानित Current Affairs 2019

    Minor quibbles: the organization is a bit on the odd side this may be a result of the topic itself, which is not particularly linear and it does drag toward the end, but if you're interested in American history and politics or American historical politics , I recommend it.

    Jun 09, Craig rated it liked it Shelves: 19th-century-american-history , early-american-history. Different chapters on such political main issues as honor, gossip, the art of writing, and ultimately duels show how American politics was handled in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Using some of the writings of lesser-known figures of the time period William MacLay and William Plumer as well as the better-known events such as the Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton duel and election, the book presents a different look at the actions and goals of the early politicians.

    I'm not sure if I fully bought into the thesis of the book so that's what kept it from being a four-star book review in this case. Apr 27, Ana rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , non-fiction , wow. Affairs of Honor is an interesting and exciting commentary on the influence of the culture of honor in early American politics. It lends new insights into the motivations and thoughts of politicians that are often not easily understandable today.

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    Oct 13, Barb rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , history. Probably more of a 3. Kudos, doctor. Affairs of Honor is a fascinating look at the politics in early American history. Politics today clearly has little, if anything, to do with honor; in the late 18th century, it was entirely about honor. Politicians were gentlemen, and their word was their bond. Appearances were everything. When there were arguments, there were many ways to has them Probably more of a 3.

    In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic. By exploring both the public actions and private papers of key figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, Freeman reveals an alien and profoundly unstable political world grounded on the code of honor. In the absence of a party system and with few examples to guide America's experiment in republican governance, the rituals and rhetoric of honor provided ground rules for political combat.

    Gossip, print warfare, and dueling were tools used to jostle for status and form alliances in an otherwise unstructured political realm.

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

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