Picture of author.
10+ Works 209 Membros 2 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Stephen F. Knott is professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His many books include Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth and Rush to Judgment: George It: Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics, both from Kansas.

Obras de Stephen F. Knott

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum



Stephen Knott and Tony Williams have contributed their take on the Founding in a book published in 2015 the main theme of which is enunciated in the title to the right of the colon - "The Alliance That Forged America". This is not by any means an exhaustive biography of either title character. Nor is it a complete history of the Founding from the pre-revolutionary years through the end of the Federalist Era. There are other books by other authors available to the reader looking for comprehensive studies of these matters.

Where the book is at its strongest is the period following the Constitutional Convention through the death of Hamilton following the duel with Burr in July of 1804. That said, the authors do provide biographical sketches of each man prior to their initial encounter during the disastrous Battle of New York in 1776 that followed the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and nearly resulted in the total defeat of the American army.

Among the traits that Washington & Hamilton exhibited in common were a high regard for reputation and personal honor and the related tug of ambition, initially for military glory and as they matured a patriotic desire to see the American republic endure and prosper. They shared a vision that the authors call "continental" and shared goals for the creation of an economically diverse nation by providing encouragement to manufacturing and finance and lessening dependence on an agricultural society dependent on foreign creditors and domestic slaves.

The authors hit their stride in discussions of the debates on ratification and Washington's two terms as President. Along with most historians and biographers they cover the major faux pas of Hamilton's political career that effectively eliminated him as a candidate for political office and cost him the confidence of many of his fellow Federalists. The lengthy apologia for his conduct in the Reynolds affair and the letter he distributed (94 pages worth!) criticizing the conduct of John Adams' presidency were fatal to any future political possibilities. But he never lost the loyalty of Washington.

In the author's recounting of the political wars of the Federalist Era they refute the allegations current at the time and since repeated in the works of some later authors that Hamilton had used Washington as a cover to promote schemes against the public interest and hostile to republicans principles. Washington was fully in sympathetic with Hamilton's project and indeed Hamilton's public papers gave concrete expression to the spirit of Washington's policies.

The usual suspects come in for a hiding by the authors - predominantly Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Adams. Four days after delivering his inaugural address in which Jefferson famously declaimed, "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists", he wrote in a private letter of his intention to "'obliterate' the Federalists by recruiting the 'honest part of that faction". Moreover, Jefferson instructed his Secretary of the Treasury to review all the files in the department with a goal of uncovering evidence of Hamilton's corruption. Gallatin was forced to report a clean bill of health regarding Hamilton's conduct of the department.

I can think of no better summation of the book's argument than the final paragraph in the postscript which I quote below in its entirety.

"As much as it pains Hamilton's critics to admit, Hamilton's vision was Washington's vision as well. Americans should put aside the caricatured account of their early history that pits the supposed 'champions of the people' (Jefferson, Madison, and their party) against the 'forces of privilege and authoritarianism' (Washington, Hamilton, and the Federalists). If they do so, they will discover that due to the exertions of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, the American people began to 'think continentally' and created a strong union that decades and then centuries later helped defeat fascism and communism, explored the universe, produced endless scientific and technological breakthroughs, and perhaps most importantly abolished slavery and Jim Crow, thereby securing the blessings of liberty for all their fellow citizens."
… (mais)
citizencane | 1 outra resenha | Jul 29, 2020 |
Over the centuries there have been hundreds of books written on George Washington, “Father of His Country” and Alexander Hamilton, "Father of the Constitution," so what is left to say on this subject. But what I found riveting about Stephen F. Knott & Tony Williams book “Washington & Hamilton” is how they are shown individually and together struggled with victory and defeat in both their military and personal lives. And how even though George and Alexander had two very different personalities, came together as one alliance to make sure that the independence they fought for in the American Revolution would continue in the vision of The United States of America.
During the beginning chapters the authors beautifully show how Washington & Hamilton filled with enormous ambitions for their lives, but through very different upbringings, those parallel aspirations would not come to fruition until they were on the battlefield fighting on the same side. The details of how each man ended up in their rightful places during the war brilliantly written with the authors describing in detail George and Alexander’s life up to that point. Like all great battles the two men had their fair share of ups and downs, at times having limited troops to fight off the British, but in the end, America came out the victor. It was during this time that Washington & Hamilton had a falling out over a misinterpreted situation. After the war Washington decided to retire from public service, believing he would quietly retire in Virginia on his plantation for the remaining of her life. While Alexander much younger at only thirty years old figured his future was just beginning, so he opened a law practice in New York City. Little did either man know that their country would need them during the defining moment that would forever propel America from obscurity to the highest power of the world. The authors again weave brilliantly the process that created the Constitution of the United States. Leading the reader through the Articles of Confederation, the Delegates, Federalists & Anti- Federalists, Ratification and the Bill of Rights. During the creation of the Constitution, the "Founding Fathers" did not always see eye to eye on the outline of the document, but they all knew that the country needed such a governing document to protect the freedoms of the American people from future tyranny.
As the birth of a new nation formed, the Founding Fathers could entirely agree though on the fact that George Washington was the "indispensable man." Known to his fellow citizens as a national figure, it seemed only fitting to make him the first commander in chief. The final chapters of the book, construct the bitter relationship between President Washington and Vice President Adams and continued difficulty with the Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson. Washington must also maneuver as the first President of the U.S.A. while continuing to remember the future of this new nation. While Alexander Hamilton would become the first Secretary of the Treasury, forming the first bank of the United States, allowing the country to have finally financial stability.
As the book ends with the timeline of the deaths of both Washington and Hamilton, the reader is shown how each man indeed was thought of by his fellow countrymen. Washington, through Hamilton's help, gives the great General Washington the send off a right," Father of his Country", deserves. Hamilton killed in a duel by Aaron Burr and unfortunately seems to be the only real fact most Americans know about him. But the policies and decisions Washington & Hamilton made during the establishment of America have forever impacted this great country. Giving us as Americans a lasting government, and a nation that has prospered because of the sacrifice of both Washington & Hamilton to make the United States of America a perfect union.
… (mais)
1 vote
JCGirl | 1 outra resenha | Oct 18, 2015 |

You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.7

Tabelas & Gráficos