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July 01 , 2010

American Machiavelli

Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy


Alexander Hamilton rose from his humble beginnings as an illegitimate West Indian orphan and emigrant to become the premier statebuilder and strategic thinker of the American Founding generation. This is the first detailed narrative study of his foreign policy role and ideas to appear in more than thirty years. It focuses on Hamilton's controversial activities as a key member of President George Washington's cabinet and as an aspiring military leader in the 1790s, a decade of profound division over the shape and powers of the Federal government, and US policy toward the warring powers of Europe. Drawing parallels between Hamilton and the Florentine diplomatist and thinker, Niccolò Machiavelli, prize-winning historian John Lamberton Harper offers an insightful and accessible account of the origins of Hamilton's outlook, his bitterly personal rivalries with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and his indispensable part in designing and implementing US foreign policy.

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