- ›› Eras and Sub-Eras : The Early Republic
H. W. Brands, Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History and Government at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses his book, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2000). He argues that Franklin as the first person in the British colonies in the 1770s to view himself as an American rather than an Englishman. He focuses particularly on how Franklin shaped his reputation in France to encourage that nation to support the Revolution.
Richard Brookhiser, senior editor at National Review, discusses his book, Alexander Hamilton, American. Brookhiser recounts Alexander Hamilton's great successes and tragic failures as Revolutionary, bovernment-shaper, financial genius, and American visionary. He explores Hamilton's impoverished upringing in the Caribbean and describes how Hamilton went on to give birth to American capitalism by developing the country's financial system.
Ron Chernow presents the full sweep of Alexander Hamilton’s dramatic life and achievements and makes the case that Alexander Hamilton was the most influential American who never attained the presidency.