Saturday, March 28, 2009

Five best: books about the rise of conservatism

At the Wall Street Journal, David Frum, author of Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, named a five best list of books about the rise of conservatism.

Number One on his list:
The Age of Federalism
by Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick
Oxford, 1993

In their scholarly but lively account of the period from 1786 to 1801, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick vividly detail the achievements of the Federalists -- who shaped and formed the new United States -- and the process by which their coalition eventually disintegrated and collapsed. James Madison, a co-author of the Federalist Papers, defected from the Federalist coalition to join his friend Thomas Jefferson in opposition. Alexander Hamilton split from John Adams over policy differences in a feud that wrecked both their careers. The Federalist program was simply too ambitious for the early U.S. It crashed and shattered, opening the way to the more decentralized, more demotic and more turbulent ascendancy of the Jeffersonians and Jacksonians.
Read about the other four books on Frum's list.

--Marshal Zeringue