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Old November 21st, 2012, 09:49 PM   #61

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Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
^True, but thats' a lot of talking and only brief respites of action.
Hamilton didn't write the volumes of a Jefferson or Adams, of course having
a shorter life does limit the output, but there just isn't enough material to create a long
series on the size of the Adams episodes. Adams had the nice historic backdrop of
the Dec. of Ind. and all the characters within, the Boston Massacre backdrop, the time
as diplomat to England, the time as Vice president, then president, and add in his strong
wife's presence and then kick in having a son become president. That's a lot of nice material
to make into seven episodes. I don't see Hamilton having that much to go on other than a
two parter and with a lot of made up dialogue.
There are alot of interesting tidbits. For example, Jefferson once set Hamilton to fail by demanding the annual budget in Congress in three days. And Hamilton finished it in 3 days and so brilliantly that Jefferson was unable to find faults to attack. And Hamilton's affair with Mary Reynolds was also very intriguing if not scandalous. And I think the character of Hamilton can be developed. Hamilton is one very smart, eloquent, but also honest to the point of not knowing he's shocking people (actually most of the time offending people). So there's that interesting contradition of extreme brilliance and foolishness. You can imagine the stir caused by his pro-English stance in the immediately post-Revolutionary America.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 09:53 PM   #62

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For example, Jefferson once set Hamilton to fail by demanding the annual budget in Congress in three days. And Hamilton finished it in 3 days and so brilliantly that Jefferson was unable to find faults to attack. .
I hadn't heard of that before? Can you give me more details?
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Old November 21st, 2012, 10:03 PM   #63

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I hadn't heard of that before? Can you give me more details?
I read it in a paperback biography of Hamilton many years ago. The book was not mine, and I can't recall precisely the title. But this one tidbit impressed me as I was in university at the time preparing for exams, often with 3~4 days of time. And I often encouraged myself with this story.

(And I searched on the Internet, and can't find this tidbid either)
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Old November 21st, 2012, 10:09 PM   #64

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Hmm, I've heard a short pencil is better than a long memory.
I'm not saying you didn't read it, but when someone makes a statement
like you did, lights flip on in my head as I want to see if I can find it. Sort of
mental gymnastics for me. In all my Jefferson reading I've never come across
anything like that, and in Ron Chernow's "Hamilton", I didn't come across that
episode in it either. Like finding Jimmy Hoffa's body, we'll never know.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #65

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Just bought Ron's Hamilton how is it
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Old November 25th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #66

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Just bought Ron's Hamilton how is it
It is well done, not very critical of Hamilton, but, it is a nice addition
to have and/or use for research.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 04:45 PM   #67

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Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
It is well done, not very critical of Hamilton, but, it is a nice addition
to have and/or use for research.
In the middle of Chernow's "Hamilton" now.
The writing is very easy and informative. Feels fresh.
I agree though, he seems almost to partial to AH.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #68

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Thanks for the reviews fellas
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Old April 8th, 2013, 12:39 AM   #69

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On Episode 4 now, it's pretty good and I didn't know the Americans faced so much trouble in trying to gain an alliance/trade agreement with the Dutch/France.

Bit of a liberty taken with beating off the British ship though this being circa 1777 and before the Yankee frigates were built I think. Tho if anyone can confirm that John Adams ran into the Brits in the Atlantic I'd be interested to hear.

I also thought the regional accents were very good, you could detect some country styled Brit accents in some of the states during the debates at Congress.

There's a good In Our Time episode on Benjamin Franklin which some people might be very interested in.

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Benjamin Franklin

Quote:
Benjamin Franklin
Duration: 45 minutes
First broadcast: Thursday 01 March 2012
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of Benjamin Franklin. A printer, statesman, diplomat, writer and scientist, Franklin was one of the most remarkable individuals of the eighteenth century. His discoveries relating to the nature of electricity, and in particular a celebrated experiment which involved flying a kite in a thunderstorm, made him famous in Europe and America. His inventions include bifocal spectacles, and a new type of stove.

In the second half of his life he became prominent as a politician and a successful diplomat. As the only Founding Father to have signed all three of the fundamental documents of the United States of America, including its Declaration of Independence and Constitution, Benjamin Franklin occupies a unique position in the history of the nation.

With:

Simon Middleton
Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of Sheffield

Simon Newman
Sir Denis Brogan Professor of American History at the University of Glasgow

Patricia Fara
Senior Tutor at Clare College, University of Cambridge.
download here;

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/...0301-1130a.mp3


Quote:
n Our Time newsletter: Benjamin Franklin
Friday 2 March 2012, 14:09

Melvyn Bragg

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In Our Time
Editor's note: In Thursday's programme Melvyn Bragg and his guests discussed Benjamin Franklin. As always the programme is available to listen to online or to download and keep - PM.

Hello

Well, although we tried as hard as we could, we covered only a fraction of the field that is Benjamin Franklin. One of the more important aspects we left out was his belief in "the virtue of modesty". He did not patent his inventions but thought they ought to be free for others. He gave libraries and other lending institutions to the people. In his Autobiography he not only articulated the American Dream, but also very firmly pointed out that a principal aim in life was to serve the public and to return to them what you might have been given. He left his great wealth to the public and for the public good.

Click the image to open in full size.

One aspect we missed out was his relationship with George Whitefield, the Anglican minister and friend of the Wesley brothers, who preached so successfully in America. All of them were forced out of the Anglican Church and became Methodists. Whitefield was an extraordinary man. Not very tall, not very charismatic to look at, but he could command audiences of thirty thousand in open country, and did so regularly up and down the eastern seaboard of America in what was called the First Great Awakening.

Franklin was astounded that he could reach so many people and made measurements to satisfy himself that this was humanly possible. It turned out it was. But he also went to so many meetings to do his experiments that he began to listen to what Whitefield had to say. Although Franklin was against any institutionalised Christianity, he was a believer in God and he became a disciple - if I can use that word - of the charismatic speaking manner of Whitefield.

He himself had little time to cultivate the art of public speaking. To be charismatic to a mass of people was not the way he wanted to live his life. Yet, in article after article in his newspaper, he extolled what Whitefield was doing - mostly in the extraordinariness of his speech and articulation and the operatic reach that he had, but also in the 'gospel' that he preached - the humanity and Sermon on the Mount backbone of Whitefield's message appealed to Franklin very much indeed. It was these men (the Wesley brothers and Whitefield) who first took the gospel to black areas in America. It's worth remembering that if you were baptised a Christian, you couldn't, in principle, be a slave.

I then went out into the almost absurdly brilliant late winter/early spring sunshine of London in all its glory. You could see why Franklin, once he got here, never wanted to leave until the aristocracy forced him out.

Down Regent Street, into Savile Row to see how little fashion changed, then through the Burlington Arcade, and across the street there was a crowd, a host. The Queen was about to visit Fortnum and Mason with the Duchess of Cambridge, out shopping while Prince William was away.

And then onward to my barber to have the spring haircut and then into St James's Park, of course.

Look, I go to St James's Park a lot but I can't keep writing about it. Nevertheless, it is fantastic at the moment. And there is this combination once more - the daffodils are out and elegant French teenagers are out in hordes and the pigeons are larking about as if they were - well, larks. There was a man sitting on a bench who had heard the Benjamin Franklin programme and wanted to have a long conversation about it, but after I said I had to get a move on, he gave me a message for Jeremy Paxman and I left.

When I came into the Lords the first remark from a Labour peer was "It's outrageous. It was absolutely outrageous". It took me, I must confess, a few nanoseconds to realise that of course he was talking in the lingua franca of the male members of the House of Lords - football. He was a Tottenham supporter and after being behind 2-0, Arsenal had gone on to beat them 5-2.

There's something that earths you about the Upper House.

Best wishes

Melvyn Bragg
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Old April 8th, 2013, 03:36 AM   #70

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Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
On Episode 4 now, it's pretty good and I didn't know the Americans faced so much trouble in trying to gain an alliance/trade agreement with the Dutch/France.

Bit of a liberty taken with beating off the British ship though this being circa 1777 and before the Yankee frigates were built I think. Tho if anyone can confirm that John Adams ran into the Brits in the Atlantic I'd be interested to hear.

I also thought the regional accents were very good, you could detect some country styled Brit accents in some of the states during the debates at Congress.

There's a good In Our Time episode on Benjamin Franklin which some people might be very interested in.

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Benjamin Franklin



download here;

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/...0301-1130a.mp3
The incident is described in the book itself, taken from the ship's log, the captain's letter of report, and Adams' letter to Abigail describing the voyage over. There was a brief scuffle with a British ship. IIRC, the American vessel was a converted merchantman armed with 12 guns, I think, and had Marines in the ship's company. Adams grabbed a musket and stood to with the Marines against the advise of the captain. This was no grappled side-to-side frigate action, but cannon fire was exchanged with the British vessel which was apparently surprised at the armament of the Yank and broke away. A British shot nicked a mast and climbing rigging a couple of feet above the heads of the Marines and, as the captain noted in the log to his great satisfaction, Mr. Adams stood fast with the lot. The two became rather good friends, thereafter.

I'm not sure if the British ship was a warship of the RN or a privately owned ship commissioned to raid. I've read the book at least three times and have since passed it on to a nephew in college. I cannot remember the name of the ship or it's captain.
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