Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book: “The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life”

Gregg Frazer emailed me about this book published by University of Notre Dame Press and edited by Daniel Dreisbach, Mark Hall, and Jeffry Morrison. Dr. Frazer has a chapter, one that reflects his views, on Hamilton entitled, “Alexander Hamilton: Theistic Rationalist.” Other scholars are from Stanford, Virginia, Cal Berkeley, American Univ., and other prominent institutions.


J. L. Bell said...

The notion that Abigail Adams, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, or Thomas Paine are "Forgotten Founders" is ludicrous.

Yes, I used to work in publishing. I even edited a book called Forgotten Americans. So I know the "forgotten" hook and the alliteration would be hard to pass up. But seriously—Hamilton?

If any of you fine Americans can't identify Hamilton, I'll gladly relieve you of any pieces of paper bearing his name and portrait so the mystery doesn't worry you anymore.

Jonathan Rowe said...


I think the title might be a play on how little the typical American knows of the Founders.

There is some truth to the "key Founders" notion; the average American probably knows the FFs on the currency, but that's it.

But then again, Hamilton IS on the currency.

Gregg Frazer said...

The editors actually did studies to identify who scholars consider to be "forgotten founders" and used those results to determine who to include -- EXCEPT for Hamilton.

When they sought me out to do the Hamilton chapter, I asked this very question.

Hamilton is included here because the editors did a previous collection with the more prominent founders and the guy who was supposed to do a Hamilton chapter did not follow through.

They thought it more important to make sure that Hamilton was covered than to technically adhere to the title.

Another collection of "forgotten" founders is planned. They've asked me to contribute a chapter on Gouverneur Morris.