The near exclusive focus on a select few virtually deified famous founders impoverishes our understanding of the American founding. It also departs from the canons of good scholarship. The demands of honest scholarship require scholars to give attention to the thoughts, words, and deeds of not only a few selected demigods but also an expansive company of men and women who contributed to the founding of the American republic.Our nation was not built only by those we consider, in light of our own prejudices and perspectives, "great men." To understand our nation, we need to broaden the scope of the people we consider worthy of study.
Friday, August 3, 2012
"Founders Famous and Forgotten"
That's the title of this post by Daniel L. Driesbach, posted over at The Imaginative Conservative. Driesbach provides an insightful overview of why we think some founders are important, why others fall by the wayside of popular imagination, and why some of the less-known founders are still critically important for understanding our constitutional and political order. Driesbach concludes his essay with this word of warning -- something anyone interested in the American Founding should keep constantly before his or her eyes: