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America's Swiss Founding Father

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Jack Goldstein


Jack Goldstein


Nicholas Dungan


NYU Press


  • اطلاعات
  • نقد و بررسی
  • دیدگاه کاربران
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نقد و بررسی

Publisher's Weekly

July 12, 2010
International affairs expert Dungan re-introduces America to a mostly forgotten figure in early American politics in this portrait of aristocratic Swiss émigré Albert Gallatin. From Gallatin's arrival in 1790 and his days as a woodcutter in Maine to his quick rise in politics, election to the House of Representatives in 1794, and negotiating the Treaty of
Ghent, Dungan diligently enumerates the Genevan's contributions to American society. It will be eye-opening for students of American history to discover that in the early days of the United States, a Swiss nobleman acting as Thomas Jefferson's secretary of the treasury managed the budget to create sizable surplus. Also, this longtime believer in education's importance became New York University's first council president in 1830. Yet occasionally Dungan falters with reductive statements, as when he writes that "in every way, was a product of his family, his city, and his time," and rather subjectively correlates federalism with elitism. Regardless, the book succeeds admirably in remembering a key figure in early American diplomacy, education, and financial regulation. The book is being co-published with Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Library Journal

September 15, 2010

Dungan (former president, French-American Fdn.) provides a valuable service by writing a short, balanced overview of the life and career of one of the most important and most neglected leaders of the early American Republic. Few political or intellectual figures in our history have had a resume as impressive as his: U.S. senator and congressman; secretary of the Treasury under Jefferson and Madison; negotiator of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812; minister to France and then to Britain; one of the founders of New York University; and president of John Jacob Astor's National Bank of New York, amid numerous other positions and accomplishments. Gallatin's prudent financial management while secretary of the Treasury made the Louisiana Purchase possible and set a model for his successors. Dungan's book makes excellent use of the Gallatin papers housed at the New-York Historical Society. VERDICT Recommended for all interested readers, from general to advanced.--Thomas J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., NY

Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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