Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Book Review: "Conceived in Liberty"

In the ninety-one pages - including notes - of Conceived in Liberty: The Struggle to Define the New Republic, 1789-1793, University of Kentucky historian Lance Banning manages to provide as good a brief exposition of the key half-decade after the ratification of the Constitution as any I've read. Slightly more scholarly than Joseph Ellis' take, Banning's three essays here explore the roots of the first party conflict, which Banning terms "the most ferocious, and perhaps the most instructive in all of American history." It was certainly the most imporant in terms of its lasting consequences. A very good introduction to the period's key debates and characters.