Idiot America How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

ISBN-10: 0767926153

ISBN-13: 9780767926157

Edition: 2010

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Book details

List price: $22.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/4/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748

The Prince of Cranks
Ralph Ketchum sits on the porch of his little house tucked away on a dirt lane that runs down toward a lake, pouring soda for his guest and listening to the thrum of the rain on his roof. He has been talking to a visitor about the great subject of his academic life-James Madison, the diminutive hypochondriac from Virginia who, in 1787, overthrew the U.S. government and did so simply by being smarter than everyone else. American popular history seems at this point to have de�volved into a Founding Father of the Month Club, with several huge books on Alexander Hamilton selling briskly, an almost limitless fascination with Thomas Jefferson, a steady stream of folks spelunking through George Washington's psyche, and an HBO project starring the Academy Award winner Paul Giamatti as that impossible old blatherskite John Adams. But Madison, it seems, has been abandoned by �lmmakers and by the writers of lushly footnoted doorstops. He also was a mediocre president; this never translates well to the screen, where all presidents are great men.
There are two things that make Jefferson superior to Madison in the historical memory,says Ketchum. One was Jeffer�son's magnetism in small groups and the other was his gift for the eloquent phrase. Madison has always been a trailer in that way because, well, he writes perfectly well and, occasionally, manages some eloquence. Occasionally.
Dragging out teardrops on the pale year's cheek, adding fresh baseness to the twisting worm; My curse be on ye like a mother's, warm, Red reeking with my dripping sin and shame; May all my grief back turned to ye, deform Your very broken image, and a name, Be left ye which Hell's friends shall hiss and curse the same.
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