Books: A Prophet Revisited

ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND THE CONSTITUTION by Clinton Rossiter. 372 pages. Harcourt, Brace & World. $6.75.

Perhaps the strongest passion that can drive a historian to his typewriter is the urge to make amends to some great figure of the past who seems to have been unfairly denigrated. If the historian has himself helped previously to perpetuate the injustice, his new advocacy takes on the drama of a public conversion. These are the intellectual tensions that led to this reappraisal of Alexander Hamilton, and they make for unusually stimulating history.

In Conservatism in America, published...

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