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The Chasm: A Review of “The Great Divide” by Thomas Fleming

February 23, 2015

What if I told you that politics in the United States today are no more divisive than when this country was founded?

We are taught our Founding Fathers were quite united, but they were united only in their desire to break free from England. Quickly after the Revolutionary War ended, the Fathers became sharply divided into two camps. Parties, really. Fleming shows how greatly Washington and Jefferson differed. Jefferson is portrayed in a quite unflattering light.

Fleming shows us correspondence, planted news articles, and backroom bargaining. He pulls together obscure but important facts in an extrapolative narrative, Do you know the connection between yellow fever and the Louisiana Purchase?

This is the stuff of understanding how difficult it was for the Founding Fathers to get this country started, and keep it together. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty. It’s also the stuff of understanding why the Founding Fathers are as relevant as ever, not thinking only of the present, but the future of our country for all time.

I received a free advance copy to read from Netgalley. This review is my own creation. I received no compensation for this review.

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