Tag: Founders

ACF Founders #5: Edmund Burke


Since this is July 14, Bastille Day, I bring you a special edition of the podcast–a conversation on the American and French Revolutions from the point of view of the British Empire, especially as understood by the greatest friend America had in Britain at the time, the philosophical statesman Edmund Burke, who is also a founding father of modern (including American) conservatism. I talk to Greg Collins, who teaches at Yale and did his Ph.D. at Catholic University of America, and has a wonderful new book on Burke’s political economy–Burke was the original wonk, he was a great defender of religion and law, but also a great promoter of commerce and private enterprise.

Jim Geraghty and Gregory Knapp of National Review discuss the impact of the Istanbul mayoral results on Recep Erdoğan, President of Turkey, and his party. They cover the entrance of Joe Sestak, former congressman from Pennsylvania, into the Democratic presidential primary. And they discuss the emerging rivalries between fans of different Founding Fathers in response to Alexander Hamilton’s exploding popularity.

Proud to Be an American


While we are all caught up in the maelstrom of politics and hyperbole, it occurred to me that my heart still swells with pride when I think about being an American citizen. (Hat tip to Henry Racette’s for his latest post.) Although I may never be called to defend this country militarily, I will always defend it through my words and actions. I realized that in spite of all the dissension, nothing has compromised my pride and joy in being an American.

The Founders and the Declaration of Independence

My pride emanates from our founding, rich in its stories and heroic figures. I think of the Founders, who had the courage to stand up to the tyranny of a king and refused to bow to his demands any longer:

ACF Founders Series #3: John Marshall


Historian Richard Brookhiser returns to the podcast for our third conversation on a Founder–in this case, the man most responsible for the Supreme Court–John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice, a log cabin Federalist, a patriotic soldier in the Revolution and a very successful lawyer, who then served in all three branches of government. (You read that right: The first three CJs thought the job wasn’t worth it…) Mr. Brookhiser is just publishing his biography of Marshall, the last of the great Federalists, out the week after the election, so go order it, buy it, read it, and let everyone know! We’ve already covered two great Federalists — Hamilton and Gouverneur Morris — so by now we can show fairly well what it was like to be the first party in government in American history.

ACF Founders #2: Gouverneur Morris


The Founders series continues with Gouverneur Morris. Morris was a man who saw up close both the American and French Revolutions, who judged politics on both continents with a keen eye and no piety, and who conducted himself more generously than any other Founder. We owe Richard Brookhiser a debt of gratitude for bringing to modern audiences Gouverneur Morris’s incredibly charming and inspiring story. Morris faced physical and political dangers with great manliness, and at the same time was America’s most sophisticated aristocrat–he had all the vices we admire and none of the virtues which annoy us, to paraphrase Churchill. He was a patriot and dedicated much of his life to public service, but he also dedicated much of his life to business, making money, and about as much to enjoying the spending of it, often in the company of women to whom he wasn’t married. He was a Federalist, an adept of a strong national government with a strong executive, almost immune to idealism, and so a great match for Alexander Hamilton, the hero of our first conversation.

ACF Founders Series #1: Hamilton


Friends, I’m pleased to announce yet another series of the American Cinema Foundation movie podcasts. We usually talk about movies–now we’ll be talking about movies yet to be made: About the Founders. Friend of the show Richard Brookhiser has very kindly agreed to do a series of podcasts with me, following his admirable biographies of the Founders. We’re both persuaded by Shelley’s famous word, that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind–and we’d rather some of this poetry deal with the most famous legislators themselves, the Founders. At the same time, America needs a Plutarch and Mr. Brookhiser is doing very well in that role. We start with the most controversial and splendid Founder, adventurous Hamilton, the immigrant patriot.

Member Post


I have noticed that the 4th has come & gone without precious rhetoric & pretentious promises that so much is to be gained from going back to the past. Maybe the past is unknown–maybe it is too well-known–but there is not a lot of it present. Here I see an opportunity to pester you with […]

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