Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin

Forgotten Founder Drunken Prophet The Life of Luther Martin The Anti Federalist Luther Martin of Maryland is known to us if he is known at all as the wild man of the Constitutional Convention a verbose frequently drunken radical who exasperated James Madison

  • Title: Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin
  • Author: Bill Kauffman
  • ISBN: 9781933859736
  • Page: 297
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Anti Federalist Luther Martin of Maryland is known to us if he is known at all as the wild man of the Constitutional Convention a verbose, frequently drunken radical who exasperated James Madison, George Washington, Gouverneur Morris, and the other giants responsible for the creation of the Constitution in Philadelphia that summer of 1787 In Bill Kauffman s acco The Anti Federalist Luther Martin of Maryland is known to us if he is known at all as the wild man of the Constitutional Convention a verbose, frequently drunken radical who exasperated James Madison, George Washington, Gouverneur Morris, and the other giants responsible for the creation of the Constitution in Philadelphia that summer of 1787 In Bill Kauffman s account of his turbulent life and times, Martin is still something of a fitfully charming reprobate, but he is also a prophetic voice, warning his heedless contemporaries and his amnesiac posterity that the Constitution, whatever its devisers intentions, would come to be used as a blueprint for centralized government and a militaristic foreign policy In Martin s view, the Constitution was the tool of a counterrevolution aimed at reducing the states to ciphers and at fortifying a national government whose powers to tax and coerce would be frightening Martin delivered the most forceful and sustained attack on the Constitution ever levied a critique that modern readers might find jarringly relevant And Martin s later career, though clouded by drink and scandal, found him as defense counsel in two of the great trials of the age the Senate trial of the impeached Supreme Court justice Samuel Chase and the treason trial of his friend Aaron Burr.

    One thought on “Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin”

    1. There isn't enough whitewash in the world to create a Luther Martin hagiography, Bill Kauffman admits, but in the spirit of lost causes he does his best. Billed as a biography, Drunken Prophet is truly more about Martin's role in the Constitutional debates, in which he warned the assembly that the Constitution they were debating would destroy the States altogether Few realize today that the Constitution - -regarded as a guardian of our liberties, however much a token now -- was rightfully feared [...]

    2. This is not a bad book--but it clearly misses the mark as advertised. ISI published multiple biographies of "founding fathers" who are lesser-known and not celebrated today. This book is the biography of Luther Martin, the inebriated attorney who opposed the Constitution and defended Aaron Burr. But Bill Kauffman writes a book-length series of blog posts against the adoption of the U.S. Constitution using vignettes from Martin's life. As "An Anti-Federalist Case Study via Luther Martin" I might [...]

    3. Go figure: a soused windbag fails to disprove the standard depiction of Luther Martin as a soused windbag. As often with Bill Kauffman, the tangents are either fascinating (Aaron Burr) or a cringefest (Alexander Hamilton, his Lex Luthor). His purple diction doesn't always match his overcooked prose, making one wonder whether a thesaurus was involved in dead stops like "pococurante" and "roorback". This ends up a cake-of-mostly-frosting -- the limits of his sources readily apparent, the subject h [...]

    4. 'By letting us into the mind of one flawed, fascinating, and ultimately tragic figure, Kauffman has not just reminded us that Luther Martin of Maryland deserves a place beside the other giants of the founding generation. He has made a compelling case for a disreputable but worthy movement, for the men so committed to what we now call constitutional principles that they refused to accept the Constitution itself.'Read the full review, "Drunk Without Power," on out website:theamericanconservative

    5. To be read as much for its raucous iconoclasm, its rambunctious literary style (not to mention the author's Brobdignagian vocabulary) as anything else, Bill Kauffman's tribute to the besotted brilliance of Luther Martin is a must-read not only for history buffs, but for anyone who loves a good yarn exhuberantly told. If you've ever suspected that the constitutional convention might not quite warrant apotheosis (and perhaps especialy if you think such suspicions tantamount to treason), you better [...]

    6. Worthy work about a little-known founding father. Not only does Kauffman bring Martin to life, but he clarifies the nature of federalism vis-a-vis anti-federalism, and illuminates the disputes that shaped the making of the USA's founding documents. Useful information presented in an entertaining, breezy style.

    7. Outstanding for a short read. We certainly have forgotten this man in our history. Unfortunately, everything he warned the people of his day about has come to pass. Perhaps if he'd drank a bit less, and pontificated even less than he drank, folks would have listened to him.

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