Scandalmonger (Harvest Book)

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9780156013239: Scandalmonger (Harvest Book)

The bestselling historical novel that exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers by the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nation's first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the "scandalmonger" of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamilton's reputation, thereby paving the way for Jefferson's success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries. By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians' cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution.

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Review:

Scandalmonger is the 25th book from William Safire, the prolific, feisty New York Times columnist and word wrangler. It's a historic novel set in 1790s New England, when the Founding Fathers were enduring various crises and humiliations as they scurried to become part of the history books. Always a stickler for the truth--as long as it's uttered in the finest of phrases--the author lets us know right from the start that we're "entitled to know what is history and what is twistery." Based on documents and diaries, and complete with an exhaustive section of footnotes separating fact from fiction, Scandalmonger turns out to be a bona fide page-turner. Safire knows what he's doing; he knows he has a lesson to teach. It's a lesson about how early America wasn't much different from Clinton's America--the temptations of mistresses, the power struggles, the ridiculous debates about purity between corrupt men being just as present. If he has one message, it is this: within every powerful politician, there is a dirty-minded second grader trying to get out. Witness this scene between two outraged congressmen who seem intent on "turning the House into a 'gladiators' arena'":

Griswold's stout cane cracked Lyon on the top of the head, then across his back, again and again. More than twenty heavy blows rained down on his victim, who was groping for help in escaping along the floor, blinded by the blood spurting down from his scalp.
Meanwhile, the title character, James Callender--who gives the fourth estate an early bad name--"looked around frantically for a weapon."

And there's far more in store: Safire's deeply entertaining novel is divided into five scandals, which take place over a period of 10 years, reaching a high point with the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave mistress, Sally Hemings. As the story goes, Jefferson loved her for years and she bore many children by him. These days all over America, the descendants of that union keep coming forward for television interviews. As Scandalmonger illustrates, the past is always present. --Emily White

About the Author:

William Safire is a senior columnist for the New York Times. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and is also the most widely read writer on the subject of the English language. A former speechwriter for President Nixon, Safire is the author of twenty-four books, including On Language, Lend Me Your Ears, and the novels Freedom and Sleeper Spy. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Book Description Harvest Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 496 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 0.9in.The bestselling historical novel that exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers by the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nations first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the scandalmonger of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamiltons reputation, thereby paving the way for Jeffersons success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries. By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780156013239

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Book Description HARVEST BOOKS, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The bestselling historical novel that exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers by the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nation s first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the scandalmonger of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamilton s reputation, thereby paving the way for Jefferson s success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries. By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780156013239

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Book Description HARVEST BOOKS, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The bestselling historical novel that exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers by the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nation s first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the scandalmonger of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamilton s reputation, thereby paving the way for Jefferson s success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries. By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780156013239

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