Politicians will frequently invoke the memories of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, or any of a number of other Founding Fathers in order to garner public support for a particular issue. But how many of them (or us, for that matter) have any idea what they actually believed? If the Founders were faced with today's political problems, how would they respond?
In his new book, What Would the Founders Do?: Our Questions, Their Answers, Richard Brookhiser tackles the issues of the day by examining how the Founders would have approached them based on their own writings. At times, it seems that he's stretching to try to find a Founders' answer for certain issues (such as stem cell research). But with other issues, such as terrorism, judicial limits, and disaster preparedness, his exhaustive research is evident in the answers he presents. In fact, some of his opinions will surprise many readers.
Combining wit and scholarship, Brookhiser has written a highly entertaining volume. But he hasn't stopped with the book. He's also started Founderblogs to continue the discussion. He is providing ongoing political commentary through the voices of the Founders with great success. It seems fitting given the Founders' propensity for constant writing (through newspapers in their day). If they were with us today they would certainly embrace the blogosphere.
Brookhiser has already established himself as one of the premier historians, especially when it comes to the men who made America the great country that it is. What Would the Founders Do?: Our Questions, Their Answers will only bolster his reputation.