572 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Fall 2019) The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis. By James E. Lewis, Jr. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Pp. 715. Cloth, $35.00.) Reviewed by Michael D. Hattem In his 1947 article, “Aaron Burr and the Historians,” Julius W. Pratt wrote, “The time has come when it should be possible to form some- thing like a deﬁnite estimate of Aaron Burr.” Three-quarters of a century later, we are no closer to “a deﬁnite estimate” of the New York politician, third vice president, killer of a current pop-culture phenomenon, and possible traitor. Like those of their earlier counterparts, the most recent biographies of Burr—by Nancy Isenberg and David O. Stewart—offer no consensus, particularly regarding his conspiracy to either invade Mexico, lead the West to secede, or both. Nevertheless, they are both in agree- ment about its signiﬁcance, with Isenberg referring to the conspiracy as a “pivotal episode in the life of the nation” and Stewart dubbing it “a profound test of the emerging republic.” James E. Lewis, Jr., however, approaches the conspiracy from a unique angle. Rather than trying to uncover the reality of what actually happened, The Burr
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Aug 9, 2019
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