while i scooped this off the shelf with some enthusiasm when i saw it at the library, i must say it left me cold.it took me no less than three tries to even get started (never a good sign) and once i did manage to pick it up i had to fight the urge to put it back down again.

this book was based on following the course of a dinner between Madison, Jefferson, and Hamilton where much political maneuvering did ensue. yet the author takes this potentially interesting premise and makes historic porridge out of it.

these friends and rivals were all in orbit to the Washington presidency and though opposed on many issues, saw the necessity of cooperating at this juncture. this book follows the ways in which these men came to submit to this need despite their vast personal and political differences.

to my mind the tone the author adopts is too conversational for my and seems not only partisan but to assume the reader knows contextual elements of the time and political climate i feel would be better made explicit.

not having read a great deal of early american history, i still suspect there are more thorough and enjoyable efforts to be had. ( )