Welcome, history buffs, political junkies, and controversialists. I’m a historian, biographer, and journalist, who writes about everything from today’s headlines to the Constitutional Convention; from the Federalist Party, to the Marijuana Reform Party; from the battle of Saratoga to the Terror War. Here you’ll find out about my books, my journalism, and my public appearances. — Richard Brookhiser

Founders’ Son

Basic Books, 2014

For Abraham Lincoln, the road to the future always began in the past—America’s, and his. As a boy he admired George Washington as a champion of liberty. As a young man, he found in Thomas Paine lessons about religion, which he ultimately abandoned, and about how to win arguments, which he retained for the rest of his life. At the height of his career he embraced Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence as a statement of principle (an “apple of gold,” he called it, quoting the Bible), and the Preamble to the Constitution, which named the people as beneficiaries and guardians of freedom…. Other books on Lincoln have noted his interest in the founding fathers and how he looked back to them, but here for the first time a historian of the founding looks ahead to Lincoln.

Rocky Mountain High I will be speaking at the University of Colorado Boulder on Tuesday, April 15, on Abraham Lincoln and the founding fathers. It’s open to the public. Time: 5:30 PM. Place: Duane Physics G1B20.

Lincoln and a Bogus Letter

Abraham Lincoln’s Cooper Union Address (February 27, 1860) was his most extended analysis of the founding fathers’ views on expanding slavery into America’s territories. Lincoln concluded that a majority of the signers of the Constitution thought it was constitutional for the federal government to regulate the process. (His northern opponents–mainly Stephen Douglas–thought the decision should be left to local option,…[read more]