One of the most eccentric and accomplished politicians in all of American history, John Randolph (1773–1833) led a life marked by controversy. The long-serving Virginia congressman and architect of southern conservatism grabbed headlines with his prescient comments, public brawls, and clashes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. The first biography of RaOne of the most eccentric and accomplished politicians in all of American history, John Randolph (1773–1833) led a life marked by controversy. The long-serving Virginia congressman and architect of southern conservatism grabbed headlines with his prescient comments, public brawls, and clashes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. The first biography of Randolph in nearly a century, John Randolph of Roanoke provides a full account of the powerful Virginia planter’s hard-charging life and his impact on the formation of conservative politics.The Randolph lineage loomed large in early America, and Randolph of Roanoke emerged as one of the most visible—and certainly the most bombastic—among his clan. A colorful orator with aristocratic manners, he entertained the House of Representatives (and newspaper readers across the country) with three-hour-long speeches on subjects of political import, drawing from classical references for his analogies, and famously pausing to gain “courage” from a tumbler at his side. Adept at satire and uncensored in his verbal attacks against colleagues, he invited challenges to duel from those he offended; in 1826, he and the then–secretary of state Henry Clay exchanged gunfire on the banks of the Potomac.A small-government Jeffersonian in political tastes, Randolph first entered Congress in 1799. As chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee he memorably turned on President Jefferson, once and for all, in 1805, believing his fellow Virginian to have compromised his republican values. As a result, Randolph led the “Old Republicans,” a faction that sought to restrict the role of the federal government.In this rich biography, David Johnson draws upon an impressive array of primary sources—Randolph’s letters, speeches, and writings—previously unavailable to scholars. John Randolph of Roanoke tells the story of a young nation and the unique philosophy of a southern lawmaker who defended America’s agrarian tradition and reveled in his own controversy....
|Title||:||John Randolph of Roanoke|
|Number of Pages||:||343 Pages|
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John Randolph of Roanoke Reviews
I have a couple of reasons that I picked this book up. First of all, my husband works at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA and the college is named after John Randolph and Nathaniel Macon. So the opportunity to learn more about such folks is a good idea.Secondly, David Johnson, the author spoke at the College last week and I went to hear his talk. If possible, I like to be prepared for such events, so I had read most of Johnson's biography. Johnson was a good speaker. His talk was given after dinner and he knew to be entertaining. I think the audience was very appreciative.John Randolph would probably not want to be considered entertaining. He was a Virginia politician who took his job very seriously. Randolph wanted to make a difference and he had more impact on our nation's history than you might imagine. Not only was his work in Congress important, but his political party was vital to Randolph's role in our history. I did find his biography entertaining and enlightening. It is a shame that more people, especially Republicans, don't know more about John Randolph. He is more relevant to today's politics than I would have guessed.I recommend this book to anyone interested in American or Virginian history; to folks who enjoy biographies, to members of the Republican part who want to meet their "ancestors" and to anyone who might want to meet a fascinating eccentric who lived about 200 years ago.
'John Randolph of Roanoke was everything the modern conservative might despise: aristocratic, sexually ambiguous, occasionally irreligious, anti-party, and the sworn enemy of military adventurism. His personality suggests he might have had more in common with the late Gore Vidal than Sarah Palin. Yet Randolph still stands out as one of the most important conservative thinkers of the generation after the Founding Fathers. David Johnson’s fine new biography of the Virginia gentleman is a timely reminder that conservatives come in all shapes and sizes—and often disagree.'Read the full review, "Who Was John Randolph?" on our website: http://www.theamericanconservative.co...
I would not have read this book had it not been a book club selection for a book group in my home county of Charlotte in Virginia, which was also the home county of John Randolph of Roanoke for much of his life. Having now read it, I'm glad that I did. I learned a great deal, and I feel that the author did a good job in writing a well documented history, primarily of Randolph's public life. I found the use of epigrams particularly interesting (for a modern history), and the style is straightforward. It was certainly not a page turner for me, and I thought the author, particularly in the final chapters, slipped into editorializing in several instances. On the whole, though, it is a good book, and the title character's legacy in my own area of Southside VA can certainly be traced back to his consistent political stances. JRR was certainly an interesting character, and as for reading about him, I have no "Remorse'☚.
John Randolph has appeared in numerous biographies that I have read about Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams. Since we were visiting Eastern Virginia I thought I'd find out more about this peculiar character in United States Congressional history. He certainly wasn't a likable man but his place in the history of the nation can't be denied.