“FIRST PRINCIPLES,” BY THOMAS E. RICKS

I have read many books on the “Revolutionary period” in American history, and after reading Mr. Ricks’ book, “First Principles,” I am convinced that if I read a thousand more books on this period I would only know about half of what there is to know.

Mr. Ricks’ book is an amazing analysis of where our first four Presidents, and many of the founders like Alexander Hamilton, got their ideas about how to form a government, and how these ideas are present in the ‘Declaration of Independence,’ and the ‘US Constitution.’

It was what these individuals learned from the Greeks and Romans that would form the foundation of our country. Except for Jefferson, Presidents Washington, Adams, and Madison were greatly influenced by Roman writers such as Cicero, Cato, and stories of Cincinnatus, Ceasar, and Catiline. On the Greek side, Jefferson, especially, was influenced by Plato and Aristotle, and works like “Iliad and Plutarch’s Lives.”

Jefferson, who designed much of the Capital in Washington, DC, literally got all his ideas from Roman structures, and that’s the reason there are so many dome buildings in the Capital.

In short, anyone interested in the Revolutionary period and the men behind the construction of America should read this amazing, and informative book. One final thought, I always felt that George Washington was the most important person in American history, and this book undeniably proves that he was “The Indespensible Man,” in the creation of our nation.

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