Founding Fathers, Beyond "Got Milk?"

by Gabe Bullard on March 28, 2008

This week I interviewed Nancy Isenberg. She’s a visiting professor at U of L and she wrote the Aaron Burr biography Fallen Founder. I first heard of Burr when I was in elementary school through this commercial:

And that’s about as much as most books discuss Burr, too. He’s basically become a footnote in early American history, and that was one reason why Isenberg wrote about him.

Burr did a lot more than fatally wound the Secretary of the Treasury. He was a noted soldier, senator and he was almost the third president. Not to mention the fact that he helped lay the groundwork for Manifest Destiny, an idea that would dominate American politics for most of the 19th century.

And Burr’s story relates to modern times, too. While he was no saint, his reputation was nearly destroyed by his rivals, who were powerful and used their positions to spread unfavorable rumors about him. So maybe Burr’s contributions would be more celebrated today if he’d had better PR.

Tune in to Studio 619 this week to hear Isenberg talk about Burr’s role in American history.

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