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Offers a re-creation of a dinner party held at the home of Thomas Jefferson during which Jefferson and his guests, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, developed compromises that helped heal the wounds of the early Republic and led to America's great expansion, in a volume that not only recalls the historic meeting, but also the dinner itself.
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"Cerami wittily recounts the evening in rich detail, embracing the culinary details as well as the larger story of President Washington′s quarrelsome cabinet, the evolution of the dual party system, and Jefferson′s emergence as a persuasive national leader." ( Library Journal, February 1, 2008)
It was 1790, and Thomas Jefferson and one of his dinner guests, James Madison, were determined to work out a political compromise critical to the nation s future with their third dinner companion (and political opponent), Alexander Hamilton. This gathering around Jefferson s celebrated table involved nothing less than the creation of the young nation s finances, foreign relations and the eventual location of its capital. The dinner s results? An agreement that, Congress willing, the new government would assume the states war debts, issue bonds to fund the national debt and make the Potomac s banks the capital s permanent site. Congress agreed. Cerami (Jefferson s Great Gamble) presents a fast–paced narrative of an event well–known but never told so brightly nor at such unnecessary length. While Cerami puts the dinner–table agreement at his story s center, it was but one of a number of seismic events, acts and decisions of the 1790s. Cerami slights many of those when he s not giving us too much detail about other minor ones, such as Jefferson s cooking recipes and a short disquisition (and a long document) on Hamilton s role in the Coast Guard s founding. Compression would have made this inherently fascinating story pack the punch it should. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, October 22, 2007)
The Meal That Saved The Republic
Only two guests were invited to what was arguably the most elegant, sumptuous, and important dinner party that Thomas Jefferson ever hosted. Each course was prepared and laid out in advance so that no servants would enter the dining room to disrupt conversation and overhear random remarks, which they might later repeat to others. Privacy was imperative. Jefferson believed that the very future of the United States of America depended on convincing Alexander Hamilton to agree to a compromise he and Madison were proposing on two surging issues that threatened to tear the young republic apart.
Plying his guests with fine wine and exquisite cuisine that only a former ambassador to France could provide, Jefferson set the stage for a compromise that enabled the federal government to pay its debts, both domestic and foreign, and make the American dollar "as good as gold."
In Dinner at Mr. Jefferson′s, you′ll discover the little–known story behind this pivotal evening in American history, complete with wine lists, recipes, and wonderful illustrations of 1790s New York, then the nation′s capital. It is a feast not to be missed for lovers of American history, fine dining, and a compelling true story well told.
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