American Black Sheep
Historian Nancy Isenberg argues that "everything we know about Aaron Burr is untrue."
The Life of Aaron Burr.
By Nancy Isenberg.
Viking. 540 pp. $29.95
Aaron Burr—grandson of the preacher Jonathan Edwards, distinguished veteran of the War for Independence, and our third vice president—was one of the United States’ great villains, an American Napoleon whose ambition knew no bounds, a lady-thrilling Lothario, a modern Catiline who plotted against the Republic.
Such, at least, was the popular reputation of the man among his contemporaries, and it’s the view that has endured to...