Aristotle and Hamilton on Commerce and Statesmanship. By Michael D. Chan. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006. 248p. $44.95.
In the terms of the debate over the relative liberalism and republicanism of the American founders, Alexander Hamilton's advocacy of manufacturing, public credit, and a national bank would seem to classify him as characteristically modern and liberal. Hamilton's unswerving dedication to an energetic and powerful central government oriented toward financial stability and military security contrasts with classical republican concerns about individual virtue, the nature of good lives, and the problem of individual and institutional corruption. As much by its neglect of classical topics like civic education as by its new treatment of perennial political subjects, the new political science he announced in The Federalist and elsewhere broke with the ideals of the good republic held by the ancients.