I am a history buff, but admittedly, I haven’t been all that interested in the history of our founding fathers. My lack of knowledge and interest in the first days of this great country have changed with the reading of The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness. In the first five pages, I learned more about our fifth President, James Monroe, than I had learned in twelve years of schooling. Mr. Unger presents President Monroe in a way that makes him more real and accessible than high school textbooks.
I read with absolute amazement at how difficult it was for our, then, little country to gain its footing. We didn’t pay our soldiers with any real currency, and we didn’t reward them for their service. I didn’t know that the first constitution of the the “Confederation Congress” had been thrown out, and it is our nation’s second Constitution that we have all come to know and love. The political infighting that happened at the beginning of our nation’s history rivals the infighting of today.
Mr. Unger has presented James Madison in the most human of ways from his pining for his wife and young daughter to his liquidating “the national debt of $67 million.” Monroe served his country well. He fought in the Revolutionary War, served as our minister to both France and Britain, and he served two terms as President. He was elected to his second by running nearly unopposed and receiving 231 of 235 electoral votes.
The Last Founding Father takes you on Monroe’s journey through our nation’s history and growth. With quotes from the most well known players in our nation’s history (Washington, Jefferson and Adams) and some lesser known, Monroe’s story fills out our history. Mr. Unger has completed a well written biography of a most deserving subject.