3.74 (365 ratings by Goodreads)
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The bestselling historical novel that exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers by the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nation's first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the "scandalmonger" of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamilton's reputation, thereby paving the way for Jefferson's success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries. By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians' cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 680.39g
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156013231
  • 9780156013239

Review quote

"A devilishly constructed entertainment about political warfare, legal brinkmanship and assassination by quill pen."-Time
"Handsomely constructed and politically sophisticated . . . Scandalmonger is solidly grounded upon Safire's wide reading, his meticulous scholarship and his careful weighing of conflicting evidence."-The New York Times Book Review
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About William Safire

William Safire is a senior columnist for the New York Times. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and is also the most widely read writer on the subject of the English language. A former speechwriter for President Nixon, Safire is the author of twenty-four books, including On Language, Lend Me Your Ears, and the novels Freedom and Sleeper Spy. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Rating details

365 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 19% (70)
4 47% (172)
3 26% (94)
2 5% (19)
1 3% (10)
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