Voltaire's Coffee: The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr by H.W. Brands, hosted by Dr. H.W. Brands, professor of History
Wed, September 5, 2012 - 5:00 PM • Joynes Reading Room (the Joynes Suite is accessed through the Honors Quad, the door is on the east side of Carothers)
The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr by H.W. Brands, hosted by Dr. H.W. Brands, professor of History
Wednesday, 5 September at 5pm, Joynes Reading Room
Though he was a hero of the Revolutionary War, a prominent New York politician, and vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr is today best remembered as the villain who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. But as H. W. Brands demonstrates in this fascinating portrait of one of the most compelling politicians in American history, Burr was also a man before his time—a proponent of equality between the sexes well over a century before women were able to vote in the US. Through Burr's extensive, witty correspondence with his daughter Theodosia, Brands traces the arc of a scandalous political career and the early years of American politics. The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr not only dramatizes through their words his eventful life, it also tells a touching story of a father's love for his exceptional daughter, which endured through public shame, bankruptcy, and exile, and outlasted even Theodosia's tragic disappearance at sea.
Henry William Brands was born in Oregon, went to college in California, sold cutlery across the American West, and earned graduate degrees in mathematics and history in Oregon and Texas. He taught at Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M University before joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History. He writes on American history and politics, with books including Traitor to His Class, Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, The First American, and TR. Several of his books have been bestsellers; two, Traitor to His Class and The First American, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He lectures frequently on historical and current events, and can be seen and heard on national and international television and radio programs. His writings have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian.