Sunday, August 21, 2016

Opening paragraphs....Part 1

     "What!" exclaimed the Nashville woman when I told her about my new research project following  the completion of my biography of Andrew Jackson.  "You're writing a biography of Henry Clay?" she gasped.  "Henry Clay?  Oh, General Jackson won't like that."  Then, with a laugh, she added:  "He might shoot you."
     Well, he hasn't so far, and I doubt that he will, given his present location and the all-embracing expressions of forgiveness with which he departed this world.  Besides, I don't consider myself disloyal to the Old Hero by writing a biography of Clay.  I'm a historian, not a partisan or a propagandist.  
     Still, I've noticed many raised eyebrows among my colleagues in the academy when I explained my current interest.  It does seem strange that having spent so many years of my life researching and writing the story of Jackson's remarkable course through American history, I should turn to his greatest political enemy and rival for my next scholarly undertaking.

-Robert V. Remini,  from the Preface to Henry Clay:  Statesman for the Union

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