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Can't Make This Up

First Principles with Thomas E. Ricks


After what has definitely become an election for the history books, ideas like the peaceful transfer of power, the Constitution, democracy, voting rights, representation, and the separation of powers are on everyone's minds. These are the fundamentals that form our government and they were placed there by our nation's Founders. Well, where did the Founders get these ideas? What books were they reading? What were they thinking about? What were they discussing amongst themselves as they decided to forge a new country?

My guest today has immersed himself in the intellectual world of the late 18th century in order to think long and hard about these questions. Thomas E. Ricks was a journalist for twenty years during which time his reporting won two Pulitzer Prizes. Tom joins me to discuss his new, timely book, "First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Roman and How That Shaped Our Country." Tom and I discuss how George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were well versed in the political and philosophical ideas of the Ancient Greece and Rome and built those concepts into the framework of the American government.

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This podcast is part of Straight Up Strange Productions. Check out www.straightupstrange.com for more shows like this one.