Best-selling author William Safire has enjoyed an active and acclaimed career. A speechwriter during Nixon's presidency, he has written two dozen books and won a Pulitzer Prize for his New York Times political column. In Scandalmonger, he produces an astonishing historical novel. The Secretary of the Treasury may be involved in shady financial dealings, and certainly has a mistress. The Vice President-a political rival-enlists a reporter to help discredit the Secretary. But the Vice President has skeletons in his own closet, which are exposed by the very reporter he entrusts. It may sound like modern times, but the characters here are Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and the notorious James Callender, whose devastating quill altered the course of American history. William Safire draws on actual letters to create authentic dialogue for Hamilton, Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison and others. His unforgettable portrait of this early media scandal is matched in passion and intensity by narrator Paul Hecht, whose flawless reading brings these sensational events to life.
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"Paul Hecht lends his patrician voice to William Safire's compelling novel of journalism and politics in the formative years of the United States. Scandal-monger dramatizes the battle for press freedoms at a time when even truthful revelations about government officials were often considered seditious. Hecht captures the formality of nineteenth-century speech while communicating intimately with today's reader. The book provides a clever perspective on scandals involving Hamilton and Jefferson by intertwining the life of yellow journalist James Callender with that of Maria Reynolds, Hamilton's mistress. (As Safire notes in a post-script, Callender and Reynolds never actually met.) Hecht delivers historic legal arguments with grace and dignity, although without much passion. K.C. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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