In the Charelston City Paper, Dylan Hales reviews Bill Kauffman's new book about Luther Martin, and refers to Kauffman as "the patriot of Batavia."
I kind of like that better than Gore Vidal's "sage of Batavia."
It's a favorable review.
As Kauffman aptly notes, the Founders are often revered as the designers of a "federal compact," wary of the dangers of big government tyranny.
In fact, it was the "anti-Federalists" who were the true advocates of self-government, and Martin was their most spirited proponent.
One of the implied theses of the book is that history is written by the winners, and we are all worse off for it. Kauffman is at his best noting Martin's unfair treatment by Constitutional scholars and historians, who have for the most part regarded him as "the town drunk, the class bore, the motormouth."
Kauffman thoroughly debunks this as obtuse obstructionism. In fact, Martin was a relatively modest participant at the Constitutional Convention. His attachment to the Articles of Confederation was predicated on a reverence for local government as well as the illegality of the usurpation of power promoted by Hamilton, Madison and the gang.
I just started reading the book last night. I'll probably post something about it after I finish it. The book can be purchased at Present Tense, where last I heard, there were still autographed copies available.