The Never Realized Republic conveys an exceptional explanation of what American colonists and ultimately, Americans were most familiar with - religion, classical education, European heritage, liberty and the duty and obligation of government. This book does not offer opinion as much as it explains the meaning of words and concepts that contributed to how America's society organized itself into a governing body, its polity.
The books details with exceptional scholarship and historiography, why the founding fathers expected capitalism to be a harmonizing influence. Then with even greater details The Never Realized Republic demonstrates how the vision of social progress, for the Revolutionary generation was forever altered with the rise of Federalist aristocracy.
The conclusion brings to the forefront troubling questions about the role of America's federal government and foreign diplomacy - or the lack of it. I may know now what the founding fathers thought about republican virtue and how that should be the basis of international affairs. Mr. O'Lalor quotes President Washington's Farewell address at the end of the book. It demonstrates what was intended so very long ago: "The great role of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little Political connection as possible, - So far as we have already formed engagements , let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith, - Here let us stop.-."
Fortunately though, it seems the saving grace would be to reinvigorate America's educational system to provide an educational system that supports free thinking. Quoting Richard's Greece, Rome, and the American Enlightenment, Mr. O'Lalor conveys a great respect for the founder's faith in free thinking. "Although the founders considered the classics an important source of enlightenment, they understood that the highest expression of classical virtue was independence of thought and action." Mr. O'Lalor also goes to the source of an original free thinker Socrates so well known and respected by the founders. "So we must not wrangle over a word, but abide by the proposition on which we have just agreed, that the rightly educated prove what we mean by good, and that no aspect of education is to be disparaged; it is the highest blessing bestowed on mankind, and it is the best of them on who it is most fully bestowed. When it takes a false turn which permits of correction, we should, one and all, devote the energy of a lifetime to its amendment."
I think anyone who wants an unbiased view of American history, from colonization to the twenty-first century would benefit greatly by this book. I'd hope every college student could avail themselves of this work.