The bestselling historical novel that exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers by the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist.
In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nation's first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the "scandalmonger" of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamilton's reputation, thereby paving the way for Jefferson's success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries.
By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians' cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution.