26. Infamous Scribblers, by Eric Burns. I've long held that with the Internet giving everyone the equivalent of a cheap printing press, we have not seen a decay in news coverage and journalism. Rather, the internet hit the reset button, and everything old is new again. This book solidifies this view. Despair of the talking heads, pundits, half-truths and outright likes now? We have nothing on our Founding Fathers. Not saying we don't need to improve but the amount of vitriol that blazed from the first Colonial-era newspapers made my jaw drop at times. There was no such thing as fair, balanced reporting- indeed, the first newspaper editors wore their opinions and leanings like a badge of honor. Several, including Samuel Adams and James Callender, were not above making up their own truths for what they saw as the greater good. After the Revolutionary War, most (if not all) papers were either firm Federalist supporters or staunch Republican. This is a longer book but the pages flew by. It is both educational and entertaining. You will never see the Founding Fathers the same way. Burns portrays them here, their many warts and all. History buffs should definitely find a copy.
Currently reading: Still slowly working my way through The Hamilton Papers. Also have several books waiting for me at the library.