The Battle of Rhode Island Association

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Virtual Author’s Talk— Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided

February 7 @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM



The American founders were men of high intellect, steely integrity, and enormous ambition—but they were not all of one mind. They came from diverse colonies, and they all sought their futures on different horizons. Without reliable maps of even nearby terrain, they contributed in different, and sometimes conflicting, ways to the expansion of a young republic on the seaboard edge of a continent of whose vast expanses they were largely ignorant. Through an examination of six founders, historian Michael Barone shows how their geographic orientation—their mental maps—informed their foundation and management of a financial and taxation system that enabled the new American republic’s commerce to thrive.

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About the Speaker
Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner and resident fellow emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute. He was the founding co-author of The Almanac of American Politics, the first edition of which edition appeared in 1971. Additionally, he is the author of several publications, including Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan (Free Press, 1990), Our First Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America’s Founding Fathers (Crown Forum, 2007), and, most recently, Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America’s Revolutionary Leaders (Encounter Books, 2023). He has also written for many other publications in the United States and several other countries, including the Economist, the Times Literary Supplement, the Daily Telegraph, and the Sunday Times of London. Furthermore, he has received several awards throughout his career, which include the Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in 2010, the Barbara Olsen Award from The American Spectator in 2006, and the Carey McWilliams Award from the American Political Science Association in 1992.


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