Founding Federalist

The Life of Oliver Ellsworth

By Michael Toth

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“Remarkable . . . By bringing [Ellsworth’s] contributions to the forefront, Mr. Toth enriches the founding narrative.” 
Wall Street Journal

You’ve probably never heard of Oliver Ellsworth. It’s time to change that.

“A brief, wonderfully readable biography of the most important American you’ve never heard of.”
Peter Robinson, Ricochet

Founding Federalist

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Regular Price: $25.00

Special Price $20.00


“As ISI Books emphasizes with a remarkable series called ‘Lives of the Founders,’ the young nation’s cast of civic-minded men went far beyond the familiar names. . . . In this fifth installment, Michael Toth illuminates the life of Oliver Ellsworth. . . . By bringing [Ellsworth’s] contributions to the forefront, Mr. Toth enriches the founding narrative.”
Wall Street Journal

In Founding Federalist, Michael C. Toth provides an in-depth look at the life and work of Oliver Ellsworth, a largely forgotten but eminently important Founding Father.

The American Founding was the work of visionaries and revolutionaries. But amid the celebrated luminaries, the historic transformations, the heroic acts, and unforgettable discourses were practical politicians, the consensus builders who made the system work. Oliver Ellsworth—Framer, senator, chief justice, diplomat—was such a leader.

Founding Federalist brings to life a figure whose contributions shape American political life even today. Vividly capturing the pivotal debates at Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, Toth shows how Ellsworth was a vital force in shaping the Constitution as a Federalist document, one that did not extinguish the role of the states even as it recognized the need for national institutions. The author illuminates what Ellsworth and other Founders understood to be the meaning of the new constitutional order—a topic highly relevant to twenty-first-century debates about the role of government. Toth, an attorney, also brilliantly analyzes Ellsworth’s most important legislative achievement: the creation of the U.S. federal court system.

With this insightful new biography, Michael Toth has reclaimed a figure who made crucial contributions to a lasting creation: a federal republic.

Additional Information

Pages 240
Publisher ISI Books
What They're Saying...

“Toth presents the enduring contributions of this pivotal and esteemed founding father to the Constitution and to all three branches of the federal government…. [His] eloquent biography, peppered with quotations from Ellsworth’s contemporaries, historians, and from Ellsworth himself, brings to life an august founder who today is only acknowledged indirectly through his lasting achievements.”
The University Bookman

“A brief, wonderfully readable biography of the most important American you’ve never heard of.”
—Peter Robinson, Ricochet

“This marvelous biography persuasively shows what we proud sons and daughters of Windsor, Connecticut, learned from childhood: that Ellsworth deserves a place of pride in the pantheon of the Founders for his vital contributions to the birth of the United States.” 
—Patrick J. Deneen, author of Why Liberalism Failed, professor at the University of Notre Dame

Founding Federalist is clearly and gracefully written, as readable as any of David McCullough’s books."
—Michael Barone, Washington Examiner

“Lucid and comprehensive, Founding Federalist brings to light for a modern audience one of the most important of the constitutional framers.” 
—David Frum

“Oliver Ellsworth was among the most important Founders of our country. Michael Toth’s work adds much to our understanding of the epoch.”
—Forrest McDonald, author of We the People and Novus Ordo Seclorum

“Toth’s insightful narrative skillfully guides us through the rich and varied career of one of the most underappreciated leaders of the Founding generation.”
—Barry Cushman, professor of law and history, University of Virginia


Eligible for Readers Club Discount Yes

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