Germaine Greer & Aaron Burr

The 10th anniversary of the death of Diana, and a significant percentage of people in the UK continue to believe she was murdered. She could have become Queen, if she had kept quiet. She chose to become a Londoner. If she were pregnant (not an impossibility), or if she were to have married one of her Islamic lovers, it would have provoked a constitutional crisis and perhaps brought down the monarchy. Her campaign against land mines infuriated the military-industrial establishments of both the UK and the U.S.

Tina Brown, upon hearing of Diana's death, said on a TV interview (presumably alluding to Britain): "The brightest star in our constellation is gone." She has since altered her position.

Germaine Greer has trashed Diana in her recent pronouncements, but then Ms. Greer has become a rather sexually jealous woman, it would seem, unlike her earlier manifestation as a Professor at the University of Tulsa, in Oklahoma, when she enjoyed choosing whichever cowboy was coming down the pike.

Speaking of the U. of Tulsa, Nancy Isenberg, the Mary Frances Barnard Chair in American History there, has published an exceptional book: FALLEN FOUNDER, THE LIFE OF AARON BURR (Viking Penguin, 2007). It is rare when a text (like Germaine Greer's early and admirable work, THE FEMALE EUNUCH) changes our knowledge and perception, but this is what Ms. Isenberg has accomplished in her scholarly book.

As she writes: "Prejudiced characterizations of Burr have been repeated as received wisdom....Everything we think we know about Aaron Burr is untrue....He was no better, no worse, than those with whom his name is most commonly linked, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson. In moral terms, it is arguable that he behaved with greater honesty and directness than they did...Hamilton and Jefferson have always had their defenders. Burr did not have a protective posterity...Historians, as a result, have found Burr to be a man of mystery, and...nearly all have insisted that he had no political philosophy to compare with or rank alongside of Jefferson and Hamilton and the other traditional "founding fathers"....The record clearly shows that this assumption is ridiculous.

(this is post #40 on omoo, parts I, II, & III - post #20 on omoopart3.)