Visiting Fellow Tom Ricks’s Book Examines How Founding Fathers Were Influenced by Classical Thinkers

Acclaimed military historian and journalist Tom Ricks came to Bowdoin in 2018 as a visiting fellow in history to research his next book. That project has now come to fruition and his new book, First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country, is to be published next month by HarperCollins.

The book takes a new look at the Founding Fathers, examining how their educations were influenced in particular by the work of Greek and Roman philosophers. Ricks, who, as a prize-winning journalist, wrote about military affairs for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, then shows how those influences shaped the ideals of the newly found United States.

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