First a double disclosure: I know Jeffrey Frank, the author of "Ike and Dick," and I knew Richard Nixon, half of this book's political "portrait." I consider the former an honest, accomplished writer and the latter a flawed but visionary statesman and a personally decent man, often more sinned against than sinning. One hopes these two very different personal connections will neutralize each other.
An unusual speculation on the election outcome emanates from a small campus in Buffalo, N.Y.: agitated America could end up with President Mitt Romney and Vice President Joseph R. Biden, insist Canisius College political science professors Michael Haselswerdt, a Democrat, and Kevin Hardwick, a Republican. The race is so close that there's a viable chance that the presidential candidates could split the electoral votes evenly, 269-269.
In the early history of the United States, the names of two "might-have-beens" stand out. Each fought bravely in the American Revolution, though each was hamstrung by vanity, easily hurt feelings and a deep-seated rage against those men they considered ungrateful for services rendered.
Aaron Burr ranks among the most reviled characters in American history - an astounding fate for a Founding Father who came within a hair's breadth o f the presidency in 1800. Although he was never convicted in court, the term "traitor" is indelibly linked to his name.
FALLEN FOUNDER: THE LIFE OF AARON BURR