Good Law| Bad Law #98 -The Forgotten Founding Father, Dr. Benjamin Rush. w/ Steve Fried

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Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Steve Fried, author of the new book: “Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father.”  Steve and Aaron discuss the life and impact Dr. Rush had on the founding of our country.


In 1776, 30-year-old Dr. Benjamin Rush was one of the youngest men to sign the Declaration of Independence.  A consummate chronicler of events and conversations, Dr. Rush’s journals and letters provide fascinating detail and insight into the founding time.  As Steve recounts, Dr. Rush was centrally involved in knowing and influencing many of the founding events: He counseled John Adams as Adams arrived for the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia; he was an organizer of the protests against England’s tax on tea, which led to the Boston Tea Party;  he worked as an editor and proponent of Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense; he was intimately involved, as a leading physician at the time, in the military campaigns, including the crucial battles led by General Washington; and he wrote Pennsylvania’s Declaration of Independence, working contemporaneously with Thomas Jefferson on the new nation’s Declaration.  


On today’s episode, Steve takes us through some of the more gripping stories covered in his book, including the day Dr. Rush met with George Washington as he was trying to cross the icy waters of the Delaware River.  In addition to his political contributions during the revolutionary period, Dr. Rush was extraordinarily influential in the development of medicine, including his championing of mental health as an important frontier for medical treatment and examination.


Here is a link to Steve’s book:

To learn more about Steve and see his other works, visit his author page here:


Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Steve Fried