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Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
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Alexander Hamilton (edition 2005)

by Ron Chernow (Author)

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8,1041621,078 (4.33)244
Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:

The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.
"Grand-scale biography at its best‚??thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book." ‚??David McCullough
‚??A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." ‚??Joseph Ellis


Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow‚??s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today‚??s America is the result of Hamilton‚??s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. ‚??To repudiate his legacy,‚?Ě Chernow writes, ‚??is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.‚?Ě Chernow here recounts Hamilton‚??s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington‚??s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America‚??s birth as the triumph of Jefferson‚??s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we‚??ve encountered before‚??from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton‚??s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Chernow‚??s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America‚??s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions a
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Member:901crini
Title:Alexander Hamilton
Authors:Ron Chernow (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2005), 818 pages
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Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

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English (158)  Spanish (1)  All languages (159)
Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
I was inspired to read this after seeing the musical, Hamilton. I found the story of Alexander Hamilton's life fascinating. I was especially interested in the sections where the founding fathers were writing the Constitution and where Mr. Hamilton was building the treasury departments and other federal institutions.

I was struck by many similarities to today's political life. And surprised...we hear about the decline of thoughtful debate, the fierceness of partisanship, and how things used to be better. Yet the US Government ran a deficit in its earliest years. People declined Cabinet jobs because of public scrutiny. And members of Congress literally came to blows with canes and fireplace tongs. Plus ca change....

The book is very well researched and written in an accessible style. I think the author may have injected a little too much interpretation of Hamilton's words or actions at times, but overall he did a great job of bringing this part of U.S. history to life. ( )
  LynnB | Jan 24, 2024 |
Excellent read. It certainly changed my perspective on Jefferson and Madison (and to a lesser extent, Adams). Highly recommended. ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
I decided to move it down from 4 to 3 stars. The section on the Federalist Papers along with Hamilton's work on the first bank was quite interesting. Many of Hamilton's contemporaries were two dimensional (Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Burr, and Washington). I think Chernow stretched in trying to understand the motivation and thinking of Hamilton. I would rather an author just use a narrative style to tell the story with facts that are easily corroborated along with quotes from primary sources. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Jan 17, 2024 |
Show events as they occurred. Don't tell about events that happened later.
  AlvaLewis | Dec 15, 2023 |
Don't be intimidated by the number of pages (nearly a thousand) and the density of the text. Whether or not you've seen the Tony Award-winning musical "Hamilton" inspired by Chernow's comprehensive examination of the life and works of Alexander Hamilton, the "ten dollar founding father without a father," this book will have you turning pages long past midnight.

Although Hamilton himself lived a life worthy of any Greek epic, his days were frequently spent in study, his legal practice, and in the construction of a post-Revolution American nation. Perhaps inspired by the legendary writing of Hamilton himself, Chernow has made financial history, legal definitions, and nation-building riveting. The result is an excellent biography of a man whose brilliance was often hampered by his pride and temper. Although Hamilton's extramarital dalliances (real or imagined) and premature death at the hands of Aaron Burr made it easy for his enemies to dismiss his work and smear his reputation, his colossal achievements in his adopted home and on global economics leave a shadow that stretches to the present day.

Hamilton is by turns fascinating, compelling, frustrating - but never boring. Chernow captures the Hamilton that his devoted wife Eliza Schulyer Hamilton fought so hard to preserve against the slander of his enemies - a brilliant self-taught man who charmed, chattered, and clawed his way to the top of an exclusive society bent on keeping outsiders at bay; a courageous soldier and early abolitionist who sought to distance himself from his past in the violent and bloody West Indies slave trade; and a devoted husband and father who cherished his children even though he was often absent from their daily lives. ( )
  brunnyd | Dec 7, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
In this favorable, hefty biography of Alexander Hamilton, Chernow (The Warburgs; The House of Morgan) makes the case for him as one of the most important Founding Fathers, arguing that America is heir to the Hamiltonian vision of the modern economic state. His sweeping narrative chronicles the complicated and often contradictory life of Hamilton, from his obscure birth on Nevis Island to his meteoric rise as confidant to Washington, coauthor of The Federalist Papers, and America's first Treasury secretary, to his bizarre death at the hands of Aaron Burr. A running theme is the contradictions exhibited during his life: a member of the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton nevertheless felt that the Constitution was seriously flawed and was fearful of rule by the people. A devoted father and husband, he had two known affairs. Lastly, he was philosophically and morally opposed to dueling, and yet that's how he met his end. Although quite sympathetic to Hamilton, Chernow attempts to present both sides of his many controversies, including Hamilton's momentous philosophical battles with Jefferson. Chernow relies heavily on primary sources and previously unused volumes of Hamilton's writings. A first-rate life and excellent addition to the ongoing debate about Hamilton's importance in the shaping of America.
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ron Chernowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, GabrieleCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
TO VALERIE,
best of wives and best of women.
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In the early 1850s, few pedestrians strolling past the house on H Street in Washington, near the White House, realized that the ancient widow seated by the window, knitting and arranging, was the last surviving link to the glory days of the republic. (Prologue)
In order to make the text as fluent as possible and the founders less remote, I have taken the liberty of modernizing the spelling and punctuation of eighteenth-century prose, which can seem antiquated and jarring to modern eyes. (Author's Note)
Alexander Hamilton claimed Nevis in the British West Indies as his birthplace, although no surviving records substantiate this.
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:

The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.
"Grand-scale biography at its best‚??thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book." ‚??David McCullough
‚??A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." ‚??Joseph Ellis


Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow‚??s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today‚??s America is the result of Hamilton‚??s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. ‚??To repudiate his legacy,‚?Ě Chernow writes, ‚??is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.‚?Ě Chernow here recounts Hamilton‚??s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington‚??s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America‚??s birth as the triumph of Jefferson‚??s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we‚??ve encountered before‚??from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton‚??s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Chernow‚??s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America‚??s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions a

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The biography of one of America's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, which became the basis for the hugely successful Broadway show Hamilton.
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