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Alexander Hamilton, American Paperback – April 12, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Brookshiser is not interested in all the little details of Hamilton's life and times. He is not interested in reproducing volumes of Hamilton's writings, letters to Hamilton, or articles about Hamilton. He is interested in telling a story, and then making points about the role of words, rights, and passion in Hamilton's character.
I'm guessing that most Americans don't know the story of Alexander Hamilton, the relatively poor immigrant who became one of this nation's most important founders. Hamilton today is respected, but not always revered as some of his opponents like Jefferson and Madison are. Brookshiser reveres him. But he writes with a kind of awe for many who did not share the same feelings for each other. "It is impossible not to love John Adams," (p. 130) Brookshiser writes. Really? Who loved him back then? Not Hamilton, not Jefferson. Hamilton and Jefferson were, of course, at odds with each other, too. But not enough so as to prevent them from joining forces against Aaron Burr in 1800, who eventually killed Hamilton in a duel four years later.
The soap opera intrigue of the founders as highlighted by this book stands out as more severe than any product of current politics.Read more ›
Brilliant, visionary, and enormously articulate, Hamilton was quick to argue his positions, most notably in "The Federalist Papers," in a series of anonymous letters to newspapers, and in the courtroom. His belief in a strong central government drew him into conflict with other luminaries, including Virginia Thomas Jefferson. His politics and simmering rivalry with Aaron Burr culminated in a famous duel. Today, when we think of Jefferson et al. as apolitical "statesmen," it is instructive to view the ferocious politics of the era.
Brookshiser's non-academic, breezy style enlivens the characterization of the people, the times, and the economic issues. Unfortunately, this style sometimes works against him: Describing the Hamilton/Burr communiques preceding the duel, Brookshiser merely states "It would dignify the mummeries that followed to describe them in detail." Still, Brookshiser's book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Revolution and early American politics. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brookhiser treats the highlights of the events of Hamilton's life, but analyzes his political thought with more attention. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David J. Wilson
The book lent a personality to the founding fathers. It illustrated that each person being real had strengths and faults. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good book on a great man. He was an enigma and I am not sure that this book gave me a much clearer picture of him. RIPPublished 13 months ago by Judith Johnson
“Alexander Hamilton, American” is not a biography per se, but rather a series of essays, each one devoted to a particular topic, as indicated by chapter headings: War, Laws, Words,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ricardo Mio
Brookhiser packs a good bit in a short biography. Personally, I liked that. I am not really inclined to go all in so to speak on reading about Hamilton. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Just A Review
The book was in good quality. No tears, marks, stains or anything else. I am very happy with this purchase.Published on February 8, 2014 by Amber Imran