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Alexander Hamilton Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 5,512 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Building on biographies by Richard Brookhiser and Willard Sterne Randall, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton provides what may be the most comprehensive modern examination of the often overlooked Founding Father. From the start, Chernow argues that Hamilton’s premature death at age 49 left his record to be reinterpreted and even re-written by his more long-lived enemies, among them: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe. Hamilton’s achievements as first Secretary of the Treasury, co-author of The Federalist Papers, and member of the Constitutional Convention were clouded after his death by strident claims that he was an arrogant, self-serving monarchist. Chernow delves into the almost 22,000 pages of letters, manuscripts, and articles that make up Hamilton’s legacy to reveal a man with a sophisticated intellect, a romantic spirit, and a late-blooming religiosity.

One fault of the book, is that Chernow is so convinced of Hamilton’s excellence that his narrative sometimes becomes hagiographic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chernow’s account of the infamous duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. He describes Hamilton’s final hours as pious, while Burr, Jefferson, and Adams achieve an almost cartoonish villainy at the news of Hamilton’s passing.

A defender of the union against New England secession and an opponent of slavery, Hamilton has a special appeal to modern sensibilities. Chernow argues that in contrast to Jefferson and Washington’s now outmoded agrarian idealism, Hamilton was "the prophet of the capitalist revolution" and the true forebear of modern America. In his Prologue, he writes: "In all probability, Alexander Hamilton is the foremost figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did." With Alexander Hamilton, this impact can now be more widely appreciated. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Review

"...[N]obody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow..." —The New York Times Book Review

"...[A] biography commensurate with Hamilton's character, as well as the full, complex context of his unflaggingly active life.... This is a fine work that captures Hamilton's life with judiciousness and verve." —Publishers Weekly

"A splendid life of an enlightened reactionary and forgotten Founding Father. Literate and full of engaging historical asides. By far the best of the many lives of Hamilton now in print, and a model of the biographer’s art."—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." —Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

"A brilliant historian has done it again! The thoroughness and integrity of Ron Chernow’s research shines forth on every page of his Alexander Hamilton. He has created a vivid and compelling portrait of a remarkable man—and at the same time he has made a monumental contribution to our understanding of the beginnings of the American Republic.”—Robert A. Caro, author of The Power Broker and The Years of Lyndon Johnson

"Alexander Hamilton was one of the most brilliant men of his brilliant time, and one of the most fascinating figures in all of American history. His rocketing life-story is utterly amazing. His importance to the founding of the new nation, and thus to the whole course of American history, can hardly be overstated. And so Ron Chernow's new Hamilton could not be more welcome. This is grand-scale biography at its best—thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written. It clears away more than a few shop-worn misconceptions about Hamilton, gives credit where credit is due, and is both clear-eyed and understanding about its very human subject. Its numerous portraits of the complex, often conflicting cast of characters are deft and telling. The whole life and times are here in a genuinely great book." —David McCullough, author of John Adams

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2017
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Top international reviews

Mummy
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2017
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Alister Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece about an incredible man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2017
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Katie Pybus
5.0 out of 5 stars History was never more entertaining
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2017
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R Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible history of an under-appreciated man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2012
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Keys
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2019
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Duncan Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't think I could have done better than read this volume
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 7, 2018
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Peter Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2019
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Niamh Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read, Fascinating Historical Figure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 30, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 2016
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Natalie
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads Well
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2015
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Maria S.
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely phenomenal book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2017
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Keziah Watson
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2019
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Flo Mayo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2018
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Scott J
5.0 out of 5 stars Having wanted to go more in depth to the history ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2017
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