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Alexander Hamilton: Writings (Library of America) Hardcover – October 15, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Whether lamenting the paucity of power in revolutionary-era Congress or asking a friend to find him a wife in Carolina, founding father Alexander Hamilton was earnest, passionate and articulate. In Hamilton: Writings, Joanne B. Freeman (Affairs of Honor), assistant history professor at Yale, has assembled 170 letters, essays, reports and speeches from 1769 to 1804. Describing himself as "[c]old in my professions, warm in my friendships," Hamilton indeed exhibits a range of expression, emotion and restraint. Extensive wartime correspondence, 51 contributions to The Federalist, the famous speech to the Constitutional Convention, courtship letters and many more items will interest all fans of American history.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The latest in the Library of America series arranges Hamilton's writings in chronological order. The text consists of more than 170 letters, speeches, essays, reports, and memoranda written between 1769 and 1804, including all of Hamilton's material presented in The Federalist. This additionally sports several conflicting eyewitness accounts of Hamilton's lethal duel with Aaron Burr.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America (Book 129)
  • Hardcover: 1108 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; First Edition edition (October 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931082049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931082044
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
With this volume, Alexander Hamilton assumes his rightful place in the ranks of the Library of America -- not only as a key historical figure in the founding of the Republic, but as a master of political argument and writing. With care and sensitivity, Prof. Joanne B. Freeman of Yale University has assembled the best and most comprehensive one-volume Hamilton collection ever assembled -- but she has done something even more important: She has presented us with a thorough, judicious, and enlightening documentary life of Hamilton. This book will be indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the origins of the Constitution, of the American economy, and of the nation's political system and public life. It also will be indispensable to anyone who wants to understand Alexander Hamilton as a political, constitutional, and economic thinker, as a key shaper of American government and public policy, and as a human being.
-- R. B. Bernstein, Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School
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Format: Hardcover
Alexander Hamilton is one of the most important, most misunderstood and most under studied Americans ever. He is the central figure in establishing the Federal Bank, as different as it is today from what it was then. He is responsible for the majority of the Federalist Papers, the most important documents produced in support of the Federal Constitutuon and the heated debates it entailed. But another thing most people don't know is that he is an American Revolution hero, serving, with distinction under Geroge Washington, receiving his highest praise and becoming his right hand man. He is the most elegant and gifted of writers. To understand his beginnings, read Alexander Hamilton: American by Richard Brookheiser, and understand the humble beginnings he was born into, working as a store clerk in the West Indies, educating himself in America and turning himself into one of the Americans who has a true grasp on the English language. His politics aside, he was a brilliant man. He was a gentleman and he was honest. He was a mna full of pride and great courage. He refused to let himself be bad mouthed, accepting Aronn Burr's duel, but he refused to fire at his opponent, instead firing into the air. A very honourable end to a great American. His writing are essntial to understand his life and his mind, his political orientation and lifelong goals. Not only that, but this is great literature. This receives my highest recommendation.
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Format: Hardcover
With this volume, the Library of America continues its project presenting the best of American culture and thought in an accessible way.
The subject of this volume is Alexander Hamilton. Although John Adams has frequently been regarded as the least understood of the Founders, Hamilton has his own plausible claim to this honor. History has not treated Hamilton kindly. He has certain obvious flaws in terms of arrogance,temper, and judgment.These flaws are amply revealed in this collection of writings. Hamilton, nevertheless, has much to teach us about government and about our country. This collection of his writings is a treasure.
At the outset, I was reluctant to begin a project of reading this volume through in its entirety. As my reading progressed, I couldn't put the volume down.
The book covers all phases of Hamilton's political and personal life, from its beginnings in what is now the U.S. Virgin Islands to his death at age 49 in the notorious duel with Aaron Burr. The heart of the book begins with Hamilton's role in the Constitutional Convention, in which he advocated for a strong Federal government and, in particular for a strong Executive. The book continues with Hamilton's 51 contributions to "The Federalist" in which he explained the Constitution to the people of the State of New York in terms which remain a seminal exposition of the basic governing document of the United States. Again the focus is on the need for a strong central government with a will and ability to act for the public good.
Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury.
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Format: Hardcover
I read somewhere that reading a book is like walking through an author's mind. Whether intended or not, the author reveals something of himself. It doesn't matter if it's fiction or non-fiction, history or biography, the message comes through, indicating the kind of person he is and his outlook on life. Has he lost faith and become cynical, or has he maintained an optimistic outlook? Does he see the glass as half-full or half-empty? His words will you tell you.

That, I believe is the importance of the Library of America series. It allows readers the opportunity to discover for themselves what an historical figure such as Alexander Hamilton was really like. In the past, historians have had exclusive access to the personal papers and government documents of such people, and drawn their own conclusions. Let's face it, their conclusions often reflect their personal or professional prejudices which they use to support their particular point-of-view and in turn impress upon their readers. The Library of America books have changed that, thankfully.

Reading Hamilton's letters--to his wife, to his friends, and to associates such as George Washington, John Jay, and Gouverneur Morris, presents a side of Hamilton that is seldom revealed. Then there are his government documents: The Report on Public Credit, the Report on the National Bank, the Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, the 51 essays included in the Federalist Papers, and so on. As you read these letters and documents, which, as letters are thoughtful and considerate, and as government documents are measured, well-reasoned, and remarkably clear in the presentation, an impression begins to form.
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