- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 36 hours and 2 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: January 19, 2005
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0007OB58A
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Alexander Hamilton Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
Up to chapter 16, “Dr. Pangloss,” the story is superbly told. But, when Thomas Jefferson enters Hamilton’s life, much of the book becomes a contrast between Hamilton, who had his own well-documented personal failings, with Jefferson who, if the text is to be believed, had nothing but personal failings. Jefferson is variously described as hypocritical, duplicitous and conniving. Undoubtedly, Jefferson fit much of this description but so did Hamilton in their Federalist-Republican (anti-Federalist) feud in the 1790’s. What bothered me was the unrelenting negative portrayal of Jefferson, Madison (after 1790) and John Adams. Hamilton is portrayed accurately and fully as a brilliant and decent man with some major flaws. Jefferson and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Madison and Adams, are portrayed as deeply flawed individuals who happened to have a few good points. The language reinforces this. If one were to count the negatively loaded adjectives and verbs accorded to Hamilton’s three main opponents, they would vastly outnumber any positive linguistic connotations. In order to sharpen Hamilton’s character portrayal, the image that Chernow gives of Hamilton’s opponents is, given other biographies of these men, less than just.
The name-calling, smear campaigns and character assassinations in the 1790’s are appalling (but less so given the 2016 Presidential campaign). However, a dozen years after independence and only a few years after the Constitution was ratified, the fears of the anti-Federalists were real ones. Jefferson’s and Madison’s hypocrisy and the foibles of John Adam’s personality notwithstanding, the concerns expressed were often genuine ones at that time about what kind of country the United States would be and how the Constitution should be interpreted. The possibility that the Jeffersonians may have had a point gets lost in Chernow’s constant barrage of claims about duplicity, hypocrisy and malevolent intentions.
So I thought this was a brilliant portrayal of the man who founded our economic and, to a large extent, our political system. The portrayal of Aaron Burr is excellent and the factors leading up to the duel are gripping. But the mid-section of the book would have been even stronger if Chernow had presented Hamilton’s foes in a fuller, less negatively charged light.
Ron Chernow writes his biography so that it reads almost like a novel. You can really get into Hamilton's story and feel like you know the Founding Fathers and those they interact with. We see how Hamilton had to fight some of the biggest names in American history to get his ideas heard, and how he worked tirelessly to defend the Constitution and keep the Union together.
I learned a lot about the people of this time in history. I was a little surprised to find out how they would attack each other anonymously in the press and how there was talk of some of the states seceding. The politics of the time surprised me as well. I didn't realize that the partisan fighting was so severe.
After reading everything that Hamilton did for the young country - including his work in constructing America's financial system which meant that the bankrupt country would be able to get credit - I realized how much Hamilton's work has been responsible for the country that America has become.
I highly recommend this book. I'm not at all surprised that this book inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write his award winning play.
The book was very detailed and it was obviously well researched Anyone who loves History and the founding of our country would probably enjoy . It is not a light read