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Alexander Hamilton Paperback – 29 Mar 2005
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|Paperback, 29 Mar 2005||
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..".[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
About the Author
Ron Chernow is the prize-winning author of six books and the recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award, Washington: A Life won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and Alexander Hamilton was the inspiration for the Broadway musical. His new biography, Grant, will be published in October 2017. Chernow lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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A phenomenal man and yet so human and fragile, and in some ways so deeply flawed.
This is an amazing book about a truly amazing man.
I was fortunate to be given a free ticket to see Hamilton and although I had already bought a ticket, I happily accepted the free one and I saw the musical. I am a Hamilfan and proud of it and like so many people I have the mixtape, the original broadcast, the Hamildrops etc etc and I hang on to Lin Manuel Miranda's every word.
I also have the Hamiltome and Chernow. I decided to read Chernow because I thought it would help me understand Hamilton and enhance my enjoyment of the musical second time round.
And it will because of course Lin Manuel Miranda is an amazing man and the musical brings Alexander Hamilton to life.
But the book etches the man upon your soul.
In some ways his death was just such an utter loss, but in other ways it was a dramatic end to a incredibly dramatic life. I finished reading this and just felt rather shell shocked. I also felt that Hamilton had a very cavalier attitude about the impact of his death on his wife and seven children.
But I also feel incredibly educated, for want of a better word. I am not an American and there are things about US politics that confuse me e.g. the two party system, the political ideologies etc. I now know what it is all about! At least a little.
And this means that I can go forth and bore my colleagues, friends and family to death.
This also mean that when I watch the musical for the second time I will be able to pick up all the nuances and references and just have a richer experience.
Ron Chernow is a brilliant author. He has written a huge tome of US history in a way that is accessible and enjoyable and I can well see why Lin Manuel Miranda was so captivated. It is the kind of book and life story that deserve a musical. Reading this has left me feeling exhilarated and hungry for more. I now want to know more about Jefferson, Burr and the other founding fathers, but I also want to know more about American slavery and so I will be reading Grant next.
The unsung hero here is Eliza Hamilton who sounds like the most amazing woman. 'Bests of wives, best of women.' And I think she would have had to be with a man like Hamilton. I wish someone would tell her story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and I am glad I started it at the beginning of the year. I now have whole year to bask in the life of Hamilton, the writing of Chernow and the music of Lin Manuel Miranda.
We are waiting in the wings for you
You could never back down
You never learned to take your time
Oh, Alexander Hamilton
When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote your game?
The world will never be the same, oh
The ship is in the harbor now
See if you can spot him
Another immigrant comin' up from the bottom
His enemies destroyed his rep America forgot him
We fought with him
Me, I died for him
Me, I trusted him
Me, I loved him
And me, I’m the damn fool that shot him
There’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait
What’s your name, man?
Songwriters: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Alexander Hamilton lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
My interest, like many others I'm sure, was sparked by Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical "Hamilton" and I have enjoyed reflecting as I progress through the book on the similarities and differences between the reality, and what Miranda showed us in his performance. Chernow does a great job of bringing the reader into the mind of many of the people of the time and gives ample credit where it is due. I would be interested now to read biographies on Jefferson, Madison and Burr to see how the "Villains" of Hamilton's life are viewed differently in another context.
If you've read this far chances are you are the kind of person who will enjoy this book and I can't recommend it enough to you.