- Paperback: 832 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (March 29, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143034758
- ISBN-13: 978-0143034759
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
Editorial Reviews Review Building on biographies by _Richard Brookhiser_ and _Willard Sterne Randall_,Ron ChernowÂ’s _Alexander Hamilton_ provides what may be the most comprehensivemodern examination of the often overlooked Founding Father. From the start,Chernow argues that HamiltonÂ’s premature death at age 49 left his record to bereinterpreted and even re-written by his more long-lived enemies, among them:Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe. HamiltonÂ’s achievements asfirst Secretary of the Treasury, co-author of _The Federalist Papers_, andmember of the Constitutional Convention were clouded after his death bystrident claims that he was an arrogant, self-serving monarchist. Chernowdelves into the almost 22,000 pages of letters, manuscripts, and articles thatmake up HamiltonÂ’s legacy to reveal a man with a sophisticated intellect, aromantic spirit, and a late-blooming religiosity. One fault of the book, is that Chernow is so convinced of HamiltonÂ’sexcellence that his narrative sometimes becomes hagiographic. Nowhere is thismore apparent than in ChernowÂ’s account of the infamous duel between Hamiltonand Aaron Burr in 1804. He describes HamiltonÂ’s final hours as pious, whileBurr, Jefferson, and Adams achieve an almost cartoonish villainy at the newsof HamiltonÂ’s passing. A defender of the union against New England secession and an opponent ofslavery, Hamilton has a special appeal to modern sensibilities. Chernow arguesthat in contrast to Jefferson and WashingtonÂ’s now outmoded agrarian idealism,Hamilton was "the prophet of the capitalist revolution" and the true forebearof modern America. In his Prologue, he writes: "In all probability, AlexanderHamilton is the foremost figure in American history who never attained thepresidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact thanmany who did." With _Alexander Hamilton_, this impact can now be more widelyappreciated. _--Patrick O'Kelley_ _--This text refers to the Hardcoveredition._ From Publishers Weekly After hulking works on J.P. Morgan, the Warburgs and John D. Rockefeller, whatother grandee of American finance was left for Chernow's overflowing pen thanthe one who puts the others in the shade? Alexander Hamilton (1755Â–1804)created public finance in the United States. In fact, it's arguable thatwithout Hamilton's political and financial strategic brilliance, the UnitedStates might not have survived beyond its early years. Chernow's achievementis to give us a biography commensurate with Hamilton's character, as well asthe full, complex context of his unflaggingly active life. Possessing the mostpowerful (though not the most profound) intelligence of his giftedcontemporaries, Hamilton rose from Caribbean bastardy through military servicein Washington's circle to historic importance at an early age and then, in anew era of partisan politics, gradually lost his political bearings. Chernowmakes fresh contributions to Hamiltoniana: no one has discovered so much aboutHamilton's illegitimate origins and harrowed youth; few have been so taken byHamilton's long-suffering, loving wife, Eliza. Yet it's hard not to cringe atsome of Hamilton's hotheaded words and behavior, especially sacrificing thewell-being of his family on the altar of misplaced honor. This is a fine workthat captures Hamilton's life with judiciousness and verve. Illus. Copyright (C) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Allrights reserved. _--This text refers to the Hardcover edition._ See all Editorial Reviews
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