Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: I’m reviewing the book, not the play, dorks. Come at me.

Quick synopsis: A (very) in-depth biography of Alexander Hamilton.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: Hamilton was not born in the United States (or the colonies, actually). He was born in Nevis in the Caribbean.

Fun Fact for History Nerds: Hamilton and Aaron Burr were not always enemies. In fact, they were co-counsel on one of the first fully-documented murder trials in New York. They won.

My Take: This is an amazing biography. There is a reason it could be turned into a play.

It is a great book about one of the most interesting Founding Fathers. It spares no details so a non-history nerd may be scared away by its sheer size.

Hamilton’s life is full of events which we see in other literature. However, where someone’s life may hinge on one thing, like being an orphan, or the protégé of a great man, or being a genius, Alexander Hamilton was all of these things.

He was born in the Caribbean. His family was less than reputable. He was an orphan. He went to King’s College (now Columbia) based on his own sheer intelligence and hard work. He became a protégé of George Washington and led troops in the American Revolution.

He hated Thomas Jefferson who hated him right back. (Reminder: I hate Thomas Jefferson, too.) He would cause a massive scandal over his marriage and would die in a duel.

The most amazing aspect of Hamilton is his legacy. Fiscally speaking, he was hundreds of years ahead of his time. Many of the tenets of finance he espoused are how the U.S. became the financial monolith it has become. Read and see.

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Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
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