If we want to understand how America became America... then we need an accurate picture of how BOTH Hamilton and Jefferson contributed to our current system... and contributed to our current beliefs about America and Americans...
Most of history and what we've "taken" from Hamilton and Jefferson overlooks some of the flaws in Jefferson's worldview... and assigns a few extra undeserved flaws to Hamilton's worldview... the funny thing is that even today, it is popular for BOTH Democrats and Republicans to build up Jefferson and claim his views as their own... and for BOTH Democrats and Republicans to vilify Hamilton and say we'd have been a better country without him. Jefferson and Hamilton become cardboard cutouts of a good guy and a bad guy. And BOTH of those tendencies are whitewashing the REAL truth... and the real puzzle of how America became America. The funny thing is that we (Republicans, Democrats, and everyone in between...) have a good chunk of BOTH Jefferson and Hamilton in our national DNA... a big chunk of the good of both... and a not un-noticeable chunk of the bad of both. And if we had a better perspective on how this 220 year old battle is STILL playing out... our congress wouldn't behave so much like idiots... and WE wouldn't feed that idiocy like we do.
This book swings a little bit the other way... but in doing so, it DOES help paint a much more HUMAN picture of Hamilton... and... confirms how vitally important he was to what our country is today, and has been since the beginning. He had as much impact as the top three Presidents... meaning more impact than forty-something Presidents... I've known that for a while... so it was nice to finally associate all that with a real flesh and blood person, and in a way, a very AMERICAN story.
The narrator... okay... but sometimes his "tone of voice" seems a little... I don't know, can't find the right word... maybe he doesn't like history?... the only emotion he inserts is a little too much sarcasm and mocking in places that it doesn't really fit. But the story is well enough written that it doesn't really distract much.
It was a great history lesson told in a very interesting way. Scott Brick was a great narrator as always.
Very well researched and well written biography of one of the most important and crucial historical figures to the establishment of the United States. Chernow has the reader walk with the man, so we get to know him like his contemporaries did. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the earlier history of the country or the personalities who created it.
This was an extremely well-written biography. The non-fiction was related in a way that allowed the reader to imagine the story. Hamilton, like many great men (and women) of history was fallibly human. But his humanity may be forgiven for its very gift of singularity. When you look at a life or the events and character that define a life as it simply is--neither to be judged good, nor to be judged bad; no right or wrong (for all things can prove valuable and all things can prove profligate)--you are left with a life full of unique individualism never to be repeated as just such again. Everyone should have their biography written by someone who makes them intimately yours. Chernow has that gift. Scott Brick narrates with the same practical wonder.
Ron Chernow and Scott Brick have to be one of the best combinations of author/narrator out there. To begin with, the compelling story of the life of Alexander Hamilton was extremely well written. It was fascinating for me to learn just how challenging an environment existed in the early part of our nations history. And for a "foreigner" to have played such an impotant role in its beginning is just amazing. This book is one of the best I've listened to or read in a VERY long time. And Scott Brick is simply an excellent reader. His tone, tempo, voice, inflection, dictation, etc. are all perfect. I looked so forward to the ride to/from work every day to continue the story. I'd give it ten stars if I could.
This biography of Alexander Hamilton, while really long, is a great lesson about the important figures in United States history from the beginning of the revolt that became the American Revolution throught the first years under the US Constitution.
What a Fantastic life, captured superbly by an excellent historian, and narrated flawlessly. I can not recommend this book strongly enough! And what a rich telling of a what has to be America's First, Real, "Rags-to-Riches" story. This has to be THE American story, warts and all, taught to every student to get a "real feel" of what it was to live during the "Birth of the Nation" and Be the most creative force in the founding of government.
I tip my hat to the narrator, who expertly coveyed every sweaty, gritty, painful and joyous moment of soul that comes but once in a nation's lifetime.
Thank you, for a most enjoyable listen. Well, a second "listen" actually. I really did enjoy it.
Scott Brick delivers a brilliant performance in bringing to life this honest, detailed biography or one of our four greatest Founding Fathers: Washington, Hamilton, Franklin and Jefferson. This should be required reading for all American History scholars, not only for its honest, frank insight into a vain, character flawed but brilliant personality. But it also wonderfully purveys the perseverance of the UNION of the United States of America. In my opinion, he is the most underappreciated of our founding fathers for whom only George Washington garnered a true appreciation and understanding. God Bless America and God bless the sinner and absolute devotee to the Union of the United States of America, Alexander Hamilton.