This book is just fantastic. Fantastic in content and amazing in detail. The way in which Chernow draws you into the life of Hamilton is amazing. You not only learn about him, but also about the culture and history of the American Revolutionary period. It's a biography and a history lesson all rolled into one. I've listened to it three times so far and each time I enjoy it as much as I did the first time.
There is no better choice of narrator for this book than Scott Brick. He takes the topic of history written by Chernow and brings it alive with his rhythm and voice.
Perhaps the only "bad" thing about this book is that it will ruin you for other books about this period. Nothing will be as good as this one in its detail, story, and information. Each book after it will be summed up with "...but it wasn't as good as Alexander Hamilton".
I'll start by saying that this is the only non-fiction audiobook I've listened to more than once. And I read it in print too. I went into this knowing nothing about Alexander Hamilton. I was on a bit of a Founding Fathers spree, and this seemed to fit the bill.
Chernow paints a fantastic picture of Hamilton. There's no other way to say it, it's just fantastic. While never simplifying the man (far from it), he made A.H. understandable and likable to me in modern terms. Following his rise from orphaned obscurity on the West Indian Island of Nevis, through a leadership role in the Revolutionary War, to a stint as prime mover in the formation of our current United States government and economic system is a joy when you're led by Ron Chernow.
If there's a downside, it's in the author's portrayal of Thomas Jefferson and a few of his allies. Jefferson and Hamilton wound up on opposite sides of some very divisive political schisms, and Chernow is obviously in Hamilton's camp. I have yet to read a biography of Jefferson, but I have no doubt that there are other ways to view the man. Nonetheless, it's a tribute to Chernow's power as a writer that I was at times seething with anger at Jefferson and other Hamilton detractors.
Scott Brick is a fine reader. He gives the text just the right amount of emotion and inflection to keep it entertaining and enjoyable.
I am a walker and a hiker - I listen to audiobooks as I walk along
This is a great book about the political and social environment surrounding our early republic. If you changed the names and left out the duals, you could be talking about today's politics - intrigue, backstabbing, personal attacks. This book really fills in the gaps between the revolution and the War of 1812. The narration is supurb.
This is one of my favorite biographies of all time: well-written, it shows us the complex and relentless Hamilton and his vision as a founding father. It shows us, too, his character--optimistic yet knowing depression (and grief), striving and intellectual yet at times self-destructive. I particularly enjoyed Chernow's crisp, fresh language and the mood and voice of the whole.
I loved this book. I never had any understanding of Hamilton before this--if anything I had quite a negative impression of him from reading John Adams. (Now I understand why!) But Chernow's has a true gift for bringing these men alive: Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams among others. He also makes them very human without any pop psych analyses. Chernow paints a portrait of a brilliant man who was also flawed in enough ways to be his own worst enemy at times. I can't say I found Hamilton lovable, but I did care a great deal about him at the end, and was actually pretty heartbroken when he died. Chernow also painted a marvelous portrait of Jefferson and Adams. I learned more about them from this book than I have from any of the other books I've read, including John Adams. Chernow seems to really understand Hamilton in a way I've never seen any other writer understand him. Thank you, Ron Chernow, for bringing to life one of the most important men in our history.
Sci-fi loving history buff who enjoys a good detective story.
Hopelessly too long.
This book displays a bias towards Hamilton and his ideas that seem to prejudice any other figures and ideas of the time.
It is obvious that a tremendous amount of research went into the writing of this book. It is tragic that Ron Chernow, a master wordsmith, displays his talents by talking over you instead of conveying his ideas.
I found the subject matter and the book interesting but it did lull at times as Ron dwelled on trivial points. For my money I would recommend the abridged version.
This book is very well written and very well read.
It is very long so if you are only a little interested you might want to avoid.
AH would have loved today's big government. Fortunately, Jefferson and his compatriots held it off for many years.The more things change, the more they stay the same. Politics and politicians haven't changed much in 200 years. Hamilton was a true innovator and would have loved the way things turned out.
The book is an excellent analysis of a man, who rose above a questionable upbringing, and his accomplishments, whether you agree with the results or not.
I can only fantisize with glee how wonderful it would be should current day politicians settle their differences with duels as was done in Hamilton's day.
Typical top-of-the-line reading by Scott Brick.