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Publisher's Summary

Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

With masterful storytelling skills, Chernow presents the whole sweep of Hamilton's turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his illicit romances; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

Alexander Hamilton was one of the seminal figures in our history. His richly dramatic saga, rendered in Chernow's vivid prose, is nothing less than a riveting account of America's founding, from the Revolutionary War to the rise of the first federal government.

©2004 Ron Chernow (P)2004 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

  • George Washington Book Prize Winner, 2005

"Comprehensive and superbly written." (Booklist) "This is a fine work that captures Hamilton's life with judiciousness and verve." (Publishers Weekly) "Literate and full of engaging historical asides. By far the best of the many lives of Hamilton now in print." (Kirkus Reviews) "Scott Brick delivers a highly professional, straightforward narration that holds one's interest throughout. Straight narrative can become boring, and Brick is never that. Nor does he become lazy in the course of 36 hours. His voice and evident interest are fresh throughout." (AudioFile)

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  • Katie
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • 06-07-17

Bravo!

What made the experience of listening to Alexander Hamilton the most enjoyable?

The Hamilton perspective from American history is one that you don't really get from school. I learned so much more about our history from this book and see the founding fathers in a new light - as normal flawed human beings. I enjoyed Ron Chernow's offering of multiple theories and perspectives of different events and how historians have explained certain moments over time. It gives you a broad, unbiased, objective idea of our historical events and players.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Alexander Hamilton?

I really appreciated the interactions and relationship between Hamilton and George Washington.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

Scott Brick doesn't use different voices for various characters, mostly because he isn't reading dialogue. There is no conversational interaction so it's not like there are different actors. With that said, I think he did an excellent job of reading the book, no complaints there!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was brought to tears at the very end of the book, in the last few sentences closing out Eliza's death. I was touched by Eliza's love for her husband and also just the finishing of an incredible book.

Any additional comments?

This is by far the best biography I've ever read/heard. I can't even imagine the level of research involved in putting together a book like this, I'm beyond impressed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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we've dealt with people like number 45 before

Would you consider the audio edition of Alexander Hamilton to be better than the print version?

Jefferson proved that tongue lashing is worse than physical injury. The story of Alexander Hamilton is gripping if you've ever been subject to extortion from on high. It's gripping if you know how to solve problems that other people consider outside your jurisdiction. It's gripping if you ever imagined that politicians were just two shallow faces (evidently Hamilton was much more than that). It's gripping if you ever wondered why the US way of life is the way it is. Also it's gripping because reader Scott Brick makes it gripping, but there's no question that he had good material to work with here; so, yes, the audio version is better than the print version..

What did you like best about this story?

The level of detail. It didn't interfere in any way with the magnetic attraction of the plot.

What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Brick has used a reserved and sympathetic voice for this reading that works perfectly.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The horror of what "they" did to that poor man... The extortion section helped me better understand why we (I) react so badly to extortion.

Any additional comments?

The great American hatred of intelligence comes fully to light, and given our current political situation, I conclude that this has not diffused in 200 years. Why oh why, after so many years of near universal tertiary education do we hate intelligence so much we make up calumny to squash it???

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

As I'm sure you've heard, this biography is one of the most outstanding ever written, especially on one of the founding fathers. Despite the 36 hr run time Hamilton's life is every bit as engaging as a novel and Chernow does a wonderful job of arranging the story to draw you along even in the "drier" bits (As in, when they explain how the national bank worked and why it was important or political strategy) Overall a fabulous read that might tempt you to become a staunch biography consumer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Piercingly Pathetic (as in pathos) Portrayal— Hamilton as Flawed Man of Immense Historic Stature

A tremendous portrayal of General Hamilton and the high heights and deep lows that characterized his gloried life upon this terrestrial sphere. A man of and for the ages. A proud and brilliant statesman. Never had our Republic laid claim to a nobler nor truer son.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An amazing story!

With all the publicity around the musical Hamilton! I had to find out what all the excitement was about. This book brought to life the history of a man whose remarkable influence and impact on the formation of this nation rivaled that of Benjamin Frankiln, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I loved every minute of this book - learned a ton!

Would you consider the audio edition of Alexander Hamilton to be better than the print version?

Using the audio book in my car kept me going through this book whereas I might have drifted off into other things reading the book given the heft of the book.

What did you like best about this story?

This was a fascinating biography and a fascinating insights into the revolutionary and post-revolutionary period that I now realize I knew little about. The personal story was really interesting, as were the political issues of the day that Hamilton grappled with.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

I thought Scott Brick did a fine job. I know some others feel he had a bit of a monotone but I really liked his delivery - it was crisp, clear and consistent through out - really good!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

NO WAY! This is a heavy book. I didn't listen to it all the time - sometimes needed lighter fare on my drive home - e.g., if I was tired after a long day.

Any additional comments?

This is a truly incredible book - a masterpiece! I am surprised at the amount of original primary material referenced in the book - letters, diaries and the like that give real insight into the actions and motivations of the people. I was listening to the Hamilton musical album at the same time, which made it really enjoyable - to see how much of the book was referenced in the musical!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Intense

Audible was a good way to tackle this book because it was a long one. There are some sections I would like to rehear, particularly the Whiskey Rebellion, but I didn't know how to use the bookmark feature at first. The author is intensely pro-Hamilton, and negative to neutral with regard to Jefferson. I'm planning to read up more on that rivalry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This should be required reading it all civics classes!

What a fascinating, listenable, capacious – and yet very accessible - account of a remarkable life. Not only is Hamilton's incredible journey, and the huge debt our nation owes to him,
fully displayed. But it is also fascinating to learn so much about his wife and champion, Eliza, who is an American stateswoman in her own right! It's easy to see why this story, and this book, inspired the musical

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was a remarkable human being. He overcame enormous obstacles. America was blessed to have such a brilliant human being at beginning of this country. His relationship to George Washington was so good that made me listen to George Washington by Chernoff. This book should be in everyone's library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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New Audible Listener

As a new audible subscriber, I have been sampling various genres of books as I evaluate how the audio book format works for me. Initially, I sampled a few of the popular, well reviewed fiction books but found myself eventually losing interest. Although I have not read significant historical works prior to this, I was drawn to Hamilton and it was an excellent choice. As others have stated, I felt that I knew Hamilton by the time I had finished the book and the narration was first rate. I also felt that I learned a great deal. While I doubt that I would have had the patience to pour through some pages of the book that dealt with the more detailed passages regarding development of monetary policy for instance, I found that the audio format worked extremely well for me and I learned so much in the process. I found the book to be excellent and I am excited to explore other books in this genre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful