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Publisher's Summary

Alexander Hamilton was an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who overcame all the odds to become George Washington's aide-de-camp and the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Few figures in American history are more controversial.

In this masterful work, Chernow shows how the political and economic power of America today is the result of Hamilton's willingness to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. He charts his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe and Burr; his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds; his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza; and the notorious duel with Aaron Burr that led to his death in July 1804.

The book was adapted into a hugely successful Broadway musical - winner of 11 Tony awards - which opens at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London in November 2017.

©2016 Head of Zeus (P)2004 Penguin Random House LLC

Critic Reviews

"A mammoth work of research that charted the course of Hamilton's dazzling career." (Guardian)
"An elegantly written, richly detailed account of Hamilton's tempestuous life." (The Times)
"A brilliant recreation of the society and culture of the time: thoughtful and playful, moving and powerful." (Michael Gove)

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  • jacqueline bain
  • 01-03-18

BrilliNT

Had no idea what to expect as I like very early history but an so glad I chose this as my first foray into US history. What's remarkable man! Even amongst that group of remarkable people and events, he stands a lot taller than his height. I have changed my opinion on many of the early presidential histories I had gleaned from other stories and documentaries. I would have liked to have met him... and I can't say that about many of the people I have read about. Narration second to none. Well worth the listen

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Farniboy
  • 02-15-18

Alexander Hamilton, his name is Alexander Hamilton

Like most people in the UK I'd never heard of Alexander Hamilton until the musical of his life began wowing audiences in the US. I only had to hear the title song (which strangely reveals the whole plot) , to want to know more about this pivotal figure of the American Revoution. I'm so glad that I did, Ron Chernow tells a superb tale. From Hamilton's boyhood in the West Indies, through the events of the revolutionary war, to the politics of the early republic and finally to a New Jersey duelling ground, the book moves at a fair clip. Some of The Federalist/Republican party civil war is a little dry but its a testament to Chernow's skill as a writer (and Scott Brick's fabulous narration!) that eventually I got the gist of what was going on.

Hamilton is a brilliant if flawed subject of a book. God only knows how Manuel Lin Miranda thought that this book would make a great musical but I'm glad that he did, or I would have never heard of Hamilton and the impact that he made on the world.

Highly recommended!

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  • David W.
  • 02-09-18

exceeds the musicial

when you hear the unabridged version of this book the musical pales in comparison. its gripping from beginning to end.

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  • Adam
  • 01-09-18

An exceptional piece of art, expertly performed.

I have been waiting for this book to become available on @audibleAU for some months, after enjoying the soundtrack of the musical it informed for some time.
To this fact, sadly, my sons would both attest, and bemoan.

Except the little one. He has yet to fully uncork his whine in the matter.

I’m halfway through 35 hours, and this is in equal parts an illuminating and entertaining book.

I can now see how it inspired an artist to share his account of this particular narrative.
I feel all good art should transcend, reaching across divides of time and space to affect the viewer. This book does just that.

Hamilton was born into squalor in the West Indies. His early life was filled with horror. Writing himself out of the darkest hell, he became one of the architects of modern America, only for his legacy to be buried by enemies that outlived him by decades.

Chernow’s prose is grand without overshadowing the story, and the narration is perfect. A sample...

“The final lines of The Federalist throbbed with high hopes, but were also tinged with darkness...”

Worth every penny. An exceptional book.