War of Two

Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel That Stunned the Nation
Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $29.95

Buy for $29.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A provocative and penetrating investigation into the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, whose infamous duel left the founding father dead and turned a sitting vice president into a fugitive.

In the summer of 1804, two of America's most eminent statesmen squared off, pistols raised, on a bluff along the Hudson River. That two such men would risk not only their lives but the stability of the young country they helped forge is almost beyond comprehension. Yet we know that it happened. The question is why.

In War of Two, John Sedgwick explores the long-standing conflict between founding father Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr. A study in contrasts from birth, they had been compatriots, colleagues, and even friends. But above all they were rivals. Matching each other's ambition and skill as lawyers in New York, they later battled for power along political fault lines that would not only decide the future of the United States but define it. A series of letters between Burr and Hamilton suggest the duel was fought over an unflattering comment made at a dinner party. But another letter, written by Hamilton the night before the event, provides critical insight into his true motivation. It was addressed to former speaker of the House Theodore Sedgwick, a trusted friend of both men and the author's own ancestor. John Sedgwick suggests that Hamilton saw Burr not merely as a personal rival but as a threat to the nation. Burr would prove that fear justified after Hamilton's death when, haunted by the legacy of his longtime adversary, he embarked on an imperial scheme to break the Union apart.

©2015 John Sedgwick (P)2015 Recorded Books

What listeners say about War of Two

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    62
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Provocative

Sedgwick has written a parallel biography of two prominent figures from the Federalist era whose lives came together on the dueling ground. I have always been interested in Alexander Hamilton and have read most of the biographies about him. Hamilton was the chief aide to George Washington during the American Revolution and author of most of the Federalist Papers. He was the first secretary of the Treasury. Aaron Burr was a prominent attorney and was Vice President under Thomas Jefferson. I found it most interesting to be able to compare the two men’s lives side by side; I feel as if I have a better understanding of the two men.

Sedgwick goes into the emotional and psychological makeup of the pair. The author presents evenhanded and insightful profiles of the two men. He states that Hamilton was hyperactive and produced volumes of work and had an intense devotion to the Federalist cause. Burr was a brooding and libidinous and tended to communicate in code. Sedgwick states he was inspired by Gore Vidal’s novel “Burr” (1973). The book is well written and meticulously researched. Sedgwick is a great storyteller therefore the book reads almost like a novel.

Sedgwick wrote about his own famous family in his book “In My Blood” (2007) from the revolutionary era of Theodore Sedgwick to modern day actress Kyra Sedgwick. P. J. Ochlan did a good job narrating the book. The book is fairly long at about 18 hours.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

History comes alive!

Call Bo I knew a lot about the duel didn't know a lot about the events that ran up to it nor did I know what happened to Burr after the death of Hamilton so I really appreciated this in depth well researched history. I hated the narrators voice he sounded like a voiceover commercial.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Well written with good flow. Well organized. An interesting view of AH from descendent of a known friend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great “Compare and Contrast” of a well-known history

I’ve read a lot about this time period and these two men. I loved the way this book took their histories and showed the similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses, and motivations and aspirations that ultimately led to the tragic encounter in Weehawken.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Just A Duel

This book is supposedly about the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804, but is in reality, not really about that duel at all. It is a dual biography, ranging from both men’s childhoods through college, spending quite a long time on the revolutionary war (which is understandable considering how it shaped both men) and then into their political lives, their personal lives and the run up to the duel. I actually found it quite interesting reading after the duel, because at that point it became a singular biography of Aaron Burr, and it mainly focused on his attempt at treason, his relationship with Jefferson and his daughter Theodosia. This really made you feel for Theodosia and her husband because it felt like Burr took very little seriously in his later life, including his financial situation. This was a well written biography, though it lacked a certain historical touch. Some words were used in the wrong context and it didn’t really refer to other historians, who know the topic much better than Sedgwick did, though he does seem to have dedicated a lot of research to this book. The narrator was also quite slow. I had to speed it up to 2.5x to stop myself from zoning out.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poor Reading

What disappointed you about War of Two?

The reader is monotonous. He reads without expression. I am falling asleep!

What other book might you compare War of Two to and why?

I just finished The Nuremberg Trial. Great story. Good reader. Loved the book.

How could the performance have been better?

A reader who does not just read the words but puts meaning into the content.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from War of Two?

I can't get past the first 25 minutes of the book. Sorry!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Poor scholarship

The number of mistakes which could have been rectify with simple research makes one wonders accuracy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting

It's the kind of book when you are done you feel like you know the whole story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amaze-balls

I was enthralled from start to finish. What a great book. I learned a lot from this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awkward reading

I loved the subject matter and writing, but the reader was very awkward. His style was overly dramatic and stilted, like a very bad news reporter.