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Alexander Hamilton

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 103 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Best Biography I've Read To Date

    If you are interested in American History this is a MUST read, for as Chernow notes, "In all probability Alexander Hamilton is the foremost political figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a more lasting impact than many who did." (pg 4)

    Chernow presents the facts of Hamilton's life as well as explores the psychology of the man. Although Hamilton's life was cut short, Chernow's piece is 731 pages full of incredible research that provides the best balance in a biography I've read to date.

    Beginning in Nevis in the British West Indies Chernow presents Hamilton's Huguenot background and explains his illegitimate status which had more to do with his mother's determination to free herself of a vindictive man creating a conundrum for herself. She was imprisoned for adultery and granted a divorce only with the caveat that she never be allowed to remary. Thus, when James Hamilton came into the picture Rachel could not legally marry. However, Hamilton's political critics later used his birth status to denote a much more sinister background. His early years laid the foundaiton for his later life. He was bilingual (French/English), he had a strong religious background that he would return to later in life, he felt deeply the abandonment of his father, he developed a strong aversion to slavery, developed a dread of tyranny and disorder, became astute in financial matters through his job as a clerk, and gained a tireless work ethic as he worked toward leaving the island and moving to America.

    Hamilton was a college student when the first signs of dissention came to bear between the Colonies and the Crown. It is during this time that his gift of pen and speech becomes noted among leaders. Hamilton soon caught the attention of George Washington and soon became Washington's most trusted Aide. This was the beginning of a relationship that would last a lifetime. Although frustrated with Washington's relunctance to allow Hamilton a more active role in the military, the relationship eventually grew to one of friends on equal status by the end of Washington's life. Hamilton was at his best when under the guidance of Washington.

    The trust he gained from Washington led to his appointment as Treasury Secretary where he leaves his most indelible mark. As Treasury Secretary, Hamilton created the Coast Guard, devised a plan to take care of American debt through assumption, established the first bank, created the tax system, established the Customs Service, laid the foundation for capitalism, helped establish judicial review, and allowed the US to enjoy a credit rating equal to European countries.

    While accomplishments were many, controversy did follow Hamilton. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding Hamilton's private life. First, there is a great deal of conjecture over the true nature of his relationship with John Laurens. Hamilton was certainly devastated when Lyons was killed during the Revolutionary War. Second, there is an unusually flirtatious relationship with his sister-in-law (his wife, Eliza's sister). Finally, there is the seemingly sexual obsession

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2006

    A detailed account of Hamilton's life, from Nevis to Weehawken

    Ron Chernow provides a well-reasearched and vivid picture into Hamilton's life. The man is often overlooked and overshadowed by the accomplishments of other founders such as Jefferson. This book tells Hamilton's life story as an immigrant from the West Indies. He was one fo the first to acheive what we now consider the American dream. Hamilton almost single handledly formed the treasury as well as the Bank of the United states despite obection from political enemies. Hamilton was arguably the most brilliant founder and this book is arguably the best biography on him. The downside with this is the length, about 731 pages(not including index, references, etc). It also is rather negative towards other political figures. Madison seems almost traitorous, Washington aloof, Adams crazy, Burr conniving. etc On Hamilton himself though, no other biography is better. Highly reccomended!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

    Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, published in April of 2004, is by far the most engaging and informative biography of any founding father I have ever read.
    Irrespective of your knowledge regarding Alexander Hamilton's life story, this remarkable book reads like a classic novel and is virtually impossible to place mark, I could not put it down.
    Cernow brilliantly raises Hamilton from the grave, as if you were present at Hamilton's very conception as well as his premature death at the hand of his antithesis, Aaron Burr, the once Vice President of Thomas Jefferson.
    The bastard child of a tenacious woman of questionable character for her time, the sparks of Alexander Hamilton's genius became evident to his earliest benefactor when as a boy his first poem was published, to the brain trust of George Washington, in war and throughout Washington's entire administration.
    In addition to his sense of honor, generosity, successes, failings and tragedies, Ron Chernow's biographical masterpiece expresses Hamilton's great passions, glory, pride, genius, vision, devotion and love of family and of his adopted nation, America.
    This book is so truthful that it will enthrall and provoke within you a gamut of emotions and enlighten you beyond measure.

    James J Reis

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    I haves always admired Hamilton. Thanks to Ron Chernow I know w

    I haves always admired Hamilton. Thanks to Ron Chernow I know why. Excellent!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2008

    Outstanding but long

    An excellent book, full of interesting information on Hamilton and the times. However, it was a bit long.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    B

    G

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    I am 300+ pages into this book and to say it is a page turner is

    I am 300+ pages into this book and to say it is a page turner is an understatement!! all I want to do is read read read....I love it!!

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  • Posted July 21, 2012

    Recommend

    Magnificently detailed biography about major figure in early American history. I learned many facts and much background that I (a history major!) had not known or appreciated before. The book shows thorough research and is well indexed. Only "fault" might be that there are just a few too many detailed lists of people attending this or that meeting, etc. Well worth while reading for serious students of history!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Incredible!

    If you want to understanding our countries foundations, this is it. I thought i new, but truly i never knew.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    An Outstanding Book About An Extrraordinary Founder

    In many ways, Hamilton was a force of nature. He accomplishments were prodigious. Like a Greek tragedy, his life a doomed to end too early.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Highly remommend

    I could hardly put the book down. He was an amazing man. His life was one of total dedication to the American way of life as we now know it. It is right that his portrait be on our ten dollar bill. In my estiamton he ranks among the top five greatest men in America. If you are inclined to read about the America Revolution and its time frame, don't pass up the opportunity to get this book and read it. In our libray system in our state we have the unabridged book on tape of this man. I have listened to it twice. It has twenty nine CD'd. What an amzsing man. Once you have read it you may well feel the way I do.

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    Awasome

    Awesome, great writing. i was drawn into the life of Hamilton

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2011

    Read this book

    I enjoyed this book very much. Chernow provides a thorough and complete biography of one of our more unknown or at least under appreciated founding fathers. Chernow provides a nice balance with information provided. Also, he does a good job of providing an unbiased review of Hamilton. Highly recommend this book and when you finish this I recommend Chernow's book on Washington.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    A must read for those interested in US history

    It took me quite a while to read this novel only because I needed to review what I had already read to be certain I missed no detail. Mr Chernow did a most excellent job of telling the story of the what I believe to be the most influential of the founding fathers.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Best American History Book I've Read

    You will surely learn much about one of the greatest founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, but you will come away with both a greater understanding and appreciation of our Country's founding.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Triumph!

    Chernow literally retraced Hamilton's steps, from birth to the ill-fated duel and beyond, and thoroughly researched every aspect of Hamilton's life. This book shows how important Hamilton was in the formation of the new American government, and details the struggles in putting it into practice. Chernow also does a good job showing both the good and bad sides of Alexander Hamilton in regards to his personality, philosphies, and relationships (so it is not a biased version of how swell of an American he was and how horrible his rival Jefferson was). This book will make you see how important, yet contoversial, he was during the formative years of our country. After you read this he will not just be a face on the $10 bill. Best biography I have read to date...

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Chernow gives credit to a least known patriot.

    In my opinion, Ron Chernow's book on Hamilton was a great study into one of the many least known patriots of the Revolutionary War. If the man hadn't died in his dual with Aaron Burr, he probably would have been relegated to the back pages of our history books.
    Once you get into Chernow's book you soon get the sense that he had done a tremendous amount of research into the life of Alexander Hamilton. He covered everything about Hamilton including; his intellectual mind, writings, poor judgment, loving father, creator of the US banking system, a true believer in democracy and the constitution. It's sad in a way to read about Hamilton when you know that he will die in a duel just when he is at the peak of his calling. The book is an easy read and it's not cluttered up with a lot of details. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted January 14, 2011

    Amazing

    Amazing insight into the most influential, yet most underrated, founding father. This work provides a keen glimpse into the founding of the United States and its most stalwart institutions.... without seeming like a typical "historical biography."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

    To date, best biography of a Founding Father I've read.

    Ron Chernow does a phenomenal job in letting us understand who Alexander Hamilton was...and he was truly fascinating. Brilliant. Articulate. Caring. Vain. Sexy. This book had all the elements of an incredible read. I could not put it down.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    underrated but not forgotten.

    this man was clearly at war not only with britain, but also himself.i loved this story of a man who would clearly have never risen to the status he did without smarts, superior iron will and force of personality.while not without flaw, never the less an inspiring example of rugged american individualism that helped make america great!

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 103 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 6