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Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider

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Overview

Acclaimed biographer Jean Fritz writes the remarkable story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's most influential and fascinating founding fathers, and his untimely death in a duel with Aaron Burr.

Born in the British West Indies, Hamilton arrived in New York as an "outsider." He fought in the Revolution and became Washington's most valuable aidede- camp. He was there with Washington, Madison, and the others writing the Constitution. He was ...

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Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider

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Overview

Acclaimed biographer Jean Fritz writes the remarkable story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's most influential and fascinating founding fathers, and his untimely death in a duel with Aaron Burr.

Born in the British West Indies, Hamilton arrived in New York as an "outsider." He fought in the Revolution and became Washington's most valuable aidede- camp. He was there with Washington, Madison, and the others writing the Constitution. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury as the country struggled to become unified and independent.

Fritz's talent for bringing historical figures to life is at its best as she shares her fascination with this man of action who was honorable, ambitious, and fiercely loyal to his adopted country.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fritz (Leonardo's Horse) pens a wide-ranging biography of one of the founding fathers that details Hamilton's role in events that shaped his adopted, nascent country--fighting in the Revolutionary War, drafting the Constitution, etc. However, readers learn about more than just Hamilton, due in part to his prominent associations (he was a confidant of George Washington, and the book explores their sometimes turbulent relationship). The book's nine chapters are divided into five sections, titled to reflect the broad stages of Hamilton's life: Beginnings, Soldier, Aide-de-Camp, Statesman, and Endings. The packed narrative often speculates to flesh out small details, as when describing Hamilton's funeral, "which may have led many in the audience to nod their head and perhaps sometimes smile in forgiveness." And while the story can feel choppy at times, an overriding theme emerges of Hamilton as a Renaissance man committed to his ideas--among them, the central banking system, U.S. Mint, Coast Guard--and willing to work hard to see them accomplished. Schoenherr's linocut-style vignettes as well as period images, not all seen by PW, break up the text. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Fritz covers a lot of territory in this slim biography. She recounts the facts of Hamilton's life from his birth to unwed parents in Nevis, West Indies, in 1755 (or 1757) to his death in New York in 1804 in a duel with Aaron Burr. The book is divided into five parts: "Beginnings," "Soldier," "Aide-de-Camp," "Statesman," and "Endings," and highlights Hamilton's talents as an essayist and his influence in the creation of the early federal government, especially its financial infrastructure. Illustrations, period reproductions, and maps all add to the wealth of historical events brought to life by this knowledgeable author. For teachers looking for an independent read that supports curriculum, the book provides a richly detailed and eye-opening account of this important American's personal history. Its length and the illustrations suggest a young audience, but the language, amount of information, and organization of the text may require more mature readers or eager students of American history.—Karen Elliott, Grafton High School, WI
Kirkus Reviews

His enemies may have called him an outsider, but Alexander Hamilton was loyal to his adopted country. In a swift and lively narrative, Fritz traces Hamilton's life from his childhood in the West Indies to schooling in America and on to his involvement in just about every phase of the nation's birthing. A soldier in Washington's army, he was later asked to be on Washington's staff as an aide-de-camp, thus beginning a close relationship with the future president. Later, Hamilton was asked to be the first secretary of the treasury for the new nation, the perfect position for a Federalist, who believed in a strong central government, a national bank and a monetary standard. The narrative features abundant detail without ever losing sight of Hamilton the person, no small feat for a work about a complicated man in complex times, and Schoenherr's black-and-white illustrations are a perfect complement to the text. The volume comes to an unfortunately perfunctory conclusion with Hamilton's death in his duel with Aaron Burr, though source notes add interesting additional reading. (preface, bibliography) (Biography. 9-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399255465
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/6/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,316,585
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1030L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Fritz, the Newbery Honor-winning author of Homesick, is best known for her engaging and enlightening nonfiction for young readers, including What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?, And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?, and Shh! We're Writing the Constitution. She was honored with the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature by the New York State Library Association, and won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her career contribution to American children's literature.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    WANNA CHAT IN PRIVATE???

    Only thing need to acess to private chatroom is sovle this riddle:
    Who's the 40th president of u.s and no looking in book or answer without thinking. Thank you answer your riddle. I tell you where to chat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    Fantastic book!

    I am an eighth grade Language Arts and American History teacher, and I loved this book. It is a good, interesting, smooth read for that age group. It is not just a biography. but a great overview of the founding of this country that makes the reader feel he/she knows Hamilton and is interacting with Washington, Jefferson, Madison, etc. This really gives readers an understanding of not only events, but the emotions people are going through during this turbulent time. All of Fritz's books are well written and likeable ("Homesick" is a must read), but this is a terrific new addition to her works. I recommend it to middle school readers and up. Even adults will be pulled into this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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