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Penguin Press

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

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The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Grand-scale biography at its best--thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book. --David McCullough

"A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all. --Joseph Ellis


Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. "To repudiate his legacy," Chernow writes, "is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world." Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow's biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America's birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.


9780143034759

Author: Ron Chernow
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: 04/26/2004
Pages: 832
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 2.64lbs
Size: 9.54h x 6.60w x 2.10d
ISBN: 9781594200090
Award: ALA Notable Books - Winner
Award: National Book Critics Circle Award - Nominee
Award: L.A. Times Book Prize - Finalist
Award: George Washington Book Prize - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 01/15/2004 pg. 67
Publishers Weekly 01/26/2004 pg. 239
Booklist 02/15/2004 pg. 1021
Atlantic Monthly 04/01/2004 pg. 112
Library Journal 02/15/2004 pg. 138
Vanity Fair 05/01/2004 pg. 94
Newsweek 04/19/2004 pg. 65
Entertainment Weekly 04/30/2004 pg. 171
BookPage 05/01/2004 pg. 20
New York Times 04/25/2004 pg. 8
Booklist 06/01/2004 pg. 1694
New York Times 06/06/2004 pg. 29
American Spectator 07/01/2004 pg. 66
New York Review of Books 09/23/2004 pg. 34
New York Times 12/12/2004 pg. 13
Entertainment Weekly 12/31/2004 pg. 140
New York Times 12/05/2004 pg. 39
Booklist Editors Choice/Adult 01/15/2005 pg. 766
Choice 01/01/2005 pg. 914
Booklist Editors Choice/Adult 01/01/2005 pg. 766
Time 03/14/2005 pg. 68

About the Author
Ron Chernow is the prizewinning author of seven books and the recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award; Washington: A Life won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography; and Alexander Hamilton--the inspiration for the Broadway musical--won the George Washington Book Prize. His other books include The Warburgs, The Death of the Banker, Titan, and Grant. A past president of PEN America, Chernow has been the recipient of eight honorary doctorates. He resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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