Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow Book Summary

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.

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Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow) Book Reviews

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- Great reading5 star

A detailed biography of one of America’s greatest founders who died too young. Enjoyable reading.

- I never read a book better then this!5 star

Hello, I love this book I cannot just read one chapter! There is so much more I want to tell you all but ‘read’ for yourself get it read! Also just read the book so you can find cool stuff about Alexander Hamilton!

- Great!5 star

I have read his books on Washington, Grant and now Hamilton. ....On to Rockefeller

- Liberal history2 star

This book was a very hard book to put down. Hamilton was a very interesting and very important man and politician in are history. He had more accomplished before thirty then most people in their life time. I read up to chapter 25 and stopped. This is a very left leaning activist author and very anti conservative. History should be non bias. Research this author before you buy.

- Amazing5 star

A great amazing book, I recommend the broadway as well

- Fascinating5 star

What a tremendous read... Hamilton should be on Rushmore too.

- To put it simply... Wow!5 star

This book is absolutely amazing! I’ve been a tad...Okay TOTALLY obsessed with the musical lately, and I can say without a doubt, I can tell why Lin-Manuel Miranda based “Hamilton” off of this book.

- I WANT IT5 star

I haven't read this book but I WANT IT.

- U r d de3 star

Screeds eis eedrcs etc Iirc dcee de Xiu xu usd CD-R g

- I'v seen the MUSICAL!!!!5 star

Those who have seen the musical, will fall in love with this wonderful founding father, Alexander Hamilton.

- Simply Outstanding!5 star

I so wish Chernow would write more books.

- Must read!5 star

Brilliant, compressive, and essential.

- What a Masterpiece!5 star

I feel the need to thank all the people involved in this immense project. There is so much in these pages that I needed to know. It seems to me that some historical records have been set straight that went on far too long unchallenged.

- Alexander Hamilton5 star

More than about an historical figure, Chernow's, Alexander Hamilton is about the subject's vast contribution to the formation of the United States. The reader comes away with an overwhelming appreciation of Hamilton's brilliance. C. R. Wilson

- Magnificent!5 star

One of the best books I've ever read! So rich, so absorbing, so well written, plus a trove of info and insights on the founding of our country and its early years. What would we have done without a visionary polymath like Hamilton!

- Zachary Troher5 star

AMAZING BOOK! Must-read for anyone who loves history. Ron Chernow tells it like a story, instead of boring facts after facts. After reading the first page, I was instantly hooked and read nearly half the book in one sitting. AMAZING

- Hamilton5 star

A very good book, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long.

- Alexander Hamilton5 star

This was by far the best non-fiction book I have ever read. Fascinating history and all the characters brought to life. I think I've added eighty new words to my vocabulary! On to "Washington " by Ron Chernow.

- Read this NOW!1 star

You have heard the musical. Now for the rest of the story.... A compelling read that keeps you turning the page. Fascination tale of a Founding Father.

- An Alternative View of the Founding Fathers5 star

George Washington was often a person that would berate subordinates for their inability to accomplish the impossible. John Adams was a snob and could be mean. Thomas Jefferson was often the person who lives in an ivory tower and can not function in the real world. These three all played important roles in the life of Alexander Hamilton. Today we think politics is a dirty business. During the first twenty years of this country, it was the same. This book is not trying to make Alexander Hamilton a god but attempts to show others as being all to human. This is not a primer for the history of first thirty years of the U.S.but a study of battles that have produced this country's greatness.

- Hamilton and so much more4 star

Not only a great biography of that forgotten founding father, but a terrific story of the US Constitution. Hamilton was instrumental in aiding Washington in the Revolutionary War, and also in the founding of such institutions as the Federal Reserve. He was definitely a federalist, but also understood the people, because of his Caribbean upbringing. The book can be a little tedious at times, but thank you for focusing on a mostly ignored but significant originator of many of our country’s fundamentals.

- Excellent Insight5 star

I appreciate the depth of insight and analysis into the world of 1700s America. The culture, with all its brokenness, shame-based relationships, as well as the incredible heights & achievements, is so clearly depicted here. I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in 18th century culture.

- A brilliant character5 star

The American colonies of the revolutionary era possessed some of the world's most brilliant minds. Hamilton, the face on the ten dollar bill, is the one we tend to forget, and yet had more to do with the founding of our country than just about anyone. This is a wonderful book that gives life to a true genius who shaped the future of modern America more than any of the founding fathers. I have a new found respect for Alexander Hamilton. He was the Bill Clinton of his era, a brilliant leader, with a powerful mind, who let his passions and his enemies get the best of him. What a character!

- Exceptional Work5 star

Ron Chernow should truly be commended for bringing Hamilton's extraordinary contributions to the American republic to life. It is absolutely one of the finest biographies I have ever read. I was so engaged in Hamilton's triumphs and tragedies that I dreaded finishing the book.

- Great biography!5 star

Do yourself a favor and read this book! It will permanently change your view of the history of America. I especially love the in-depth look at how especially nasty politics could be back in the very beginning.

- A gripping narration of the often-forgotten Founding Father 5 star

Though I was familiar with Alexander Hamilton's role in the founding of the nation, I did not appreciate the breath of his experiences throughout his lifetime. Chernow does a fantastic job bringing these stories forward in an engaging way that makes the book difficult to put down. To anyone who enjoys American history, this book book is an extremely enjoyable experience and will provide new appreciation for a man who was arguably as important to the founding of this nation as Washington or Jefferson.

- Must Read5 star

This is the exhaustive account of the life and times of one of the most influential founding fathers. Written beautifully and informative as possible. Chernow is an amazing historian who happens to be an amazing writer as well. Download the free copy of Hamilton's Federalist Papers to refer back to while reading this book. Must read for sure.

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- Amazing book, amazing musical! Worth seeing!5 star

This book is fantastic! I saw Hamilton in Detroit April 7th 2019 and it was amazing!! If you haven’t seen Hamilton yet, go see it! I was blown away when I saw it the first time (it was so good the first time, I’m going to see it a second time March 25th 2020 in Toronto) I gotta give Lin-Manuel Miranda credit for writing a masterpiece! He did an amazing job (even though it took him 7 years to write it) it’s extremely well written. This is the very book that Lin picked up for a beach read, little did he know that it would be a worldwide phenomenon

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Stewie cantando Alexander Hamilton é incrível e ao mesmo tempo nojento

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@joyofmuseums: Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton

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#GuessThatQuote! Which revolutionary said this famous line? A: Alexander Hamilton B: Thomas Jefferson C: George Was…

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@coil569 alexander hamilton

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@lovelygiaw Alexander Hamilton

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The dark side of Alexander Hamilton

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@saritrogers: Empezaré diciendo que: — Alexander Hamilton era bisexual. — John Laurens era gay. — Fueron novios. Sigo.

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@joaniejabronie: Listening to Burn on the Hamilton and being like "fuck Alexander Hamilton" and then he dies, good play 10/10

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*casually working on a Bonnie cosplay and a Alexander Hamilton cosplay*

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The Book Club: The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton and James Mad... via @YouTube

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@ohgeorgeeeee i’m alexander hamilton 👨👤 im at ur service sir 👅😻 i have been looking for you 🥴👁👁

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@karebear0517 Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton...

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@benjaminwittes: The word, from Alexander Hamilton, 1792. It never gets old.

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@cooIguyemoji: why is oomfs icon alexander hamilton in a binder

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@joyofmuseums: Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton

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