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1. Alexander Hamilton
2. Alexander Hamilton: Writings (Library
3. The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton:
4. Alexander Hamilton, American
5. Alexander Hamilton: A Life
6. Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron
7. Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton
8. Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton.
9. Alexander Hamilton America's Forgotten
10. The Alexander Hamilton You Never
11. American Machiavelli: Alexander
12. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton
13. Alexander Hamilton
14. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton
15. The Rivals: A Tale Of The Times
16. Alexander Hamilton: A Biography
17. One Nation Under Debt: Hamilton,
18. The Duel: The Parallel Lives of
19. Selected Writings and Speeches
20. The Works of Alexander Hamilton

1. Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow
Paperback: 832 Pages (2005-03-29)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$8.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143034758
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ron Chernow, the renowned author of Titan whom the New York Times has called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we’ve seen in decades," vividly re-creates the whole sweep of Alexander Hamilton’s turbulent life—his exotic, brutal upbringing; his titanic feuds with celebrated rivals; his pivotal role in defining the shape of the federal government and the American economy; his shocking illicit romances; his enlightened abolitionism; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804. Drawing upon extensive, unparalleled research—including nearly fifty previously undiscovered essays highlighting Hamilton’s fiery journalism as well as his revealing missives to colleagues and friends—this biography of the extraordinarily gifted founding father who galvanized, inspired, and scandalized the newborn nation is the work by which all others will be measured.Amazon.com Review
Building on biographies by Richard Brookhiser and Willard Sterne Randall, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton provides what may be the most comprehensive modern examination of the often overlooked Founding Father. From the start, Chernow argues that Hamilton’s premature death at age 49 left his record to be reinterpreted and even re-written by his more long-lived enemies, among them: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe. Hamilton’s achievements as first Secretary of the Treasury, co-author of The Federalist Papers, and member of the Constitutional Convention were clouded after his death by strident claims that he was an arrogant, self-serving monarchist. Chernow delves into the almost 22,000 pages of letters, manuscripts, and articles that make up Hamilton’s legacy to reveal a man with a sophisticated intellect, a romantic spirit, and a late-blooming religiosity.

One fault of the book, is that Chernow is so convinced of Hamilton’s excellence that his narrative sometimes becomes hagiographic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chernow’s account of the infamous duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. He describes Hamilton’s final hours as pious, while Burr, Jefferson, and Adams achieve an almost cartoonish villainy at the news of Hamilton’s passing.

A defender of the union against New England secession and an opponent of slavery, Hamilton has a special appeal to modern sensibilities. Chernow argues that in contrast to Jefferson and Washington’s now outmoded agrarian idealism, Hamilton was "the prophet of the capitalist revolution" and the true forebear of modern America. In his Prologue, he writes: "In all probability, Alexander Hamilton is the foremost figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did." With Alexander Hamilton, this impact can now be more widely appreciated. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Customer Reviews (295)

2-0 out of 5 stars Pricing
Price too high I will not purchase an e-book over 9.99. no thanks. not when there are free stuff out there and not when there are stuff out there for 9.99 Oh. BTW. I have read this book but I would like a search able version. stop raping your customers.

Overall the book was interesting as heck. this election was more violent in terms of verbage than ours.

5-0 out of 5 stars satisfied customer
Satisfied with this purchase. Great biography. I reccommend it. Hamilton was an extradinary man, who played a very important part in the founding of our country, but who also had a very dark side to him. Chernov is an excelent story teller. You will not be able to put this book down.

4-0 out of 5 stars The most controversial Founder
"Today, we are indisputably the heirs to Hamilton's America, and to repudiate his legacy is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world."Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, p. 6 (ending the Introduction).

This book was given to me by a former boss and warm friend out in New Mexico with whom I love to debate the Constitution and politics.When he first heard an idea of mine for amending the Constitution he challenged me thusly:"Do you think you're more enlightened than Madison?"I don't (necessarily) but Alexander Hamilton, the historic rival of Madison and his partner/patron Thomas Jefferson, certainly thought so about himself.

Hamilton was one of the few delegates at the Constitutional Convention who would have recognized (and approved of) the modern imperial presidency.(He in fact argued for a President and Senators who would serve for life.)His real problem with the Constitution was that it failed to make the central government strong enough, a deficiency that later Presidents (especially Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson, the most radical Hamiltonians) corrected in spades.(Lincoln, in case you're wondering, was a Hamiltonian too, though perhaps not as radical.)Yet, he remained loyal to the system of government he helped to create (and through "The Federalist Papers" did even more to promote) for all the 17 years between the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and his untimely death in New York, where he was rowed after his duel with the today otherwise largely forgotten Aaron Burr.

227 pages (about the length of Forrest McDonald's biography of Hamilton, the only other one I have read) of this 731-page book are devoted to Hamilton's life prior to the Constitutional Convention, a span of 32 years.During this time Hamilton was born on Nevis, a British colony in the Caribbean; escaped from his agonizing orphanhood there with a scholarship to King's College in New York (rechristened Columbia after the Revolution); put schoolbooks aside to fight in the Revolution from 1775 until the end, including several years as George Washington's aide-de-camp; married the beautiful, respectably wealthy Elizabeth Schuyler and started a family; and served in the Confederation Congress and as a lawyer in New York.All this would have satisfied most veterans of the Revolutionary War, but not Hamilton; nor was Washington, Hamilton's warmest friend and patron, satisfied to embark on his service as President without Hamilton's advice.He became the first Secretary of the Treasury and the man who made the new nation financially viable.

The arrangements Hamilton made to do that earned him the enmity of Jefferson, who had become Secretary of State, and Madison, who became what amounts to the first House Minority Leader as the first American political parties coalesced around support for or opposition to Hamilton's ideas.The increasing repression in France by its revolutionary leadership, and the war fought to contain or reverse the French Revolution by the rest of Western Europe, lent an emotional dimension to the party rivalry which caused American political leaders (Hamilton not excepted) to become increasingly unhinged, expecting (and sometimes receiving) violence from their opponents.Of course, it would do a great injustice to dismiss the politics of the 1790's with "they were all crazy," but Chernow's approach to the period comes close to stating that Hamilton was sane and his opponents were crazy and/or evil, which is only slightly less of an injustice, and for which I deduct one star from the book.

In this respect, the most problematic part of the book are the nine chapters devoted to the John Adams administration, which lasted four years but must have seemed much longer to those who lived through it.Due to the danger of war with France after negotiations for a principled neutrality broke down, Washington and Hamilton were called out of retirement to take up major generalships in the new national army (which numbered about ten thousand out of a population of four or five million).Washington's health would not permit him to serve an active role (even prior to his death in December 1799), so Hamilton more or less ran the army, and was very disappointed when Adams concluded peace with France and concluded the US no longer needed much of an army.Hamilton saw this as somewhere between "not in the national interest" and "treason" and began pushing his, Washington's, and Adams' party, the Federalists, to back Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, who unlike Adams had been at the Constitutional Convention, for President in 1800.By the time of the election Adams had fired his whole cabinet, who were Hamilton's men anyway, and Hamilton had written a long pamphlet calling him, essentially, crazy.This is problematic in that I strongly believe Adams made the right call.Twenty-nine years (the period of time between the end of the Revolution and the War of 1812) is the third-longest period the US has ever gone without fighting a major war, for which Adams deserves substantial credit.

All that aside, there is a lot of good information here, and Chernow greatly humanizes his subject.Both Hamilton's flaws and his strengths are revealed and it's clear Hamilton's merits outweigh his flaws.Chernow has previously written about titans of the Gilded Age whose business conquests would have been impossible without the financial system devised by Hamilton.I may or may not read more books by him, but fully expect to read more books about Hamilton and his friends and enemies made during the Washington administration.This book itself is well worth the reading and, subject to the caveat above, I would recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in this period of American history.Four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The case for learning more about A Hamilton
Chernow chronicles Founding Father Hamilton from birth to death, including a brief look at the Hamilton family after his death.This biography of one of our more controversial and less understood founders is excellent.While Chernow seems to be sympathetic to Hamilton as a misunderstood founder, Chernow neither denies nor glosses over Hamilton's mistakes and personal faults.

This biography makes an important contribution to our overall understanding of Hamilton and the other founding fathers, who argued over states' rights and federalism, capitalism, and the intended course of the revolution to name a few.These men (and their wives) were petty, vain, self-interested, and hypocritical, not unlike politicians today, but as we learn from Chernow, Hamilton and the other founders created a system of government, proving the test of time.

I have always believed Hamilton deserved more veneration as a founder and Chernow explains in detail why.Hamilton is much more than the man who dueled Burr and appears on the US $10.Hamilton was a Revolutionary War hero, advocate for the Constitution (Federalist Papers), and founder of our market economy and financial system.Hamilton was a leading supporter of a strong executive, implied powers, European neutrality, a standing army and navy, and abolition of slavery.In many ways, good or bad, we live in a country much closer to Hamilton's philosophy than Jefferson's or Madison's.

As excellent as Chernow's biography of Hamilton is, there are instances in which the author "channels" Hamilton and draws favorable conclusions impossible to make, such as Hamilton's warmth for Washington, love of Eliza, and feelings prior to the duel.Perhaps, all true, but we cannot know for certain.Contrarily, Chernow corrects assertions that Hamilton was an "out-of-control" amorous man and does not dwell ad nausea on Hamilton's one known extra martial affair.

Overall, this is an excellent biography that narrates an extraordinary life of an exceptional and flawed founder.

5-0 out of 5 stars Biographer-in-Chief
Here is another riveting, fascinating, compulsively readable biography from the greatest practictioner of the art now in business. This man could write the history of paperclips and make it fun and exciting to read. While it helps to be retired or unemployed, or laid up in bed with a broken leg to find the time to read his biographies, it is time well spent. The narratives never flag or fail. I salute you, Ron Chernow, and nominate you for the Medal of Freedom for your contribution to American letters. ... Read more

2. Alexander Hamilton: Writings (Library of America)
by Alexander Hamilton
Hardcover: 1108 Pages (2001-10-15)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$21.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931082049
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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One of the most vivid, influential, and controversial figures of the American founding, Alexander Hamilton was an unusually prolific and vigorous writer. As a military aide to George Washington, forceful critic of the Articles of Confederation, persuasive proponent of ratification of the Constitution, first Secretary of the Treasury, and leader of the Federalist party, Hamilton devoted himself to the creation of a militarily and economically powerful American nation guided by a strong republican government. His public and private writings demonstrate the perceptive intelligence, confident advocacy, driving ambition, and profound concern for honor and reputation that contributed both to his rise to fame and to his tragic early death.

Arranged chronologically, Writings contains more than 170 letters, speeches, essays, reports, and memoranda written between 1769 and 1804. Included are all 51 of Hamilton's contributions to The Federalist, as well as subsequent writing calling for a broad construction of federal power under the Constitution; his famous speech to the Constitutional Convention, which gave rise to accusations that he favored monarchy; early writings supporting the Revolutionary cause and a stronger central government; his visionary reports as Treasury secretary on the public credit, a national bank, and the encouragement of American manufactures; a detailed confession of adultery made by Hamilton in order to defend himself against charges of official misconduct; and his self-destructive attack on John Adams during the 1800 campaign. An extensive selection of private letters illuminates Hamilton's complex relationship with George Washington, his deep affection for his wife and children, his mounting fears during the 1790s regarding the Jeffersonian opposition and the French Revolution, and his profound distrust of Aaron Burr. Included in an appendix are conflicting eyewitness accounts of the Hamilton-Burr duel.

Joanne Freeman is the editor. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
An essential addition to any history, finance, or political collection. A collection of the major contributions from hands down one of the greatest political writers in American history. Hamilton isn't lauded as a major philosopher, and yet his ideas were arguably far more valuable than those who are. This is because he didn't leave it to other people to make his visions reality. His ideas and writings left a far deeper impact on the history of the United States than many realize, not just in finances but in political and governmental practice. Through his words, we are given a glimpse into the mind of the brilliant man whose visions from 200 years ago have helped shape the country we live in today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Price, quick delivery
Excellent price compared to Amazon's list price.Thank you Amazon for providing this internal competition!

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT BOOK

5-0 out of 5 stars Alexander Hamilton: Writings (Library of America)
I do not think Library of the America has even put out a bad bood and this is no exception.The contents are of great use to anyone interested in our government.The index in the back is exhaustive and helps greatly.Buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential writings from a great American
Alexander Hamilton is one of the most important, most misunderstood and most under studied Americans ever.He is the central figure in establishing the Federal Bank, as different as it is today from what it was then.He is responsible for the majority of the Federalist Papers, the most important documents produced in support of the Federal Constitutuon and the heated debates it entailed.But another thing most people don't know is that he is an American Revolution hero, serving, with distinction under Geroge Washington, receiving his highest praise and becoming his right hand man.He is the most elegant and gifted of writers.To understand his beginnings, read Alexander Hamilton: American by Richard Brookheiser, and understand the humble beginnings he was born into, working as a store clerk in the West Indies, educating himself in America and turning himself into one of the Americans who has a true grasp on the English language.His politics aside, he was a brilliant man.He was a gentleman and he was honest.He was a mna full of pride and great courage.He refused to let himself be bad mouthed, accepting Aronn Burr's duel, but he refused to fire at his opponent, instead firing into the air.A very honourable end to a great American.His writing are essntial to understand his life and his mind, his political orientation and lifelong goals.Not only that, but this is great literature.This receives my highest recommendation. ... Read more

3. The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America's Most Elusive Founding Father
by Robert Martin
Paperback: 312 Pages (2007-09-01)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0814707246
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Revolutionary War officer, co-author of the Federalist Papers, our first Treasury Secretary, Thomas Jefferson's nemesis, and victim of a fatal duel with Aaron Burr: Alexander Hamilton has been the focus of debate from his day to ours. On the one hand, Hamilton was the quintessential Founding Father, playing a central role in every key debate and event in the Revolutionary and Early Republic eras. On the other hand, he has received far less popular and scholarly attention than his brethren. Who was he really and what is his legacy?

Scholars have long disagreed. Was Hamilton a closet monarchist or a sincere republican? A victim of partisan politics or one of its most active promoters? A lackey for British interests or a foreign policy mastermind? The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton addresses these and other perennial questions. Leading Hamilton scholars, both historians and political scientists alike, present fresh evidence and new, sometimes competing, interpretations of the man, his thought, and the legacy he has had on America and the world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Those Interested in The Founding Fathers
This crisply written volume of eleven essays by leading Alexander Hamilton scholars provides an excellent reading experience for any person interested in the founding years of the United States. The essays are well documented and present new scholarship and a clearer understanding about the centrality of Hamilton throughout the founding period of the U.S. The beauty of the book comes from the clarity of writing and information conveyed, while not glossing over the debates still surrounding Hamilton and his many legacies. ... Read more

4. Alexander Hamilton, American
by Richard Brookhiser
Paperback: 256 Pages (2000-04-12)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$5.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684863316
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Alexander Hamilton is one of the least understood, most important, and most impassioned and inspiring of the founding fathers. At last Hamilton has found a modern biographer who can bring him to full-blooded life; Richard Brookhiser. In these pages, Alexander Hamilton sheds his skewed image as the "bastard brat of a Scotch peddler," sex scandal survivor, and notoriously doomed dueling partner of Aaron Burr. Examined up close, throughout his meteoric and ever-fascinating (if tragically brief) life, Hamilton can at last be seen as one of the most crucial of the founders. Here, thanks to Brookhiser's accustomed wit and grace, this quintessential American lives again.Amazon.com Review
The man on the $10 bill is probably the most overlookedFounding Father. This book--not a names-and-dates biography, but anappreciation and assessment in the tradition of Plutarch--should helpchange that. Richard Brookhiser is an outstanding writer well knownfor his previous books (especially the wonderful Founding Father:Rediscovering George Washington) and journalism (inNational Review and the New York Observer); Hamiltoncould not have asked for a better advocate. A signer of theConstitution and author of roughly two-thirds of the Federalist Papers,Hamilton became the first secretary of the treasury at the age of32. In this capacity, Brookhiser argues that the scrappy Caribbeannative gave birth to American capitalism by developing the country'sfinancial system. Brookhiser also reveals the sex and violence ofHamilton's life: he survived personal scandal but was shot down byAaron Burr in an 1804 duel. The end came too soon for Hamilton--and italso helped elevate the reputation of his nemesis, ThomasJefferson. Alexander Hamilton: American is by turns learned,funny, and inspiring. A model of popular biography, it convinces uswhy we should care deeply about a remarkable man who lived twocenturies ago. --John Miller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

3-0 out of 5 stars An essay on Hamilton. Not the place to start at.
Biographically poor, it runs over Hamilton's life rather than going through it. It's an essay then, not a biography; and it will not do at all if you are looking into Hamilton for the first time. And it is not an entertaining book; it has a somewhat brooding mood, a mixture of admiration and sorrow that transpires. Nevertheless, it did make me want to find out somewhere else about Hamilton, the man Hamilton, and what he meant for America.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hamilton's personality is stamped on the United States of America, to our benefit
Check out the arguments Hamilton made in 1775 against socialism (especially relevant to the USA in 2009):
* Socialism is fatal to religion and morality.
* Socialism tends to debase the mind.
* Socialism corrupts the noblest springs of action (within people).
* Socialism relaxes the sinews of industry, clips the wings of
commerce, and introduces misery and indigence in every shape.
(found in book on pp.24-25)

Oh wait, you mean socialism hadn't been invented yet in 1775?That quote was referring to slavery?Ah well, you say puh-TAY-toe...

Because of course, socialism *is* slavery.

Hamilton didn't know about socialism, but he dreaded the uncoupling of work from rewards.This book does an excellent, truly first-rate job of showing how important to America our work ethic is, and how Hamilton's policies advocated for strengthening the connections between work and prosperity in order to strengthen the country.

In Hamilton's words, "a habit of labor in the people is as essential to the health and vigor of their minds and bodies, as it is conducive to the welfare of the state."Brookhiser sums up: "Work helped America, but it helped Americans, too.They had selves to make."(p.181)

As a showcase of Hamilton's WORK in building the country, this book is coherent and interesting.I think what came through most clearly in this very brief book was the hustle Hamilton showed.He worked diligently and honorably, non-stop, all through his short life.

I would have liked more information on the banking and financial structures Hamilton advocated, as well as his opponents' ideas.This book left me wanting to read even more about this fascinating, flawed man who epitomizes the American concept of a self-made man.

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit scanty and lacking weight, but worth reading
Interesting, because of its interesting subject. However, it could have been better written, especially the opening chapters. Hamilton was a man of ideas and words, and these are not coherently portrayed until late in the work. Ultimately, though, it is of great interest, with particularized, insightful portraits of Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Monroe and others.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and a quick read
I had originally purchased Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton but I found I wanted a quicker read and something easier to carry while traveling to and from work.Mr. Brookhiser's book was exactly what I was looking for, interesting and gave me plenty of insight into Alexander Hamilton's life and character. I'm sure some people might prefer "more" but I'm basically a "cliff note" type of reader. I would recommend this book to someone short on time but still likes to read about fascinating characters by a good author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hamilton is 5 Stars if Brookhiser would get out of the way
To preface this, I gave this book 5 stars due to the splendor of Alexander Hamilton. For as George Washington is the Father of America, Alexander Hamilton is his son cementing the United States into a nation.

Not enough credit is ever bestowed upon what Alexander Hamilton earned. The same politics of today, banking problems, debt and war are the issues Hamilton solved as a Federalist or Conservative Republican of today at odds with socialist reactionary Democrats creating the same obstacles.
That is the truest gift of Hamilton and the intriguers of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in setting up a conflict which is still ripping the United States apart.
Other Federalists like Theodore Roosevelt would appear in the historian mode and castigate Madison and Jefferson for their shoddy leadership in attacking the very foundations of a strong government, standing military and strong finance, but yet even now these same reactionary individuals have followers today who have yet to learn the lesson Thomas Jefferson learned when at past age 70 he finally admitted to John Adams that he was wrong.

That is what is remarkable about Alexander Hamilton in he stood alone, first as President Washington's advocate in American principles and later as John Adam's entire cabinet much to Adams jealous dismay.
Hamilton would create a long line lone leaders in John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan whose leadership and financial policy reflect his.

The problem with this book is the historian Brookhiser. I rarely ever read biography or historians as they always get in the way of the person. Brookhiser starts out by stating "he is no superior to Alexander Hamilton" and then in the entire book stomps in mugging for the camera like a faux grade Bill Buckley speaking Greek philosophy trying to compete with Hamilton's genius.
It is not that bad until he reaches the end of the book when Brookhiser then attempts to disect Hamilton as some kind of Freud without ever understanding the simplest of point. A reader does not have to know the DNA function of Raquel Welch to know she is beautiful........and a reader does not need to have Brookhiser placing his own psychopathy onto Hamilton to try and explain him.
Hamilton might just be a God inspired genius set down to guide the founding of a nation and not a boy tusseling with demons of abandonment and issues of a dead mother.
That is the greatest problem of books like this in historians can never just allow Hamilton who wrote over a million words in public during his life to just tell his story. No Brookhiser has to jump in front of the mic and like Dan Rather tell moronic Americans what Hamilton was really about which he might not have been.

I do recommend this book even if Brookhiser is boorish too often and is like Benjamin Franklins company and fish after 3 days, because even in the "rummage of musty words dusted by a fresh historian the light of Alexander Hamilton shines through".

Plutarch in his Lives understood the biographies were about the person in telling who they were in a story of their life. Historians need to emulate Plutarch in knowing he was not the story, the great man was made great by the common thing he did which was great. ... Read more

5. Alexander Hamilton: A Life
by Willard Sterne Randall
Paperback: 512 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$3.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060954663
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

From his less than auspicious start in 1755 on the Caribbean island of Nevis to his untimely death in a duel with his old enemy Aaron Burr in 1804, Alexander Hamilton, despite his short life, left a huge legacy.

Orphaned at thirteen and apprenticed in a counting house, the precocious Hamilton learned principles of business that helped him create the American financial system and invent the modern corporation. But first the staunch, intrepid Hamilton served in the American Revolution, acting as General Washington's spymaster. Forging a successful legal career, Hamilton coauthored the Federalist Papers and plunged into politics. Irresistibly attractive to women, he was a man of many gifts, but he could be arrogant and was, at times, a poor judge of character.

In this meticulously researched, illuminating, and lively account, Willard Sterne Randall mines the latest scholarship to provide a new perspective on Alexander Hamilton, his illegitimate birth, little-known military activities, political and diplomatic intrigues, and sometimes scandalous private life.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars "The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God..."-AH
"...and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. "

"The nation is hemorrhaging" and needs to be sent to an ER staffed with advanced degrees and state of the art equipment.There are those golden minutes with heart attack patients and brain injuries within which medical intervention is crucial.Hopefully, the nation will not have socialized medicine as in Canada as the Redgrave family knows."The nation is hemorrhaging," Alexander Hamilton exclaimed during those crucial years of the revolutionary war.I cannot find the quote or context found in this book, but, OH, so relevant today.

A few of our founding fathers crafted our fledgling government and the constitution to give voting rights, not to all, but to an enlightened few.I'm beginning to understand now the wisdom of their logic.I was always taken aback and even insulted by such a saying, but it is nevertheless true.Leave it to the experts.Otherwise we might be ruled by folks who rally people to peace concerts, with females fainting and screaming as if it were a Beatles concert during a terrorist attack.

OY VEY!What have we chosen, what have we voted for?

This book was recommended to me by an Irish professor from Northern Ireland in 2004.Randall's book was published in 2003 and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!I would recommend this be read before Forrest McDonald's book. This book is not as detailed, but it is more readable and distills the most important details of Hamilton's life.Both authors are noted historians and both used as primary sources the Syrett Papers which contains many original writings, letters of Alexander Hamilton.I have so many pages bookmarked.Hamilton's field manual for the army is still used by the military today and he wrote another law manual for lawyers practicing in New York state also used today, 250 years later.

Hamilton was 34 years old when he became the nation's first Treasury Secretary.The nation's finances were in a shambles.Some states' debts were drowning for lack of credit, the continental currency was totally worthless, foreign debt was astronomical, etc. etc."The nation is hemorrhaging".Hamilton took 110 days to come up with a plan to save the union.When it was presented to congress, a clerk read the whole document which took one hour and a half to read.How long would it take to hear the "stimulus plan"?

Go to Americansolutions.com and sign up for a tea party on April 15 at a city near you!Sounds like a grand time!I hope they have lady Grey tea!My fav!

Was the King really to blame, or was it really some scumbags in Parliament who were the true causes of the American colonists' woes?I really, really, wonder these days.Suggest you read "Duke Hamilton is dead by Victor Stater which is about another duel by the Duke of Hamilton in Scotland with a member of Parliament in Hyde Park.

Anyway, I loved the book and feel that the scholarship is very sound on this one.I bought Chernow's lengthy book but put it down when he started to hypothesize that Hamilton had African roots which is a very popular spin on things from the carribean.I don't think so.I really wouldn't care if his mother was African, but she was just a French protestant, from the Mediterranean.Anyway, I want just the facts and I don't want my history lessons tainted with politically correct lies.

"Not worth a continental" was a popular saying during the revolutionary war which was caused by the continental congress flooding the country with paper money causing inflation and thereby making the currency worthless.

I hope "not worth a continental" doesn't become "not worth an American dollar" anytime soon, because we will have to live with this worthless currency until the people wise up and begin electing the types of people who will have faith and confidence in American business sense, American workers, and just plain pride in our country, our nation's founders and a select few with wisdom.

PLEASE READ THIS!I read it yesterday, watched Glen Beck last night on Fox news explaining how printing lots of greenback will cause inflation!Have been in a state of shock ever since I finished the book until now.OH VEY!Can't we defer to Ben Bernanke to appoint someone to Treasury given the seriousness of our financial situation.It's never been done before, but I think it could be construed very easily as constitutional, since our founders did not want what they framed as being set in stone.In emergencies, the most qualified persons need to take the helm.

Check this out:


4-0 out of 5 stars The Remarkable Rise (and fall) of Alexander Hamilton
This is a mostly thoroughly researched, well written, and highly readable account of Alexander Hamilton's remarkable rise from Caribbean island orphan to American Founder, although as other reviewers have pointed out, Randall seems to strangely tire at the end as he rushes through the last 13 years of Hamilton's life in 20 pages. This appears to be a pattern of Randall's; his monsterously sized biography of Jefferson relegates the Virginian's two presidential terms to less than 50 pages. The result, in the end is, unfortunately considering the strength and vividness of most of the biography, one that doesn't create any effect for the reader of the sadness befitting the loss of one of America's leading Founders cut down in the prime of life, wondering what might have been had he lived to old age.Nevertheless, Randall's careful portrait of Hamilton's beginnings and particularly, his war service and association with George Washington, is enough to make Alexander Hamilton: A Life a worthy contribution to the literature on the Founders and a well worthy read.

3-0 out of 5 stars the first modern american?
Randall does an excellent job of telling Hamilton's story as well as describing his significane to the development of the new nation.As I read the book I was struck by how "modern" Hamilton was.His emphasis in centralized structures, efficient government and the significant role economics played in his political understanding.I was struck how Hamilton was more pragmatic than many of his contemporaries.

Recommend this to anyone wanting to flesh out their understanding of the Revolutionary period.

2-0 out of 5 stars just okay
I read Randall's Jefferson biography and was unimpressed. However, I thought I would give Randall another chance with his Hamilton biography. I thought it was slightly better than the Jefferson bio.

Then I read Chernow's Hamilton biography, which leaves Randall's in the dust. The main problem with Randall is that he is a professor and, as convential wisdom goes, professors write to pad their vita and for other professors, with little concern for the reader and more concern for quantity than quality. (In fact, with few exceptions [like J. Ellis], you should always skip a history book when the dust jacket announces the author is a professor).

This book is an adequate overview of Hamilton, but why read it when an exceptionally better book exists? For completists and Hamilton enthusiasts only.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not complete, but entertaining
Excellent biography of one of the lesser known founding fathers.Includes his birth in St Croix with ancestral background and proceeds to his death at the hands of Aaron Burr during their duel.Randall refrains from making Hamilton superhuman or flawless, but does center his piece on his contributions to America before, during and after the Revolutionary War. A treat for any Hamilton fan or those looking to become familiar with him. ... Read more

6. Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America
by Thomas Fleming
Paperback: 464 Pages (2000-09-05)
list price: US$18.50 -- used & new: US$4.49
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Asin: 0465017371
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A rich brew of political intrigue that dwarfs even the most salacious political scandal today.

All school children know the story of the fatal duel between Hamilton and Burr - but do they really? In this remarkable retelling, Thomas Fleming takes the reader into the post-revolutionary world of 1804, a chaotic and fragile time in the young country as well as a time of tremendous global instability.

The success of the French Revolution and the proclamation of Napoleon as First Consul for Life had enormous impact on men like Hamilton and Burr, feeding their own political fantasies at a time of perceived Federal government weakness and corrosion. Their hunger for fame spawned antagonisms that wreaked havoc on themselves and their families and threatened to destabilize the fragile young American republic. From that poisonous brew came the tangle of regret and anger and ambition that drove the two to their murderous confrontation in Weehawken, New Jersey.

Readers will find this is popular narrative history at its most authoritative, and authoritative history at its most readable.Amazon.com Review
To judge by many standard histories, the revolutionaryfounders of the United States came equipped with wings andhaloes. They were anything but saintly, however; their behavior,public and private, was often scandalous. One of the most outrageousmen of the day was Alexander Hamilton, the Federalist leader andarchitect of the American banking and judiciary systems, whose amorousexploits and political maneuverings alike were the stuff oflegend. Tangled in a succession of failed business ventures andpersonal intrigues, and convinced that the might of the United Statesshould not be hampered by such inconveniences as checks and balances,Hamilton fell afoul of just about everyone he encountered in his questfor influence and wealth.

To his eventual misfortune, one of those he crossed was ThomasJefferson's vice president, Aaron Burr. Many histories of theirtangled relationship personalize their differences, and, to be sure,they disliked each other with splendid fervor. ThomasFleming's contribution to the often-told tale is to ground theHamilton-Burr rivalry in the politics of the day--a politicscomplicated by many contending ideological factions, powerful interestgroups, and lobbyists. Writing with vigor and clarity, Fleming pointsto the clay feet on which Hamilton and Burr marched to their saddestiny, and he crafts an exceptionally interesting portrait of theearly Republic. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

3-0 out of 5 stars Election
This book is more about the gubernatorial election than the duel.Of course the election is important as context for the duel.But for my tastes the context-to-event ratio was way too high.The book should have been advertised as a book about the election, with the duel included as one of its dramatic outcomes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Follow-up Reading after "John Adams"
David McCullough's book, John Adams, and the HBO special based upon it, sets the stage for this fascinating book.After an interest in Jefferson's administration and its role in the Lewis & Clark Corp of Discovery, my attention was drawn to "Duel", but somehow it seemed to be with a proper context, until McCullough's book John Adams seemed to draw the stage lighting upon the intense figures of Hamilton and Burr. The book is a look at their personalities, but much more it shows the continued fractious nature of the young Republic after the death of Adams. Simply put, if you enjoyed "John Adams", you are ready for "Duel".

4-0 out of 5 stars America's Duel
This is a very exciting, fast-paced narrative that details the rivalry between Hamilton and Burr for control of the Federalist Party during the early days of the American Republic.

While both men shared an animosity toward President Thomas Jefferson, their rivalry for control of the Federalist Party led them to a dueling ground in New Jersey where Burr shot and killed Hamilton.

I liked this, but I loved Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton and would recommend that over The Duel as a portrait of Hamilton and his times, but this is very well done book that looks at the two rivals.

5-0 out of 5 stars A balanced account of the duel between Burr and Hamilton
~Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America~ by Thomas J. Fleming (not to be confused with the Thomas Fleming of Chronicles magazine) is an insightful historical narrative of the tragic standoff between two great American politicians. Burr (1756-1836) was an American politician from New York, Revolutionary War hero and adventurer. Burr served as the third Vice President of the United States (1801-1805) during the administration of Jefferson.

Burr, of course, gained notoriety for his tragic duel with Alexander Hamilton. Burr's mother was a sister of the notable Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the election of 1800, Burr tied Jefferson with 73 electoral votes, making him eligible for one of the Nation's two highest offices and sending the election into the U.S. House of Representatives. After 36 ballots, Jefferson was elected President and Burr elected Vice President. As Vice President, Burr was President of the Senate, and in such role, presided over the impeachment trial of Samuel Chase. The tumultuous election of 1800 revealed a flaw in the design of the electoral college, which prompted the 12th Amendment.

Alexander Hamilton (c. 1755-1804) was an Army officer, lawyer, politician, financier, political theorist and the United States' first Secretary of Treasury. He was one of the two chief authors of the Federalist Papers, but a secret monocrat with prejudices in favor of reviving the British unitary model of government on American soil. After the adoption of the Constitution, he pronounced that no one's intentions were more removed from that instrument than his own. Hamilton's prejudices were in favor of a large central government, a sentiment aloof from most parochial-minded Americans. His personal dealings in politics were subject to the same inconsistencies and ill-principled contradictions. He was unfaithful to his wife, and the intrigue surrounding the affair haunted him until his dying day, and in many ways provoked the bitter contests regarding his honor, such as the feud with James Monroe.

Fleming offers a fact-filled, balanced account of the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, and the background history leading up to that tragedy. It's basically a grandiose chronicling of political intrigue that endured throughout the 1790s going into the 1800s. Burr comes out in a new light, not the supposed arch-villian, but a nonetheless ambitious and manipulative character much like Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson's reputation is beat up too, as he is presented as a shrewd back-scenes manipulator who used proxies to attack his enemies. Hamilton was a paradox in that set the stage for the Jefferson Presidency in 1800 by redirecting Federalist votes. Hamilton apparently loathed Adams more than Jefferson. At the time, the second runner-up in a presidential race becomes Vice President, a role served by Aaron Burr. Federalist John Adams blamed Hamilton for the implosion of the Federalist Party, and regarded him as an "indefagitable schemer."

Personally, I've always found Hamilton to be a disingenuous character. It seems obvious his exploits got him in all his trouble. He was a malicious gossip. He almost provoked a duel with James Monroe by accusing him of intrigue in making revelation of the Reynolds affair. And as Fleming contends, the Burr duel was avoidable, but for Hamilton's continual insults which impugned Burr's honor. Historical evidence suggests Hamilton was just as prone to using his political influence for personal gain of himself and his family. He benefited certainly by his intermarriage with the wealthy Schuyler family of New York.

The Burr-Hamilton duel was between two Hamilton and Aaron Burr on July 11, 1804 in Weehawken Heights, New Jersey, a popular dueling ground below the towering cliffs of the Palisades. There, on that tragic day, Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton threw his shot away some suggest. Hamilton died the following day from his wounds at his home, The Grange, in northern Manhattan.

Later, Aaron Burr was indicted by the State of New Jersey for Hamilton's death, and he never set foot in that state again. He lived until 1836, and I think evidence of his supposed plot to sever the Louisiana territory from the United Stateswas lacking in credibility, and more of a ploy of Hamiltonians to tarnish his reputation as all the more treasonous. Not a scintilla of evidence stuck to him on that spurious charge, and he was never indicted for treason.

I empathized with Hamilton if only because of his tragic fate, and the hardship endured by his family, not his politics. His daughter Angelica went insane after the Hamilton's loss of a son. His 19-year-old son rose to his father's defense on November 20, 1801, taking the first step in a tragedy that cost him his life.

On his dying day, July 12, 1804, shortly before his passing, Hamilton said, "I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me." The Ron Chernow biography recorded this utterance; but Fleming left it out. I think this fact strikes at Fleming's contention that Hamilton was a dyed-in-the-wool deist his whole life.

When an elder Burr was approached on the street by a man who called him a scoundrel, a repentant Burr said afterwards that the man was entitled to his opinion, and paid him respect as he walked off. Fleming could have mentioned that too.

Overall, this is a balanced account. Nancy Isenberg's new book on Aaron Burr echoes a similar theme, but it is far more sympathetic to Burr.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative
Great book. Outstanding research.Gives a keen insight into the very complex and tormented mind of Burr, while at the same time proving what a key figure Hamilton was in the establishment of our nation.Must read. ... Read more

7. Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton
by Julius Goebel
 Hardcover: 754 Pages (1981-10-15)
list price: US$232.00 -- used & new: US$232.00
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Asin: 0231089295
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8. Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton. Documents and commnetary. Volume II (VOL 2)
by Julius Goebel
 Hardcover: 957 Pages (1969-10-15)
list price: US$222.50 -- used & new: US$222.50
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Asin: 0231089457
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9. Alexander Hamilton America's Forgotten Founder (HC)
by Joseph A. Murray
Hardcover: 264 Pages (2007-04-01)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$32.95
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Asin: 0875865011
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Alexander Hamilton promoted a vigorous national government to create a strong and unified country out of a mixed bag of 13 sovereign states. Hamilton's varied contributions give him a claim to the title of architect of the US Government. This new biography introduces the general reader to some of the challenges and controversies of the early days of the Republic and highlights Hamilton's brilliant contributions to US policy and structure.

Alexander Hamilton: America s Forgotten Founder describes the character and achievements of a man who was instrumental in casting the form of our government and especially its strong financial structure. His financial innovations renewed the public credit when war debts threatened to swamp the fledgling economy, provided a stable currency system and established a federal revenue system. Hamilton s involvement in the foreign affairs of the new republic assured its unity, sovereignty and rapid economic growth.
Born in the West Indies, Alexander Hamilton migrated to America when he was fifteen years old, at a time when Colonial America was torn by political unrest with Great Britain. He served in the Revolution as General Washington s chief aide-de-camp and as an officer in combat units. He was a persuasive presence in the Constitutional Convention and helped to lead the subsequent ratification process.
Hamilton was a proponent for a strong central government, believing that its direct influence over the people would strengthen the unity of the country. As Secretary of the Treasury, he understood that a strong financial system was essential to provide credibility and economic growth to the new republic. He based his financial plan on the consolidation of the national debt and the adoption of a taxation system to service and retire that debt. He promoted the chartering of the Bank of the United States as the keystone to his financial plan.
Arguably the Father of Federalism, Hamilton gave more to the structure and process of the United States government then any other single individual. His opponents, principally the Jeffersonian Republicans, argued for greater sovereignty for state governments and sought to diminish the role of wealth in structuring and operating the financial systems of the country. When it came, the Civil War vindicated Hamilton s politics over Jefferson s view of a more tenuous and tentative union.
He authored the lion s share of The Federalist Papers, writings which remain an important guide to the meaning and the intended function of the Constitution today.
Regrettably, the hostility of his political opponents has transcended the country s recognition of the debt owed to this man.
This work introduces the general reader to some of the challenges and controversies of the early days of the Republic and highlights Hamilton s brilliant contributions to US policy and structure. Hamilton promoted a vigorous national government to create a strong and unified country out of a mixed bag of 13 sovereign states.
This book was written for the broad cross-section of American readers, particularly those who, while not having an abiding interest in history, would welcome an interestingly written, brief history of Hamilton s life and the great events surrounding the founding of the nation. The book is also suited for high school and college-level students of US history.
Other recently published biographies of Alexander Hamilton are lengthy and minutely detailed. While those will be useful tools for the more serious students of history, they are unwieldy and off-putting to the general reader. Most Americans today have little understanding of the character, the life and accomplishments of Alexander Hamilton, an extraordinary man by any account and an extraordinary American. The current work intends to make his life and accomplishments accessible to a broad ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Easy to read but too brief
This book was a real page-turner, but when finished left me desiring more.His childhood, early life, and revolutionary-era periods were adequately covered, but the chapter explaining his role as first Secretary of the Treasury was disappointingly brief.This book leads me to believe that Hamilton is not on the $10 bill for being Washington's 2nd hand man during the Revolutionary War or because he lost a dual to Aaron Burr, but because his complete overhaul of our nation's financial system in the first years of our constitutional government saved our government and nation from financial ruin and overall collapse.While the chapter led me to this conclusion, unfortunately it seemed like a brief summary of the keystone policies of Hamilton's life.

The second inadequate (more like non-existent) part of the book is Hamilton's battles with John Adams and other moderate federalists during Adams' reelection campaign.David McCullough's John Adams has much more about Hamilton during this period than this Hamilton biography, though it does portray Hamilton very negatively.Even if this book could not defend Hamilton in a more positive light, one should expect a biography to include the bad aspects of its subject as well as the good.

The final and most disappointing omission is the end of his life where Murray simply states "Every school child knows the manner in which A. H. met his end in the most notorious duel in American history", and leaves it at that.This was the climax of the book I had anticipated throughout and I still don't know why it happened, what led up to it, what A. H. thought about it, what Burr thought about or later said about it-a total of 1 1/2 pages were devoted to this subject!?......

Overall the book was an easy, entertaining read but not beafy enough for a serious scholar or history buff.

5-0 out of 5 stars America's Forgotten Founder
The author of Alexander Hamilton - America's Forgotten Founder brings to light the unique accomplishments that this too often overlooked founder of our republic played in the formation of our government. It is a well-researched and skillfully written book that quickly captures the attention of the reader, whether a student of American history, or a casual general browser.
This is a book that reveals both the man as well as his many outstanding and varied accomplishments in an easily understandable way. Whether during the revolution where the colonies all characteristically pulled against each other, or later when the states were reluctant to give up an inch of their sovereignty, or during the complex financial problems of the new republic, the author spotlights the most remarkable role Alexander Hamilton played in resolving what seemed like insurmountable obstacles. No other book makes Alexander Hamilton more clearly defined in an easily understandable way. Aid-de-camp and trusted confidant of General Washington, first to fire a shot at Yorktown, and later a major general, stirs any student of military history to appreciate Alexander Hamilton as the man he was. Gifted writer, financier, and first Secretary of the Treasury are only a few of his great accomplishments. Any reader of this book is left with a lot more to remember of Alexander Hamilton than his duel with Burr.
Most interestingly, this is a book not only for those with an interest in the American Revolutionary War, or the early formation of our government, but for those who want an understanding of the very roots of the Civil War. In reading this book, I often found myself saying "this is where that war began!" The differences between Jefferson and Hamilton concerning what powers the federal government should have, that are so well clarified in this book, weren't settled until the end of the Civil War, when Alexander Hamilton's position promoting a strong central government was vindicated. This is a book written in an entertaining way that educates the reader in regard to the legacy of a most remarkable man.
As a literary endeavor, this book is amazingly clarifying, and it fulfills a previous deficiency in other books I have read on this subject. i enjoyed this book immensely and I highly recommend it to others.

David W. Shave MD(authorof "Small Talk - Big Cure!")

5-0 out of 5 stars Alexander Hamilton America's Forgotten Founder
I thought this was an excellent book through which the author substantiates his premise that Alexander Hamilton is indeed a "forgotten founder." He is remembered by most for his untimely end after his infamous duel with Aaron Burr. Indeed, his enigmatic personality which lead in part to the duel, may also have been responsible for his status as a forgotten founder. The author sketches Hamilton's somewhat humble origin from his birth in the Caribbean through his life as a founding father. The author convincingly argues that Hamilton was involved overtly or behind the scenes in virtually every event in our young nation's life from the Revolution through the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and beyond. Hamilton's position and influence as an aide to General Washington, or as one of the trinity of writers of the Federalist Papers, or as our first Secretary of the Treasury, amply demonstrate his influence at the highest levels of government. Perhaps no founding father argued more forcefully for the need for a strong federal government. For the young nation to be respected among the world's powers, Hamilton believed that the country needed a stable financial system. This lead of course to his plan for chartering the Bank of the United States. His prescience for that National Bank was amply demonstrated during the War of 1812 when the country desperately needed loans but had no national bank because its Charter had been allowed to expire at the end of its original 20-year term.

Why then "forgotten founder"? The author argues that Hamilton's personalty and strongly held opinions were partially responsible. He made many enemies because, as the author points out, he would stick to his convictions to both his political and personal detriment. His position on returning confiscated property to Tories was unpopular as was his conviction regarding the integrity of contracts over the perceived rights of war veterans. Once the Federalists lost power, it was perhaps much easier to discredit both Hamilton and his "politics." Because of his untimely death, (with apologies to Shakespeare) it is possible that his perceived evils lived after him while the good he did was interred with his bones. History has done a good job of documenting Hamilton's negatives, including his enigmatic personalty, his marital infidelity, and his obstinacy which lead to many (and frequently unjustified) personal attacks by his enemies. The author, while not overlooking Hamilton's personal foibles, has done an excellent job of restoring him to his proper place as one of the preeminent founders.

I found this to be a fascinating book. For those with some background in American history I think it is an excellent review of the Revolution and the founding of our nation. I believe it would also serve as a good primer for anyone who has an interest in American history. I found the book to be very interesting and for me very educational. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

... Read more

10. The Alexander Hamilton You Never Knew
by James Lincoln Collier
Paperback: 80 Pages (2004-03)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$6.95
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Asin: 0516258346
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Newbery-finalist James Lincoln Collier creates insightful character studies of our most well-known American figures. By blasting through the myths surrounding our heroes, we see them as they really were, with their conflicts, their fears, their shortcomings, and their ambitions. We come to know them and so to admire their achievements all the more. ... Read more

11. American Machiavelli: Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy
by John Lamberton Harper
Paperback: 362 Pages (2007-07-30)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$3.95
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Asin: 0521708745
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) was an illegitimate West Indian emigrant who became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. American Machiavelli focuses on Hamilton's controversial activities as foreign policy adviser and aspiring military leader. In the first major study of his foreign policy role in 30 years, John Lamberton Harper describes a decade of bitter division over the role of the Federal government in the economy during the 1790s and draws parallels between Hamilton and the sixteenth century Italian political adviser, Niccolò Machiavelli. Harper provides an original and highly readable account of Hamiltonas famous clashes with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and his key role in defining the U.S. national security strategy.John Lamberton Harper is Professor of Foreign Policy and European Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center. He is the author of America and the Reconstruction of Italy, 1945-1948 (Cambridge 1986), winner of the 1987 Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies, and American Visions of Europe: Franklin D. Roosevelt, George F. Kennan, and Dean G. Asheson (Cambridge 1994), winner of the 1995 Robert Ferrell Prize from the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations.His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including The American Historical Review, The Journal of American History, The Times Literary Supplement and Foreign Affairs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Harper
Alexander Hamilton is perhaps one of the nation's most important figures in the formulation of American statecraft and diplomacy whose legacy has shaped the American federal government's foreign policy since the end of the American Revolutionary War. In this study released in 2004 by Cambridge University Press, John Lamberton Harper (Professor of Foreign Policy and European Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center) effectively creates a biographical narrative of Hamilton's diplomatic decisions that suggests the presence of similarities with Machiavelli's stategies in diplomacy.As the first work in thirty years to examine Hamilton's foreign policy, Harper adds to the list of statesman such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who were influenced by Machiavellian strategies, ultimately creating a solid foundation for the question that begs to ask what guidelines have effected the legacy of diplomatic relations in the US.Harper's analysis that Hamilton was influenced by Machiavelli but that the context of the world he lived in provided him with new aspects of diplomacy that, while different, did not sway past the realm of classic diplomatic strategies.
The success of his work comes from a bibliography of secondary sources which allows the author to build on previous historiographic interpretations of Hamiltionian diplomacy in order to create an effective biographical narrative.The effect is a descriptive partial biography, partial case study.In the case study aspect of the book, Harper adds onto arguments made by historians like Russel Kirk that Hamilton was a "manipulator and a cad" when it came to foreign policy decisions.In addition to demonstrating a definite link between Machiavelli's strategies and Hamilton's own, Harper provides certain similarities in both upbringings and religious beliefs of the actors, and the fact that Machiavelli and Hamilton both possessed a sense of loyalty or national character associated with Florentine and Great Britian respectively.What this reviewer found most beneficial about the study is the interesting period of formulation in the 1780's and 1790's, especially paying attention to the struggle over whether the US would adopt pro-British or pro-French policies.
Harper makes several assertions about Hamilton's Machiavellian influences, most importantly, that Hamilton asserted Machiavellian ideas of human nature, politics, and statecraft in his own foreign policy decisions, similarities in his life and through his recounted words.This ultimately brings up the issue that since Hamilton was a founding father who's decisions have lasted the history of the nation, that the US policy and statecraft have been largely Machiavellian in nature, or at the very least influenced by it.By re-examining ideas that American policy is either a "middle ground" between Christian moralism and Machiavellian strategy in foreign policy, or that is has tended to preclude focusing on territorial defence rather than the flow of capital, Harper is suggesting that American and Hamiltonian statesmanship encompasses all these aspects.In order to do this, he effectively lays out Hamilton's biographical dealings in diplomacy as well as personal statements and trends in leadership while comparing them with those of Machiavelli.The weakness of his arguments come from his harsh criticism of Jeffersonian politics as less pragmatic than Hamilton's own.Rather than focusing on differences in strategies in order to highlight the struggles in creating new American policy, his criticism of Jefferson biases his study rather than simply offering the political context of fueds within the federal government.
The period this study covers is one of the most awe-inspiring that a historian can read about.By addressing the complications of the Nootka Sound Conventions, the Philadelphia Newspaper War, the Congressional split between pro-French vs pro-British policies in freedom of the seas during the confrontation between France and Britian in 1793, Harper creates a wonderful and informative read that enlightens the reader to the struggles American statesman faced in creating the American Republic.

adam reller

3-0 out of 5 stars American Machiavelli:Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy
Ordered as a Christmas gift.Did not arrive until after.Person receiving the book was pleased.

5-0 out of 5 stars To Be Not Good
Alexander Hamilton no doubt read Niccolo Machiavelli, but his writings indicate he looked elsewhere for his inspiration. Instead, Hamilton was inspired by the virtuous lives described by Plutarch (Machiavelli also studied Plutarch) and by the English Constitution so praised by Montesquieu. Our modern instinct (as reflected by another reviewer here) is to reject any similarity between Machiavelli and one of the greatest of our Founding Fathers. The term Machiavellian has become, unfortunately, a political epithet. It wasn't for nothing that Aaron Burr was dubbed the "modern Machiavelli."

Nevertheless, Professor Harper makes a persuasive case for the similarity of outlook between Machiavelli and Hamilton. Both were democrats who saw that energy in an executive was essential to the proper functioning of a republic, both in foreign as well as domestic affairs.Hamilton also recognized that sometimes the executive, to use Machiavelli's phrase, has "to be not good."

Harper's work is very well written and documented.Considering Harper is a diplomatic historian by trade, he is to be applauded for his intense study and mastery of the literature of the revolutionary and founding era.American Machiavelli admirably fills a gap in the otherwise voluminous and well-trodden historiography of Alexander Hamilton.

5-0 out of 5 stars A well-deserved tribute to Alexander Hamilton
I sort of wish that Professor Harper hadn't pushed so hard the Machiavelli/Hamilton comparison. Hamilton tried to model himself after so many other political thinkers and theorists, and a case could be made that some of his policies and initiatives were anti-Machiavellian. But that's my only gripe, and it's not a major one. John Harper's "American Machiavelli : Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy" is a brilliant examination of a facet of Hamilton's career that hasn't been spotlighted. Most biographies of Hamilton and/or the Founders tend to focus mainly on Hamilton's economic prowess and his dedication to a commercial American society versus the more Jeffersonian agrarian society.

But Hamilton kept an astute eye on the goings-on in Europe, like the need to trade with Great Britain and the growing horrors of the revolution in France. In one regard, the need to trade with Great Britain was an outgrowth of his economic concerns but, more importantly, to maintain a commercial link with it nearly guaranteed peace with a nation that had so huge a navy. Harper goes to great lengths to emphasize Hamilton's frustration with John Adams' foreign policy. Because of his alleged "monarchist" sympathies, Hamilton was essentially dismissed by the Republicans. He warned that the failure to maintain friendly ties with Great Britain might lead to future tensions. Unfortunately, Hamilton was right and in 1812... well, we know what happened. Fortunately, Hamilton didn't live to see his dark prophecy fulfilled.

In any event, Professor Harper's study is worth reading for students of American history and people interested in the tangled world of international policy.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent biography of Hamilton
According to Harper, Alexander Hamilton was a pragmatist just like Machiavelli. Hamilton favored greater ties to England because the United States needed the English navy for its protection and England was the main market for American goods. Hamilton's pragmatic policies toward England were in direct contrast to the ideologically driven Jefferson who favored an impratical alliance with the French because France was a republic after 1792.Hamilton was also concerned about the French retaking Louisiana since this might threaten American interests in the southern part of the United States. However, after 1796, Hamilton's concerns were ignored by John Adams, who supported an alliance with France. The only weakness of this book is that Harper spends too much time describing the 1796 election which had little to do with the foreign policy issues mentioned in the rest of the book. Otherwise this is an extremely well written analysis of Hamilton's views on the foreign policy of the early Republic. ... Read more

12. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton Vol 24
by Harold C. Syrett
 Hardcover: 708 Pages (1976-10-15)
list price: US$189.50 -- used & new: US$168.82
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Asin: 0231089236
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13. Alexander Hamilton
by William Graham Sumner
Paperback: 298 Pages (2010-07-27)
list price: US$29.75 -- used & new: US$20.03
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Asin: 1176172085
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This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process.We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

14. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton Vol 26
by Harold C. Syrett
 Hardcover: 784 Pages (1979-10-15)
list price: US$189.50 -- used & new: US$185.50
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Asin: 0231089252
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15. The Rivals: A Tale Of The Times Of Aaron Burr And Alexander Hamilton
by Jeremiah Clemens
Paperback: 288 Pages (2007-09-12)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$18.56
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Asin: 0548465134
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16. Alexander Hamilton: A Biography
by Forrest Mcdonald
Paperback: 464 Pages (1982-09-17)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$12.76
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Asin: 039330048X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hamilton's Rightful Place In History and This Book Belong Together!!!!!!
Hamilton is often cast as a villain in most treatments of America's founding. Why? Well, because the authors are often so in love with Jefferson that they cannot be fair and objective. Jefferson is always painted as the savior of the nation, but that is not entirely accurate. Hamilton contributed to the nation's structure and policy debates. He helped work to ensure the national debt was paid, in addition to creating a climate favorable for business. All these worked to place the new country on the path that would lead to greatness. Only misguided policies in the modern era would derail what Hamilton has given us. Mcdonald gets it right, and is fair, but just not fair enough for the Jefferson fanatics. Get it and enjoy!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Hamilton Bio Focuses on Public Life and Ideas
McDonald seems to have set out to write a book emphasizing Hamilton's political and financial/administrative contributions to the new republic and that is what he did. There is relatively little on Hamilton's personal life. For that one must look elsewhere (to Ron Chernow for example). The book is largely successful at what it is trying to do and is very good on the finance/administrative areas. One would expect no less from McDonald. As his other works on constitutional history show, he is an expert on the political philosophy and thought of the time as well as the period's economic theories.

The prose is crisp, direct and clear for the most part but perhaps not the most sprightly ever committed to paper. McDonald can certainly be serious and charming simultaneously as he was in his memoir of his life as a historian (Recovering the Past), but his tone in his more formal work is quite brisk and even heavy at times.

I would downgrade the book somewhat for two reasons: First, as mentioned, it scants the personal life in favor of the ideas and actions. With Hamilton, however, the personal life and conduct were utterly intertwined with his political and physical fates, especially as he grew older and (it seems) both increasingly intemperate and fearful that he had not been accorded sufficient esteem by contemporaries and might not have achieved the degree of 18th century style fame that would cement his reputation for posterity. The duel, for example, is one of the dumbest things that a smart man ever did and was to my mind in large part caused by events in his personal life.
Second, the book is quite partisan and even hagiographic occasionally. Most biographers sympathsize with their subjects and give them more than the benefit of the doubt; but, judging from the book, Hamilton seems to be in McDonald's all-time personal pantheon of historical heroes and it shows. This may be because McDonald appears to share in some part the distrust of popular democracy that gave rise to Hamilton's fear of government by "the mob." Whatever the reason, Hamilton is seldom portrayed as wrong or even in error.

Overall this is a worthy book by a fine scholar of the period and is especially good at making clear Hamilton's financial systems and political ideas in the context of the times.

4-0 out of 5 stars Alexander Hamilton
This biography focuses heavilty on Hamilton's fiscal policies, particularly in his role as Secretary of the Treasury. It is well written and relies heavily on primary sources. The book sometimes becomes heavy reading when McDonald disucsses some of Hamilton's more complex financial dealings.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Focused Look at the Core of Hamilton's Greatness
Forrest McDonald wrote this book out of a profound knowledge of the legal, financial, and economic environment of the world of late-colonial America that Alexander Hamilton came into, and of the early Republic, that he transformed. Hamilton was a brave soldier, an astute politician, an extremely talented administrator, a great lawyer and a man of extraordinary personal morality and honor. These characteristics were enough to vault him to the upper reaches of early American society. But his financial and economic program -- that rescued this new and foundering nation -- is the true basis of his greatness.

Hamilton was a man of parts, not least of which was his technical mastery of the financial means to establish and maintain a sound currency and national credit. Apprenticed to a merchant at an early age, he quickly came to appreciate the mentally invigorating effects of the commercial life. He was naturally quick and, as in repudiation of his socially marginal origins, a rigorous adherent to morality and "gentlemanly" honor. His talents, hard work and charm bouyed him up, and he seized each new opportunity with both hands, for his ambition would not let him rest. McDonald tells the story of Hamilton's early years with vigor and interest, but it is clear that the thrust of this book is to elucidate his real accomplishment as Secretary of the Treasury. This was the funding and assumption of the debts that the just-formed United States had inherited, the taxes and tariffs to pay for these, and the financial mechanisms -- including the Bank and the sinking fund -- to create, as out of nothing (or less than nothing) a universal and sound currency, as well as a store of capital to fund businesses, which he felt must be the drivers of the economy.

This book is fairly compact, but gives a good feel for Hamilton the man. If you want more in that line, then the current biography by Ron Chernow is where to look. But here you will learn what Hamilton did that no one else could have done, and that needed doing. Even his enemies -- Jefferson especially -- found, though they repudiated the man and his politics, that in the end they couldn't do without his works.

4-0 out of 5 stars 'Of no sect am I'-Alexander Pope
Though this biography is about 25 years old now, it's one on Hamilton that I will not part with.Forrest McDonald has written many books on early colonial American history, on the Constitution and on the presidency of Washington and Jefferson. He is now a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Alabama.This biography is more substantive than Brookhiser's and Brookhiser, I believe, actually consulted with Forrest McDonald when he wrote his book on Hamilton.Our government sometimes consults McDonald on Constitutional issues.As to political affiliations, McDonald describes himself as "an unreconstructed Hamiltonian Federalist".(The federalist party doesn't exist anymore; the present day republican and democratic parties are both offshoots from the previously named democratic-republican party).

I've written this review so many times, mainly because I think that this Hamilton's life deserves a careful study, particularly with regard to his work on getting the Constitution ratified and his work in the treasury department.I highly recommend Frederick Scott Oliver's Alexander Hamilton:an Essay on Union which I've reviewed previously and Knott's Alexander Hamilton and the persistence of myth.Oliver's book is really dated, going back to 1928, and is written from a British viewpoint.He was a Scottish lawyer, read by Lord Tweedsmuir/John Buchan, who unfortunately only wrote several other books; his biography on Hamilton, in my opinion, is beautiful.This biography is good too.I love the quotes from Pope that McDonald heads every chapter with.(Hamilton's favorite authors were Pope and Plutarch).Chapter 8 is entitled Funding and Assumption which deals primarily with Hamilton's solution to the huge debts the colonies owed other nations following the Revolution.Stephen Knott's suggests in his book that Hamilton's solution of setting up a sinking fund would have been a good solution to another huge debt that our Treasury Department had to deal with soon after, (I believe), Bush Sr.'s four years, yet Congress gave this suggestion little notice.What makes McDonald's bio a standout, I think, is the depth of material he provides in explaining what he did as Treasurer.He's also biased toward Hamilton which I think actually is a good thing and paints not so rosy a picture about Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, or Burr.

I think this biography will stand the test of time because of its solid research from Hamilton's birth to his death; McDonald's biography is the most comprehensive and complete.(I haven't read the newer biographies yet; I do believe this one will remain the standard).I was particularly impressed with his treatment of Hamilton's youth and parentage.I'd like to give this book 5 stars, yet American politics and writers to some extent alarm me.If I could, I would give this book 4.5 stars, the 0.5 subtracted for my cautious misgivings stated previously, and, compared to Oliver's biography, Oliver really understands the characters of Hamilton, Jefferson and others, most accurately portrays them, which is what a biography should be.To McDonald's credit, his and Oliver's agree on many points.Highly recommended for serious students of American history and of this most notable, yet rarely noted founding father.
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17. One Nation Under Debt: Hamilton, Jefferson, and the History of What We Owe
by Robert E. Wright
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2008-02-20)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$15.52
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Asin: 0071543937
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Like its current citizens, the United States was born in debt-a debt so deep that it threatened to destroy the young nation. Thomas Jefferson considered the national debt a monstrous fraud on posterity, while Alexander Hamilton believed debt would help America prosper. Both, as it turns out, were right.

One Nation Under Debt explores the untold history of America's first national debt, which arose from the immense sums needed to conduct the American Revolution. Noted economic historian Robert Wright, Ph.D. tells in riveting narrative how a subjugated but enlightened people cast off a great tyrant-“but their liberty, won with promises as well as with the blood of patriots, came at a high price.” He brings to life the key events that shaped the U.S. financial system and explains how the actions of our forefathers laid the groundwork for the debt we still carry today.

As an economically tenuous nation by Revolution's end, America's people struggled to get on their feet. Wright outlines how the formation of a new government originally reduced the nation's debt-but, as debt was critical to this government's survival, it resurfaced, to be beaten back once more. Wright then reveals how political leaders began accumulating massive new debts to ensure their popularity, setting the financial stage for decades to come.

Wright traces critical evolutionary developments-from Alexander Hamilton's creation of the nation's first modern capital market, to the use of national bonds to further financial goals, to the drafting of state constitutions that created non-predatory governments. He shows how, by the end of Andrew Jackson's administration, America's financial system was contributing to national growth while at the same time new national and state debts were amassing, sealing the fate for future generations.

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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Economics and history perfectly mixed
Dr. Wright's presentation of the nation's first national debt is both engrossing and informative. Perhaps it is his background as an historian, but regardless, his presentation of economics is straightforward and makes for a good read from the layperson's point of view.

Wright shows Alexander Hamilton as the genius that he truly was.While critics of Hamilton tend to focus on his behind-the-scenes machinations during the 1800 election, Wright allows Hamilton's financial wizardry (which should be this founder's true legacy) to shine.Indeed, Hamilton grasped that a national debt and the eventual assumption of states' debts was necessary not only for the new nation to survive practically, but to maintain its international public credit.

I would recommend reading this book in concert with John Miller's biography on Alexander Hamilton, Portrait in Paradox.Both authors show that Hamilton was well ahead of his time.

The chapters read easily, with an early focus on the Dutch and English international finance models of the early and late 18th century.The chapter entitled "Life," which concentrates on a few individual Virgina debt holders, is also engrossing.Wright spotlights the stories of a few individual patriots to show that these debtholders were just as vital to the nation, with their willingness to take a chance on the early United States, as was both France and Holland in their initial financing of the War of Independence.

All in all, a great read.

Dr. Dennis Edwards
Associate Professor of Economics

5-0 out of 5 stars easy and accessable
Anyone intersted in US history will enjoy this book, it was an easy read on what I thought would be a complicated subject.

The author keeps the subject interesting by mixing the "big picture" of international finance with political skullduggery at home and shines more light on the much maligned Alexander Hamilton's role in safeguarding America's first years.

5-0 out of 5 stars A subject matter to which many more should be privy
Why do governments go into debt ? How do they pay for it ? Is that debt a good thing or a bad thing; that is to say, is a national debt a blessing or a curse ?Just what was the breakdown and nature of America's first national debt ? These are just some of the questions answered in Robert Wright's latest work.
It would not be bad bet to wager that few of us in the United States know how and why we incurred our first national debt. Maybe more importantly, even fewer of us probably realize just how much there is to contrast between now and then. Just after the adoption of our Constitution, our debt became, under the care and genius of a young Alexander Hamilton, a relatively temporary and useful tool for putting the credit of the United States on solid footing with Europe; while simultaneously serving as a a positive example to our merchants and businessmen, on whom so much of our finances were dependent. Today, our debt would appear to be nothing more than something for career politicans to continually run up for the sake of votes. Indeed, in today's modern American Nanny State, our so-called care takers seem to have no thought to paying the debt down, nevermind off. A far cry from some 200 years ago ! In Robert Wright's new book, such unfortunate differencees between now and then become all too clear.
There is even something for the more socially minded Historian in Wright's breakdown of those who were our nation's very first creditors. He sheds light on just who these first true patriots were.
In sum, this is a well written book on a very important subject matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful
This book provides rare insight into the financial foundations of the US economy. Supporting data, trends, and documentation add additional color to this thoughtful commentary on early american economic history.This obviously knowledgeable author writes in a very readeable style. The book was fantastically insightful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wrght's financial genius hits another homerun
Bob Wright's tenth book proves once again his keen ability to link our economic history to present trends.In these times of economic instability, one owes it to oneself to become educated.This does not mean education in regard to the current and near future "guesses" of what may come financially, but more importantly on how we have arrived here.
A must read.Regards... Michael W. Vasta ... Read more

18. The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr
by Judith St. George
Hardcover: 112 Pages (2009-06-25)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.54
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Asin: 067001124X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In curiously parallel lives, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were both orphaned at an early age. Both were brilliant students who attended college— one at Princeton, the other at Columbia—and studied law. Both were young staff officers under General George Washington, and both became war heroes. Politics beckoned them, and each served in the newly formed government of the fledgling nation. Why, then, did these two face each other at dawn in a duel that ended with death for one and opprobrium for the other?

Judith St. George’s lively biography, told in alternating chapters, brings to life two complex men who played major roles in the formation of the United States. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not for older readers, geared towards younger kids
I became interested in this subject when I was reading "Founding Brothers" by Joseph J. Ellis, it was his book that got me into reading more indepth on "The Duel" as well as the dinner party held at Jeffersons retreat. This book being reviewed doesnt offer anything I didn already know, but it is geared for children and an easy read for them. This book is best suited as one reviewer stated as something a child may use to help for a report or some young reader who knows a little about Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson etc and wants to know more about each topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable way to learn about these men
This slim book (under 100 pages, including notes and index) seems aimed at middle school readers, and covers the lives and Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in a very readable way.The chapters are divided into two parts; and as they move through time (Orphans, Students, Patriots, Heroes, Lawyers and so forth) give events from one perspective and then the other.The author deftly handles the hardships of the mens' lives, and the ultimately violent ending.I don't know that the average 12-year-old would choose this off the shelf, but for a young reader who enjoys history, or as part of a school project or collection, this seems an excellent choice.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Money
If you are interested in understanding this historic event and the complex characters behind it, I recommend reading a different book; this one has a thinly veiled Hamiltonian bias and does not provide any new or thought provoking insight into these two Founding Fathers and the reasons behind their long standing dislike for one another.Instead of this book, I suggest reading, "Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America," by Thomas Fleming. For those who would rather a visual medium, try the DVD, "Duel: Hamilton vs. Burr" with Richard Dreyfuss. ... Read more

19. Selected Writings and Speeches of Alexander Hamilton (Aei Studies, 403)
by Alexander Hamilton
 Hardcover: 524 Pages (1985-03)
list price: US$39.75
Isbn: 0844735531
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20. The Works of Alexander Hamilton in Twelve Volumes
by Alexander Hamilton
 Hardcover: Pages (1990-07)
list price: US$2,160.00 -- used & new: US$500.00
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Asin: 0781230020
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