Day 1097: Alexander Hamilton

Cover for Alexander HamiltonBest Book of the Week!
I don’t think it’s ever taken me so long to read a book as it did Alexander Hamilton, despite it being a fascinating biography. Although it did not seem as if it went into too much detail, as some biographies do, it is certainly long.

Thanks to the Broadway show, which is based on this book, people have become a little more conscious of the accomplishments of Hamilton. Unfortunately, he was such a controversial figure that his enemies managed to blacken his legacy for many, many years.

A man of astounding intelligence, Alexander Hamilton sprang from a difficult heritage as an illegitimate son of a man who was a failure at business and deserted his common-law wife and their children. From this beginning, Hamilton expended his own formidable efforts, eventually to become one of the most powerful men in the new United States.

Hamilton was apparently not at all tactful and earned himself many enemies through speaking truth to power. He and Washington had a close and affectionate relationship that began when he was Washington’s aide during the Revolutionary War, but he counted among his enemies James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, the New York Clinton family, Aaron Burr, and to a lesser extent, James Madison. John Adams hated him. None of these men emerge from this book looking well, although Hamilton certainly had his faults.

I think almost anyone interested in history will find this book fascinating, even if, like me, you are not particularly interested in the Revolutionary period. Alexander Hamilton was an amazing man who has been largely robbed of his proper legacy.

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3 thoughts on “Day 1097: Alexander Hamilton

  1. Naomi June 24, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I don’t know very much about him, but he does sound like an interesting man. Is it the book that’s so popular, or was the book made popular because of the Broadway show?

  2. whatmeread June 25, 2017 / 10:19 am

    I suspect it was the show. But the show was written by its creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, after he read the book.

    • whatmeread June 25, 2017 / 10:20 am

      It’s got to be unusual that a nonfiction book was the basis for a musical.

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