Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

4.25 (52,843 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton! Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation. In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is "a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. "To repudiate his legacy," Chernow writes, "is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world." Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804. Chernow's biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America's birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans. "Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow" --The New York Times Book Review Ron Chernow's new biography, Grant, will be published by Penguin Press in October more

Product details

  • Paperback | 818 pages
  • 152.4 x 233.68 x 50.8mm | 907.18g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0143034758
  • 9780143034759
  • 2,541

Review quote

Grand-scale biography at its best thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . a genuinely great book. (David McCullough, author of "John Adams" and "Truman") Impressively thorough, superbly written and carefully researched. ("The Wall Street Journal") A substantial, detailed and masterful story about one of American history s eminal figures... a must-read. Ron Chernow s masterpiece. ("USA Today")show more

About Ron Chernow

Ron Chernow is the prize-winning author of six books and the recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award, Washington: A Life won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and Alexander Hamilton was the inspiration for the Broadway musical. His new biography, Grant, will be published in October 2017. Chernow lives in Brooklyn, New more

Table of contents

Author's Note Prologue: The Oldest Revolutionary War Widow One: The Castaways Two: Hurricane Three: The Collegian Four: The Pen and the Sword Five: The Little Lion Six: A Frenzy of Valor Seven: The Lovesick Colonel Eight: Glory Nine: Raging Billows Ten: A Grave, Silent, Strange Sort of Animal Eleven: Ghosts Twelve: August and Respectable Assembly Thirteen: Publius Fourteen: Putting the Machine in Motion Fifteen: Villainous Business Sixteen: Dr. Pangloss Seventeen: The First Town in America Eighteen: Of Avarice and Enterprise Nineteen: City of the Future Twenty: Corrupt Squadrons Twenty-One: Exposure Twenty-Two: Stabbed in the Dark Twenty-Three: Citizen Genet Twenty-Four: A Disagreeable Trade Twenty-Five: Seas of Blood Twenty-Six: The Wicked Insurgents of the West Twenty-Seven: Sugar Plums and Toys Twenty-Eight: Spare Cassius Twenty-Nine: The Man in the Glass Bubble Thirty: Flying Too Near the Sun Thirty-One: An Instrument of Hell Thirty-Two: Reign of Witches Thirty-Three: Works Godly and Ungodly Thirty-Four: In an Evil Hour Thirty-Five: Gusts of Passion Thirty-Six: In a Very Belligerent Humor Thirty-Seven: Deadlock Thirty-Eight: A World Full of Folly Thirty-Nine: Pamphlet Wars Forty: The Price of Truth Forty-One: A Despicable Opinion Forty-Two: Fatal Errand Forty-Three: The Melting Scene Epilogue: Eliza Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Selected Books, Pamphlets, and Dissertations Selected Articles Indexshow more

Review Text

"...Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow..." - The New York Times Book Review "...A biography commensurate with Hamilton's character, as well as the full, complex context of his unflaggingly active life.... This is a fine work that captures Hamilton's life with judiciousness and verve." - Publishers Weekly "A splendid life of an enlightened reactionary and forgotten Founding Father. Literate and full of engaging historical asides. By far the best of the many lives of Hamilton now in print, and a model of the biographer's art."- Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) "A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." - Joseph J. Ellis , author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation "A brilliant historian has done it again! The thoroughness and integrity of Ron Chernow's research shines forth on every page of his Alexander Hamilton . He has created a vivid and compelling portrait of a remarkable man-and at the same time he has made a monumental contribution to our understanding of the beginnings of the American Republic." - Robert A. Caro , author of The Power Broker and The Years of Lyndon Johnson "Alexander Hamilton was one of the most brilliant men of his brilliant time, and one of the most fascinating figures in all of American history. His rocketing life-story is utterly amazing. His importance to the founding of the new nation, and thus to the whole course of American history, can hardly be overstated. And so Ron Chernow's new Hamilton could not be more welcome. This is grand-scale biography at its best-thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written. It clears away more than a few shop-worn misconceptions about Hamilton, gives credit where credit is due, and is both clear-eyed and understanding about its very human subject. Its numerous portraits of the complex, often conflicting cast of characters are deft and telling. The whole life and times are here in a genuinely great book." - David McCullough , author of John Adamsshow more

Rating details

52,843 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 50% (26,319)
4 33% (17,496)
3 12% (6,451)
2 3% (1,526)
1 2% (1,051)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X