Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow

Alexander Hamilton

By Ron Chernow

  • Release Date: 2004-04-26
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 248 Ratings


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 

From the Trade Paperback edition.


  • Simply Outstanding!

    By bluesman 007
    I so wish Chernow would write more books.
  • Must read!

    By Nrwayne
    Brilliant, compressive, and essential.
  • What a Masterpiece!

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

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

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

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

    By Stats Fielding Sta
    A very good book, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long.
  • Alexander Hamilton

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

    Chenow’s Titan (Rockefeller) captivated me. Hamilton I could not put down, READ THIS story of a ‘bastard’ who became a Father of our Country "who had no father" per Broadway lyrics of musical by Miranda, also brilliant.
  • Read this NOW!

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