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Alexander Hamilton

Abridged Audio Book

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Grover Gardner

11 Hours 37 Minutes

Penguin Audio

October 2004

Audio Book Summary

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 From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Reviews

  • Shelly

    I absolutely loved this book. It was well written and the author successfully brought the characters to life, exposing their motivations, compassion, corruption, etc. Facts and historical references are used to set the stage for the actions that take place, instead of bogging down the story to the point where you feel as though you're reading a textbook in preparation for a pop quiz.

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  • Armando T

    A lot details, great book.

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  • nab6215

    This is the abridged version of the biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda. When you read Ron Chernow's book you can feel the rhythm of the musical. It pays to have a good background of the players and times in order to better appreciate this book. I do not know if the reason I feel so strongly this way is that I was listening to the abridged version but it may have been. You may have noticed I have been slogging through presidential biographies. I probably will not do them all. The more I learn about Thomas Jefferson the less I like him--and I didn't like him very much before because of the editing his Bible thing. From what I learned about John Adams in this book I don't want to read anymore. Ron Chernow brought Alexander Hamilton alive to me, warts and all. It is a really good book. It is a shame that Alexander Hamilton's life was cut short by his own stupidity. He had so many brilliant ideas.

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  • Harry H

    Amazing how little politics have changed since our country's birth.

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  • Mary Ann G

    Anazing! I have a great interest in history and found this book very informative I have not seen the broadway production Hamilton but hope to soon! I thought I would like to hear to story of Alexander Hamilton's life before I do so I that I would have a better understanding of his character and his life.

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  • Kenneth Snyder

    I really enjoyed this book and Gardner\'s narration. It helped that I knew I was going to see the play soon and it definitely added to my enjoyment of the performance. I highly recommend this book and audio recording.

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  • Jordan Blanton

    Great book! Tons of history and Chernow did a great job of tying the life of Hamilton into an exciting read/listen. Definitely recommend.

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  • George Opitz

    Truly an excellent book and listen. Highly recommend to any history or non-fiction enthusiast. Well done.

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  • Stacey Ryan

    Great story all the way around, especially for someone who never paid attention to history lessons in school. Interesting how timely it is to today in many ways. Wish I could see the play and have it all brought to life.

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  • michael roberts

    it was good, after Washington then hamilton I tired of chernow's style

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