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Extended Audio Sample Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00025440313112 out of 54.00025440313112 out of 54.00025440313112 out of 54.00025440313112 out of 54.00025440313112 out of 5 4.00 (9,198 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ron Chernow Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called “as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we’ve seen in decades,” now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

An illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, Hamilton rose with stunning speed to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp, a member of the Constitutional Convention, coauthor of The Federalist Papers, leader of the Federalist party, and the country’s first Treasury secretary. With masterful storytelling skills, Chernow presents the whole sweep of Hamilton’s turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his illicit romances; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

For the first time, Chernow captures the personal life of this handsome, witty, and perennially controversial genius and explores his poignant relations with his wife Eliza, their eight children, and numberless friends. This engrossing narrative will dispel forever the stereotype of the Founding Fathers as wooden figures and show that, for all their greatness, they were fiery, passionate, often flawed human beings.

Alexander Hamilton was one of the seminal figures in our history. His richly dramatic saga, rendered in Chernow’s vivid prose, is nothing less than a riveting account of America’s founding, from the Revolutionary War to the rise of the first federal government.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant historian has done it again! The thoroughness and integrity of Ron Chernow’s research shines forth…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

  • “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

  • “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)

  • “Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2004 ALA Notable Book Finalist for Nonfiction
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction, 2004
  • A 2004 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Biography
  • A 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for Biography

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ted | 2/20/2014

    " This is a damned good big biography of one of the most interesting figures in American history. Chernow takes us from Hamilton's mysterious Caribbean childhood to his Columbia education which a moving account of a hurricane in the island paper affords him to the battlefields of the revolution and George Washington's side, an unbelievable picaresque adventure if it wasn't true. From there, the biographer of the robber barons takes us into the structuring of the American economy. Hamilton comes off as genius, Jefferson comes off as evil, Madison treacherous, Washington wise (he guided and tamed Hamilton), Adams cranky and casting blame. Much more about sex scandals of the 1790s (Hamilton, Jefferson, Burr) than you'd ever thought there was. And in the end, the vice president shoots Hamilton in a duel several years after Hamilton's eldest son died the same way. And Aaron Burr turns out to have the blackest wit in the history of man ("If any male friend of yours should be dying of ennui, recommend him to engage in a duel and a courtship at the same time," "my friend Hamilton, who I shot"). Yes, entertaining and educational! "Ah, this is the constitution. Now, mark my words. So long as we are a young and virtuous people, this instrument will bind us together in mutual interests, mutual welfare, and mutual happiness. But when we become old and corrupt, it will bind us no longer." - Hamilton leaving office as Secretary of the Treasury, 1795 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kaybates | 2/8/2014

    " Excellent. Our history books do us a disservice by not including more about Alexander Hamilton, and all the rest of our Founding Fathers, for that matter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Greg Anderson | 2/7/2014

    " Provides great insight into the mind and works of one of the founding fathers, from his birth on St. Croix through the Constitutional Convention and beyond. Many parallels with the early American government and the fledgling Iraqi gov't. Dispels any myth that the unity of the states was assured from the start. Only with the persistent and persuasive writing of Hamilton was the Constitution ratified and the federation made strong. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ben Winters | 2/5/2014

    " spoiler: Burr did it. "

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