Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow was not what I expected. Lured by the hype of the popular Broadway play, I decided to take a gander at the book upon which it is based. As I read the book, I was surprised by the fact that the author writes primarily about Hamilton’s pivotal role in the formation of our nation during its early days. Having read David McCullough’s biographies, I expected something different. This is a completely different author so it makes sense that the style of writing and historical prospective is not the same! Silly me.
Because Hamilton and John Adams were contemporaries, much of the information overlaps. Prior to reading this book, I had no idea how important Alexander Hamilton was in so many ways. He, like many others, devoted his short life to engineering the formation of a new democratic form of government. He was a clever, intelligent, resourceful young man.
Orphaned at an early age in the West Indies where he was born to unmarried parents, his superior intellect led him on an extraordinary path of greatness. He was highly regarded by President Washington and served him and the Federalist party with great zeal.
Up until the end of the book, the focus of the story is mainly Hamilton’s political career. Even though Hamilton had a large family and a devoted wife, it appears his devotion was first and foremost, to our country. To this day, the many benefits of his contributions are with us.
While I find it difficult to imagine this story set to hip-hop music, I do appreciate the knowledge I gained while reading this detailed story about Hamilton’s life. Given the current political climate due to our upcoming election, I especially enjoyed the book. Some things never change when it comes to politics and what transpires behind closed doors. I guess it is human nature to want to win at any cost. More is the pity.
I felt sad at the outcome of Hamilton’s life. He had so much to live for and so many people depended on him. In ways, his life ended as it began, but he surely will never be forgotten for all he accomplished in-between. I think this is a book worth reading.