Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow Instaread summary
Five out of five stars
Of the highest tier of people that created the United States, Alexander Hamilton’s name is known but his deeds largely are not. He was one of the three primary authors of The Federalist Papers, the documents that clearly set down the arguments for the establishment of a central government with real power. Hamilton was also the force behind the creation of the central bank, a stabilizing force in the financial health of the country.
One aspect of that time in history that is mentioned in the book and repeated in this summary deals with the myth that the founding fathers were a monlith. Nothing could be further from the truth, after the country was established, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became bitter enemies. For his part, Hamilton became an enemy of both of them, Hamilton ultimately being killed in a duel with Jefferson’s Vice President Aaron Burr.
In many ways Alexander Hamilton was the most complex of the founding fathers, he was born on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies, had an illegitimate birth and was orphaned at an early age. Yet, his talents became clear when he was young and he was sent to the United States to be educated. His humble birth and background was often used against Hamilton as he rose to a position of high power in the fledgling American government.
Hamilton was also opposed to slavery, an unusual position for a man of power and influence to take in those times. He was a lawyer and after the end of the American Revolutionary War, he defended British Loyalists that were being threatened with having their property confiscated. Therefore, despite his often aristocratic leanings, Hamilton was very much a man of principle and rights.
This book is not only an excellent summary of the book, it is also a sound synopsis of the life of Alexander Hamilton. He was a man that could have and probably should have been president, for he clearly had the intellectual talent for the job. Unfortunately, at that time the country could not accept the idea of a man with such a birth history filling the presidency. In some ways that concept still remains and is charged, even when there is no evidence to justify it.
This book was made available for free for review purposes