I went through a phase a few years ago where I was captivated with biographies. Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Churchill, and Ben Franklin, as well as entertainers like Steve Martin, Tina Fey, and John Lennon.
If you’re into biographies, then you probably know about Ron Chernow’s account of Alexander Hamilton. If you haven’t dipped your foot into the bio pool, this would be a fantastic place to start.
It’s not just that Hamilton was a founding father; there are many historians – and Chernow seems to feel the same way – who believe our fledgling country might not have survived its early years without the fiery passions of Hamilton. He championed ideas that were scoffed at by his peers, but which ultimately became solid pillars of our nation’s ideals.
But this biography digs way beyond the federalist points. Chernow dives into some of Hamilton’s motivations, which might’ve included shame at his bastard birth in the Caribbean. At an early age he impressed George Washington, eventually becoming the young nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury.
Written with Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning touches – and the basis for Broadway’s smash Tony Award-winning production – Alexander Hamilton shows you the complete man. It also paints a vivid picture of the struggles behind the birth of a nation. So much of history seems detached and dusty; it’s a pleasure to get a glimpse into the real people behind that history, and to realize just how like us – and unlike us – they were.
Highly recommended. Get it for 20% off at The Tattered Cover Book Store when you mention Dom’s Book Club from Mix 100.