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Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary

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"Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed? Alexander Hamilton comes alive in Martha Brockenbrough's exciting biography Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary, which is an essential read for teen fans of Hamilton the musical. Discover the incredible true story behind the Tony Award-winning musical – Hamilton’s early years in the Caribbean; his involvement in the Revolutionary War; "Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed? Alexander Hamilton comes alive in Martha Brockenbrough's exciting biography Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary, which is an essential read for teen fans of Hamilton the musical. Discover the incredible true story behind the Tony Award-winning musical – Hamilton’s early years in the Caribbean; his involvement in the Revolutionary War; and his groundbreaking role in government, which still shapes American government today. Easy to follow, this gripping account of a founding father and American icon features illustrations, maps, timelines, infographics, and additional information ranging from Hamilton's own writings to facts about fashion, music, etiquette and custom of the times, including best historical insults and the etiquette of duels."

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"Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed? Alexander Hamilton comes alive in Martha Brockenbrough's exciting biography Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary, which is an essential read for teen fans of Hamilton the musical. Discover the incredible true story behind the Tony Award-winning musical – Hamilton’s early years in the Caribbean; his involvement in the Revolutionary War; "Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed? Alexander Hamilton comes alive in Martha Brockenbrough's exciting biography Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary, which is an essential read for teen fans of Hamilton the musical. Discover the incredible true story behind the Tony Award-winning musical – Hamilton’s early years in the Caribbean; his involvement in the Revolutionary War; and his groundbreaking role in government, which still shapes American government today. Easy to follow, this gripping account of a founding father and American icon features illustrations, maps, timelines, infographics, and additional information ranging from Hamilton's own writings to facts about fashion, music, etiquette and custom of the times, including best historical insults and the etiquette of duels."

30 review for Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is an exceptional biographical story of Alexander Hamilton. While it's aimed at teens and young adults, and I haven't fit into those categories for some time, I found myself gripped by the narrative momentum and utterly engrossed in the personal story of this exceptional man. What you realize is that America has always been a fractious land, that disputes between states (should the federal government assume state debts or not?) and between ambitious individuals (Hamilton and Jefferson, Hami This is an exceptional biographical story of Alexander Hamilton. While it's aimed at teens and young adults, and I haven't fit into those categories for some time, I found myself gripped by the narrative momentum and utterly engrossed in the personal story of this exceptional man. What you realize is that America has always been a fractious land, that disputes between states (should the federal government assume state debts or not?) and between ambitious individuals (Hamilton and Jefferson, Hamilton and Burr), has marked and guided its history from the very beginning. And through it all, Brockenbrough tells a deeply personal tale of love, loss, ambition, heartbreak, and sheer luck, that makes the story far more thrilling than your average history. This is a book I savored and will save to read to my kids when they're slightly older.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Patneaude

    Alexander Hamilton...My name is Alexander Hamilton...There's a million things I haven't done...Just you wait, just you wait... So you've seen the play--the one that took Broadway by storm a few years ago--and you think you have a handle on everything you need to know about the man. But if you really want to know him, deep down, from the time he was born into poverty and shame on a slave island in the Caribbean, until he escaped to New York as a teen and found the education he'd craved, until he s Alexander Hamilton...My name is Alexander Hamilton...There's a million things I haven't done...Just you wait, just you wait... So you've seen the play--the one that took Broadway by storm a few years ago--and you think you have a handle on everything you need to know about the man. But if you really want to know him, deep down, from the time he was born into poverty and shame on a slave island in the Caribbean, until he escaped to New York as a teen and found the education he'd craved, until he stepped into revolution and war and patriotic endeavors and brilliant governance and counsel and writings that lifted a young country out of debt and despair and dissonance, until he married the love of his life, until he made lifelong friends (including the father of our country) and bitter enemies, until he suffered loss and humiliation, until pride dealt him the kind of defeat that no man ever had dealt him, you must read Martha Brockenbrough's Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary. Martha has done an amazing job of researching and documenting Hamilton's life. As a writer who has written historical novels, I know what it takes to go back (in my case, only to the 1940s) and try to uncover truth and authenticity and lose everything you can't fit in and make what remains relevant and give it a shape. I can only imagine going back to the turn of the eighteenth century and before and putting together the history and biographies of Hamilton and all the interesting, brave, brilliant, flawed characters that populate this book. The writing is intelligent and engaging and revealing. I've tended to think that this country got off to a tidy start: We declared our independence, fought a perfect war, whipped the British, united all the colonies, elected a president, and carried on neatly. Not so, and Martha lets the reader know that. The book is about Alexander Hamilton, but his activities and ambitions--his self--were so tied to the emergence of early America, that his life was the nation's life, and the nation's life was his. So we learn about him, but we also learn about governance and war and taxes and slavery and states' rights and bravery and treachery and politics and banks and relations between nations and decisions about the country's future. We learn about loyalty, and infidelity. We learn about Washington and Jefferson and Madison and Adams and Monroe and Lafayette and lesser-known if not less significant players that Martha has brought back to life. Kudos to the editors and designers of the book for giving it a vintage feel and including lots of illustrations and making sure everything comes off with a consistency that makes the reading flow. I don't make predictions, but here's an exception: Twenty years from now, when the current crop of blockbuster books has long since gathered dust and gone out of print, copies of Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary, will still be sitting on school and public library shelves or on their way home in some kid's (or adult's) backpack or visible on the screen of an e-reader (or whatever device is being used for the thing we call reading). Teachers will recommend it, librarians will replace it when it gets lost or worn, kids will use it as a reference, they'll write papers and reviews. It's gonna be timeless.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Finally a history book that isn't boring! This book flowed nicely, the chapters were short, and it is written in a way that makes Alexander Hamilton feel like someone you have met. More biographies on historical people and events should be written like this so anyone can enjoy it, not just historians.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I really enjoyed this biography of Alexander Hamilton, which is definitely aimed at a YA audience of musical fans! It covers all the bases and is a great option for if you don't have the sticking power to do the Chernow. The writing style is entertaining and there are some great pictures and illustrations! I really liked the typesetting and the cover colour scheme too - it's just a really satisfying book on the aesthetics front!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    The only reason this is four stars and not five for is because it took me way to long to finish it and I think that partly is because the font color in the book is a light brown which was really hard on the eyes. But the actual writing was really good, very easy to read even though i did end up listening to more than half of this book in audible. The narrator was amazing and made it very enjoyable to listen. Very educational as well and I loved how it explored how complicated Hamilton was.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    This book is really amazing. It is overflowing with info about Hamilton, his family, his colleagues, and his role in the history of the United States. I had very little knowledge of his role or impact before getting this book in the mail. I now have a much more comprehensive understanding of what he brought to early governance as well as to the war and independence of America from British rule. Martha Brockenbrough is an incredibly talented author. Teen readers and adults will find a lot to love This book is really amazing. It is overflowing with info about Hamilton, his family, his colleagues, and his role in the history of the United States. I had very little knowledge of his role or impact before getting this book in the mail. I now have a much more comprehensive understanding of what he brought to early governance as well as to the war and independence of America from British rule. Martha Brockenbrough is an incredibly talented author. Teen readers and adults will find a lot to love in this book, in terms of both content and execution. I used to think there was such a thing as "too sophisticated" for teen readers, but after reading M.T. Anderson's Octavian Nothing books a while back and seeing the engagement that teen readers had with the texts, I believe there is definitely a readership for this book, whether it be YA or adult.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Paulsen

    Delightful, informational read on this most fascinating of founding fathers, an immigrant who rose out of poverty through the fire of his tremendous intellect and talents to personify the very idea and ideals of a new America. I especially enjoyed the plethora of historical art and artifacts included to assist envisioning the past. Brockenbrough presents his flaws and achievements with exceptional readability. Friends, enemies, weaknesses, & strengths—all get their just due in the complexity Delightful, informational read on this most fascinating of founding fathers, an immigrant who rose out of poverty through the fire of his tremendous intellect and talents to personify the very idea and ideals of a new America. I especially enjoyed the plethora of historical art and artifacts included to assist envisioning the past. Brockenbrough presents his flaws and achievements with exceptional readability. Friends, enemies, weaknesses, & strengths—all get their just due in the complexity of historical context. Add it to your shelf, my friends.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wagner

    It's clear this biography was written for a young adult audience - it keeps a quick, readable face throughout and doesn't dwell on Hamilton's more questionable behavior (like his extramarital affairs). Still, I appreciated how this book offered a concise and succinct look at Hamilton's life. This book would be useful for those new to Hamilton but wanting to do more detailed reading as well as those who just want an overview of the historical figure who inspired a Broadway musical.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I thought Brockenbrough did an exceptional job with the narrative style and pacing of the book. I was really intrigued by Hamilton's early life and the depiction of the Revolutionary War. As I told my husband at one point, I often forget just how long the war was and just how difficult it was. I also enjoyed the material at the end of the book: the timeline, family tree, and the short explanations of federalism vs. antifederalism, sugar tra I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I thought Brockenbrough did an exceptional job with the narrative style and pacing of the book. I was really intrigued by Hamilton's early life and the depiction of the Revolutionary War. As I told my husband at one point, I often forget just how long the war was and just how difficult it was. I also enjoyed the material at the end of the book: the timeline, family tree, and the short explanations of federalism vs. antifederalism, sugar trade, artillery, and dueling rules would be excellent resources for students. There's an extensive bibliography, end notes section, and index as well. I ran out of energy when we got to the parts about the Constitution. I love the Constitution... but it doesn't make for riveting reading material. Spoiler... there were lots of arguments in the framing of the Constitution. I had to force myself to push through those bits. Hamilton is deified in many ways. Yes, he was a brilliant man who made many contributions to our nascent country, but he was also arrogant and a philanderer. Brockenbrough makes a big to-do of Eliza Hamilton's wedding ring while also breezing by the fact that Alexander flirted shamelessly with her sister. The other thing that I didn't love was that -- and now I'm just being petty -- the paper of the book is off-white and the font is brown. While I know this lends a certain atmosphere to the work... it just plain sucks to read it late at night. It made me feel extra squinty. All in all, not a bad read. I learned some new things about Hamilton, Washington, and America, but it's not a page-turner, and it's not likely to appeal to my demographic (but I have been proven wrong before).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    An extremely accessible biography of Hamilton and an excellent resource for teens who are fans of Miranda's musical but not up to the challenge of reading the Chernow biography. Follows Hamilton from his meager origins in Nevis to the legacy he left behind in the United States. While his flaws are noted, Brockenbrough does not spend a great deal of time dwelling on his shortcomings. The book does mark occasions where his pride and stubborn views were his downfall. A fascinating look at a foundin An extremely accessible biography of Hamilton and an excellent resource for teens who are fans of Miranda's musical but not up to the challenge of reading the Chernow biography. Follows Hamilton from his meager origins in Nevis to the legacy he left behind in the United States. While his flaws are noted, Brockenbrough does not spend a great deal of time dwelling on his shortcomings. The book does mark occasions where his pride and stubborn views were his downfall. A fascinating look at a founding father that integrates primary source letters, speeches, etc. into the narrative and gives life to important documents including the Federalist papers and other founding documents. The notes and historical explanations of life in colonial and revolutionary America at the end of the book are excellent and would serve as a great resource for those wanting to learn more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Marie

    The 11-year-old and I finished this one last night. Just in a nick of time, too, because today we saw the show Hamilton! This young adult version of Hamilton's biography is an excellent pre-show read for middle grade and older readers. Knowing more about Hamilton and his story certainly increased my enjoyment of the show and gave the 11-year-old and I lots to discuss. We also filled in the family with a few other details not in the show, like the fact that Alexander and Eliza named their younges The 11-year-old and I finished this one last night. Just in a nick of time, too, because today we saw the show Hamilton! This young adult version of Hamilton's biography is an excellent pre-show read for middle grade and older readers. Knowing more about Hamilton and his story certainly increased my enjoyment of the show and gave the 11-year-old and I lots to discuss. We also filled in the family with a few other details not in the show, like the fact that Alexander and Eliza named their youngest son Philip after their oldest who has died a year earlier in a duel. "Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary" is interesting, informative, and a quick read relative to Chernow's adult version of Hamilton's biography. Two thumbs up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This was a really good book for older elementary and teen readers, as well as for adults who don't want to wade through Chernow's biography. If you've read Chernow already, I think you can skip this one - it doesn't add anything to the narrative, just makes it more accessible, which is a good thing!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bubba

    Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary Book Review By Beau Colvin Hamilton. Scholar, hero, legislator, orphan, genius, soldier, treasurer, husband, politician, firebrand, financier, lawyer, father, banker, friend and fool; Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary covers nearly every aspect of Hamilton’s life in the biography, with a hopeful and respective voice. Revealing the life of the man portrayed on the ten dollar bill, and the life delineated in the Broadway hit. “I never expect to see a perfect work f Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary Book Review By Beau Colvin Hamilton. Scholar, hero, legislator, orphan, genius, soldier, treasurer, husband, politician, firebrand, financier, lawyer, father, banker, friend and fool; Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary covers nearly every aspect of Hamilton’s life in the biography, with a hopeful and respective voice. Revealing the life of the man portrayed on the ten dollar bill, and the life delineated in the Broadway hit. “I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man.” It truly is ironic, the fact that a quote by Alexander Hamilton can define his life in such an accurate manner. Hamilton was undeniably flawed, with certain actions in life proving that though he was highly successful, he was undoubtedly an “imperfect man.” Born in the British Virgin Islands fatherless and soon later parentless, Hamilton’s ingenuity alone led him to success on the battlefield, in courtroom and within the white house. However, his story of success and glory is diluted with imperfect decisions. Some of these are him cheating on his wife and his infamous duel with Aaron Burr. Martha Brockenbrough, the author, tells Hamilton’s tale in the form of a captivating biography that seizes the attention of even the most disinterested readers. But, the book slowed significantly near the end. The style in which the book is written in, is amazing, but not all that’s good. The form in which the physical book is printed, also adds feeling and personality to the biography. As the pages are turned, images of locations and people appear, bringing to life the words that are being read. Alongside the illustrations, the book features bolded phrases or points every few pages, that helps the reader grasp the “bottom line” of the event taking place in the story. Even knowledgeable “history buffs” will find Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary interesting. Before I began reading the book, I knew a great deal on Hamilton’s life, nonetheless, I learned new information. I learned that Hamilton wanted a stronger government to rule the newly formed U.S. while his political enemy, Jefferson, was a strong believer in smaller government, in fear of tyrannical leaders. Hamilton believed a stronger government could fix things, even while many thought of him as money hungry and heartless for doing so. Also I learned that behind his productive, strong personality and reasonable success, Alexander was deep-down orphan who had seen enormous troubles in his life. VERDICT: Though the book contains adult content, it presents the information in a form that is appropriate for young adult readers. It has positive role models and an excellent moral, while there is virtually no violence described in detail. The physical book itself is superb and the writing style even better. The one downside of the book being that it could be slightly boring at times. As a result, I recommend this book for ages 12+ and four out of five stars. Publisher Feiwel and Friends Pages 350 Genre Biography

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    When Martha first announced Hamilton, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to see Hamilton through the eyes of such a spectacular woman. Filled with notes and photos, Revolutionary is as much the story of the birth of America as it is Hamilton’s story, including the messy parts. Taking over what is now the US was not so great for the indigenous people on this land and Revolutionary explores that. It also doesn’t shy away from Hamilton’s flaws (which are plentiful). There’s a quick look into the people When Martha first announced Hamilton, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to see Hamilton through the eyes of such a spectacular woman. Filled with notes and photos, Revolutionary is as much the story of the birth of America as it is Hamilton’s story, including the messy parts. Taking over what is now the US was not so great for the indigenous people on this land and Revolutionary explores that. It also doesn’t shy away from Hamilton’s flaws (which are plentiful). There’s a quick look into the people around him. For a history book, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The way Martha lays it out kept me continuing through the audiobook (which I loved!). I also learned quite a bit. It’s funny how little we learn in school about how our country’s values came to be. I ended up buying a signed physical copy because I loved it so much!

  15. 5 out of 5

    C.A. Gray

    I picked up this book at the same time as I started listening to “Hamilton: An American Musical”, alternating between them so that I’d listen to the musical rendition of the history I’d just heard. And… wow. I wish I was a history teacher, just so I could assign my students to do the same thing. The book alone makes the story come alive, but adding the music gives it a much more powerful emotional punch. Hamilton is one of America’s Founding Fathers that I really never knew much about before, pro I picked up this book at the same time as I started listening to “Hamilton: An American Musical”, alternating between them so that I’d listen to the musical rendition of the history I’d just heard. And… wow. I wish I was a history teacher, just so I could assign my students to do the same thing. The book alone makes the story come alive, but adding the music gives it a much more powerful emotional punch. Hamilton is one of America’s Founding Fathers that I really never knew much about before, probably because he was never a president—yet from the beginning, Hamilton’s greatest obsession was for honor and glory. Born a “bastard” at a time when such a label could scar a person for life, Hamilton’s early life was a string of misfortunes. The only reason he ever became noteworthy at all was because he became a published poet, and his orphaned and penniless status attracted public sympathies. Strangers sent him from his home in the Caribbean to college in New York, where he became a lawyer. His natural talents for speaking and writing later earned the attention of George Washington, with whom he had a complicated relationship. Washington never had children of his own, and Hamilton never had a father, nor any family to care for him. Washington thought of Hamilton as the son he’d never had, but his manner was so gruff that Hamilton apparently didn’t know it, at least during the Revolutionary War period. He persisted in calling Washington “Your Excellency,” growing resentful that Washington kept him at his side rather than allowing him to lead a battalion. Eventually this led to a falling out between the two men, and while Washington would have apologized immediately, Hamilton was too stubborn. Years went by. Hamilton essentially created the American banking system while merely trying to help out his brother-in-law, and the documents he wrote on their operation were so good that nearly every other bank copied his plans. After the war was over, he realized that the loose Articles of Confederation—mostly an economic document—would not be enough to hold the colonies together. Along with John Jay and James Madison, Hamilton wrote the Federalist Papers, essentially birthing the Federalist Party and attempting to convince the nation that they required a strong central government in order to survive as a nation. From this, the Constitutional Convention followed—and when the new U.S. Constitution was finally ratified, parades in the streets called it Hamilton’s great achievement. His rift with Washington now mended, it was Hamilton who insisted that Washington alone must be the nation’s first president. Hamilton became one of his closest advisors, and Washington appointed Hamilton the nation’s first secretary of the treasury. Using the banks he’d helped create as templates, Hamilton created the first National Bank. Given all of his accomplishments, his fame, his hunger for glory, and his close ties with Washington, the fact that Hamilton never became a president—never even ran for president—seems incredibly strange. But it can be explained by a single indiscretion: Mariah Reynolds. While Alexander always had a bit of a reputation with the ladies (he married Elizabeth Schuyler, but had a very flirty relationship with his sister-in-law Angelica too), he slept with Mariah while his wife and children were out of town. Then he received a blackmail letter from Mariah’s husband, demanding payment for his silence on the matter. Hamilton paid Reynolds, and he and Mariah continued their affair for some time. But the payments later came to the attention of Hamilton’s political enemies, who construed the payments as thinly veiled embezzlement from the government treasury. He was forced to explain the real situation. Hamilton never ran for president for fear that his affair would be publicly exposed, but his caution was all for naught in the end: it came out anyway. Rather than let it go quietly, Hamilton published a 95 page pamphlet, establishing that he had committed adultery, but not treason. Once again, Hamilton’s honor came first. But the pamphlet humiliated Eliza and his family, and did little to improve Hamilton’s reputation. And what of Aaron Burr? The two men met in 1776, and led parallel lives in many ways. Both were orphans, both accomplished lawyers with high ambitions, and they even practiced law down the street from one another. Naturally, they found themselves frequent rivals. Burr was the quintessential politician in Hamilton’s eyes, never standing for anything except his own advancement. Burr ran for the New York senate against Hamilton’s father-in-law and won, positioning himself to later run for the presidency against Thomas Jefferson when it was clear that John Adams would not win re-election. The race between the two was deadlocked, but Hamilton’s public support may well have thrown the election to Jefferson in the end—a man who, until then, had been Hamilton’s bitter enemy. His denouncement of Burr precipitated Burr’s challenge to a duel. Even though Hamilton’s eldest son Phillip had already been killed in a duel (defending Hamilton’s honor), Hamilton accepted Burr’s challenge. Dueling was illegal in New York, so they had to cross state lines into New Jersey to do it. Hamilton had no intention of shooting to kill, but he knew Burr might not be so generous, so he spent his last few days outlining his will. He left his wife and remaining children destitute, unable to pay back his debts without resorting to charity. As a public servant, he’d never earned enough to support a wife and eight children. Still, he could not let a challenge go unanswered. Hamilton probably should have been one of our first presidents, all things considered. He was brilliant, and in many respects he was a great man. Yet his obviously flawed worldview on the subject of his own honor dogged him throughout his life, and ultimately killed him. It was a tragedy, but a fascinating read nonetheless, made all the more compelling by the accompanying “soundtrack” of “Hamilton: An American Musical.”

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alyssandra

    The best word to describe my feelings toward this biography would be complex. I have a problem with the way Brockenbrough romanticizes Alexander Hamilton. Many people love our first Treasury Secretary, ever since the wildfire play by Lin Manuel-Miranda became popularized, but much of what I read were snarky references to anyone who opposed Hamilton and quick excuses for his wildly immoral behavior. Brockenbrough is primarily an author of young adult fiction, and such skill does bring his book to The best word to describe my feelings toward this biography would be complex. I have a problem with the way Brockenbrough romanticizes Alexander Hamilton. Many people love our first Treasury Secretary, ever since the wildfire play by Lin Manuel-Miranda became popularized, but much of what I read were snarky references to anyone who opposed Hamilton and quick excuses for his wildly immoral behavior. Brockenbrough is primarily an author of young adult fiction, and such skill does bring his book to life in ways that other biographies simply cannot, but unfortunately at the expense of unbiased journalism. Alexander Hamilton was a complex historical figure and cannot be characterized as a simple protagonist. His flaws cannot be brushed aside with a sweep of the hand and an explanation that Jefferson, Burr, and Madison were mean to him. Those men were also complex historical figures, and cannot be simplified to one-dimensional antagonists. Unfortunately, there were many places where this book could have elaborated on Alexander’s flaws - doing so would have captured a strong picture of his intricate personality. However, as a reader I finished feeling as if this biography was more one-sided than anything. The section on the Reynolds affair, for example, focused more on how Thomas Jefferson and James Madison reacted to the news than Alexander’s sin itself - and how they were surely using this rumor to plot Alexander’s retirement. However, rumors of government corruption in a country as young as the United States, regarding a figure as influential as Alexander Hamilton, needed to be taken seriously. We as readers have the benefit of history. We know what happened. In the 1700s, however, Alexander’s political opponents did not have the hindsight we enjoy today. But I digress! In many ways, this was a successful piece. Brockenbrough is passionate about her source - combining her experience with journalism and her experience with fiction, she paints a beautiful picture of our nation’s beloved founding father - an orphan, student, soldier, and politician; a lawyer, a banker, a scholar, and a legislator; a doting husband and a devoted father. Brockenbrough wrote the death of George Washington, Phillip Hamilton, and Alexander beautifully. This book, by the way, was extraordinarily designed. I don’t know if I can attach photos to Goodreads reviews, but I will try. It’s color scheme, font choice, borders, and chapter introductions made this piece a joy to look at. I leave with one of my favorite quotes from this biography - the Author’s Note! “This is a nation built by people in pursuit of powerful principles. As with everything created by humans, the nation has flaws. But the flaws do not diminish the beautiful of the ambitions that fired Alexander Hamilton. No democracy in the history of the world has lasted longer than the one he, perhaps above all, helped forge. Heart, mind, and body: he gave it all. We, the people, owe a debt of gratitude to Alexander - an immigrant - and to the many souls who built this nation: men, women, people of color, people living in bondage, and those persecuted for their religion and sexual orientation. It is our obligation to understand the complexity, the fragility, and the failures that have dogged us in every step of our history. We owe it to the founders, to ourselves, and to the millions of unborn souls to keep working, keep understanding, and keep doing better to make good on the promises of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    RumBelle

    Honor and intelligence. Those are the two words I would use to describe the core of Alexander Hamilton's character. He had to fight for every upward movement, and every gain he had in life, beginning with his early life on Nevis. It was his intelligence, skill with the written word and bravery that enabled him to leave that rocky start and forge a new life, and new family in America. He distinguished himself during the Revolution, though more often than not, was not recognized for it. One of the Honor and intelligence. Those are the two words I would use to describe the core of Alexander Hamilton's character. He had to fight for every upward movement, and every gain he had in life, beginning with his early life on Nevis. It was his intelligence, skill with the written word and bravery that enabled him to leave that rocky start and forge a new life, and new family in America. He distinguished himself during the Revolution, though more often than not, was not recognized for it. One of the best things to admire about Alexander though was his ability to not let setbacks deter him. He would simply continue to strive day by day to do his best. When he earned someone's loyalty and trust, like Washington, that was precious to him and he honored that above all. I would say I found his relationships with Washington, Eliza, Angelica and Aaron the most complex and life defining in this book. Alexander was, in a way, a different person with each of them, which just showed what a complex man he was. These people, more so than any others, defined and shaped Alexander's life and death. With them, and for them, he strove the show the most honorable sides of his character, not always succeeding (take Maria Reynolds and the culmination of his relationship with Aaron as examples). My favorite relationship in the book was Alexander and Eliza, their life was such a loving, sometimes heartbreaking, tale of devotion and admiration. The book covers his entire life, from birth, to the final fatal duel with Aaron Burr. There is an Epilogue that discusses Eliza's remaining half century, and all of her amazing and dedicated work. She strives to honor Washington and Alexander, doing her utmost to make sure both men are never forgotten. She was as much of a force and prominent figure during that time as the Founding Fathers, her work was just more subtle and quiet. The book also contains a wealth of what I will call Appendices, though none are official labeled as such. Things like Alexander Hamilton's family tree, mini biographies of Allies and Enemies, small essays on topics such as the sugar trade, fashion of the period and the beginnings of American finance, maps and more. These editions make this book not only that much more informative and fascinating, but a wonderful teaching tool. This only small thing about this book that irked me was, on almost every page the text was broken up by a sentence written in bold, large type. What bothered me was, you are reading down the page, you come to, and read, that bold section, and immediately the next sentence you read in the one you just read that was in bold type. This was not always the case with the bold typeface quotes, but I would say 90% of the time it was. It was extremely unnecessary repetition in my view. This book was interesting and fascinating, and taught me a lot about a man I knew very little about. The writing was extremely engaging and kept you wanting to turn pages, and characters were shown in all their depth and nuance. Magnificent.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Roland

    This is a book I came across a few months ago at the library (although I’m writing this in the beginning of October, so I found this the last week of September), and since it had Hamilton on the front, of course I picked it up. I have a deep obsession with Alexander Hamilton, thanks to me jumping on the Lin-Manuel Miranda bandwagon. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I know all the lyrics by heart. I do own the Kindle version of the Chernow biography, bought because I needed something long to read This is a book I came across a few months ago at the library (although I’m writing this in the beginning of October, so I found this the last week of September), and since it had Hamilton on the front, of course I picked it up. I have a deep obsession with Alexander Hamilton, thanks to me jumping on the Lin-Manuel Miranda bandwagon. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I know all the lyrics by heart. I do own the Kindle version of the Chernow biography, bought because I needed something long to read on a trip to Europe last year, but I never finished it. I found that it was very hard to keep my interested. Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough solves that problem. Of course, it is a teen biography, but I did find it informative. The biography starts with Hamilton’s mother and childhood in the West Indies, but moves relatively quickly through his younger and teen years, dumping the reader in American by page 29. From there, it covers Hamilton’s early college years, his time in the Revolutionary War, and his part in building the US government. I thought I knew a lot about Hamilton’s history from the play, although I knew there were some major differences. I wasn’t expecting there to be so much that the biography detailed that the play glossed over — and, on the flip side, how much the play covered that this biography glossed over. Like it barely mentions Angelica, or even much about Phillip Hamilton aside from his duel and its outcome. We don’t even get to know much about Alexander’s children! Brockenbrough has even included several mini-guides at the back of the book to finances, government, rules for duels, major battles of the Revolutionary War, and more. There’s a timeline of Hamilton’s life, as well as a short passage on what happened to Burr once he’d killed Hamilton. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t pretty.) Overall, I think this is a great introduction to the the $10 Founding Father. There are a lot of pictures, and I enjoyed finding new facts about Hamilton I didn’t know. For example, I didn’t know he had been at Valley Forge. While there are a few gaps, I think overall, it’s great for teenagers, or adults who have a passing interesting in Hamilton or just want to know what the entire fuss is about but doesn’t want to commit to a 500+ page behemoth of a tome. In terms of a YA Biography, I’d give this a 4/5 stars. There are some things I would’ve appreciated further information on, and some things that I feel like were just extra. If you’ve already read a Hamilton biography, you can probably skip this one. If you’re a Hamilton enthusiast, or if you’ve never read anything about him before, this is probably a great place to start. With the double-spread maps throughout the book, and the numerous portraits, you will never be lost as to who is who and what is what.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Briana

    I enjoy nonfiction, but when I picked up Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as engaging as it is.  With a lively narrative voice and a text design seemingly geared to keep people even with short attention spans reading, the book offers a quick but fun and informative look into one of America’s Founding Father’s. Brokcenbrough begins with Hamilton’s early life in the Caribbean and follows him to his death, exploring especially his actions d I enjoy nonfiction, but when I picked up Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as engaging as it is.  With a lively narrative voice and a text design seemingly geared to keep people even with short attention spans reading, the book offers a quick but fun and informative look into one of America’s Founding Father’s. Brokcenbrough begins with Hamilton’s early life in the Caribbean and follows him to his death, exploring especially his actions during the Revolutionary War and his role in founding the country after the war was over.  She also offers glimpses into his private life, looking at his friendships, his relationship with his wife, and his affairs. The pacing of the book sometimes seems a little fast, but I think it works for readers who just want to learn about Hamilton and his life; I wasn’t expecting an in-depth tome geared towards stolid history buffs who want every little detail. And though the book focuses on Hamilton’s accomplishments and his merits—his integrity, drive, and intelligence—it does not shy away from pointing out his faults.  The book is a celebration of Hamilton in many ways, but it also strives to be balanced. Most surprising, however, may be how beautifully designed the book is. The cover under the jacket has an intricate design embossed in gold foil. The interior has illustrations of key players in the novel and sketches of key places.  Quotes are featured in the middle of the page, breaking up the text so it doesn’t look like an imposing block of words.  This is a great book to buy if you like owning beautiful books.  It’s not just pretty, though, because it’s also a fascinating read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Smcfarlan96

    I read the book “Alexander Hamilton Revolutionary”, and I would give this book 5 stars.This was one of the best books I have read all year.I would recommend this book to teens and young adults, or any Alexander Hamilton fan.I knew who he was even before the Broadway musical, and finally finding a book that didn’t make you fall asleep and kept you interested in it the whole time, was a true sign of relief.The author made this book really entertaining to read, her writing made it enjoyable to read I read the book “Alexander Hamilton Revolutionary”, and I would give this book 5 stars.This was one of the best books I have read all year.I would recommend this book to teens and young adults, or any Alexander Hamilton fan.I knew who he was even before the Broadway musical, and finally finding a book that didn’t make you fall asleep and kept you interested in it the whole time, was a true sign of relief.The author made this book really entertaining to read, her writing made it enjoyable to read.This book started from the beginning of Hamilton’s life, all the way down to his death bed, and it gave us a lot of information that you would have never known about him or even about The American Revolutionary War. This book talked about a lot of people not just Hamilton.For example, George Washington, we learned about his life during the Revolutionary war, and a little about his life not being the General of the war.In the book we got to know how Hamilton started at school, to a soldier, to Washington right hand man during and after the war.How Alexander Hamilton met his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, from a ball.Also,how Hamilton almost died multiple times in his life. Not only does this book cover the basis of his life that mostly everybody knows, but it gave us an insight on his and anybody born during that time, a personal view what life used to be and how they lived.Throughout this story, you would never expect that an orphan born into poverty on a small island in the Caribbean, that thought he should have a better life for himself, and traveled to New York to start an amazing adventure that would change his life and the world’s forever.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Merri Monks

    I read this book to prepare myself for Hamilton! which I'm seeing in a few days. I knew little about Alexander Hamilton, as my knowledge of American history is very sketchy. The writing is good, and as a work of nonfiction geared to teens, it's clearly written, and it's inspired me to learn more about the "Founding Fathers (and Mothers). I was bitterly amused to see that some things have not changed -- political intrigue, the maneuvering of the powerful. I didn't know how much other famous men I read this book to prepare myself for Hamilton! which I'm seeing in a few days. I knew little about Alexander Hamilton, as my knowledge of American history is very sketchy. The writing is good, and as a work of nonfiction geared to teens, it's clearly written, and it's inspired me to learn more about the "Founding Fathers (and Mothers). I was bitterly amused to see that some things have not changed -- political intrigue, the maneuvering of the powerful. I didn't know how much other famous men of that time (Madison, Monroe, Jefferson) hated Alexander Hamilton, and I was unaware of his particular genius. Reading this book has inspired me to put Chernow's biography on my to-read list, and to read The Federalist Papers. The author includes some brief sections in an epilogue that give the reader some background information, on topics that include the sugar trade, relationships between the Colonists and the Native American nations, and on the fate of Aaron Burr after he shot Hamilton. My only real criticism is the book design. The type is hard to read, and it's printed in a dreadful brown ink. If the book is released in a paperback edition, the publisher would be wise to correct this.

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

    Disclaimer: I haven't seen/listened to Hamilton (yet). Overall, I was pretty underwhelmed by this book. I liked how it was laid out, visually, (and thought it really fit the audience), and it did a good job of getting to know the character in a personal way, with the relationship between Hamilton & Washington being particular touching. But... as a biography, it just didn't do it for me. It didn't feel very even handed at all, being way too forgiving of his flaws (especially with the conclusio Disclaimer: I haven't seen/listened to Hamilton (yet). Overall, I was pretty underwhelmed by this book. I liked how it was laid out, visually, (and thought it really fit the audience), and it did a good job of getting to know the character in a personal way, with the relationship between Hamilton & Washington being particular touching. But... as a biography, it just didn't do it for me. It didn't feel very even handed at all, being way too forgiving of his flaws (especially with the conclusion of WHY he threw his shot away) with a faint tendency towards presenting conjecture as fact. I was also '???' that we didn't really get to know Hamilton's wife, especially in contrast to how tightly drawn his relationships with a lot of his political colleagues was (and... is there just no information about how she reacted to him cheating on her? If there's nothing, why didn't Brokenbrough so much as acknowledge that?). I was also expecting something deeper re: his relationship with his sister in law, since what I've heard from the Musical gives the impression that he cheated on his wife with her, so... what's going on there? The appendix at the end, with factual information about the time period in short chunks, was a nice touch.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Beth Neu

    I enjoyed this book and had wanted to read about Alexander Hamilton (no, I have not seen the stage play, I'm just interested in American history) and didn't think I could plow my way through Ron Chernow's much longer biography. Overall, I liked the writing style and the book seems to be well researched. My only criticism is the author seems to gloss over any flaws Hamilton had, like his affair with Mrs. Reynolds and his insisting in partaking in duals (there was more than one instance) "for hono I enjoyed this book and had wanted to read about Alexander Hamilton (no, I have not seen the stage play, I'm just interested in American history) and didn't think I could plow my way through Ron Chernow's much longer biography. Overall, I liked the writing style and the book seems to be well researched. My only criticism is the author seems to gloss over any flaws Hamilton had, like his affair with Mrs. Reynolds and his insisting in partaking in duals (there was more than one instance) "for honor" even though they were illegal in many states, including the state in which he lived. I especially enjoyed learning more about his early years and thought Brockenbrough did a good job explaining how his early years and young life influenced his outlook and desires. Overall, a good read about an interesting and complex individual who contributed greatly to the founding of the United States of America.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    I really enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of the musical, and was surprised to find out that Alexander Hamilton did way more than what was mention in the musical. This biography, in my opinion, is more geared towards teens. I reads kind of like a story in a way, and less like an informative text which makes it very easy to read. However, it also includes many quotes of Alexanders writing which makes it a little harder, but it gives you a better feel for what Alexander was all about. I highly re I really enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of the musical, and was surprised to find out that Alexander Hamilton did way more than what was mention in the musical. This biography, in my opinion, is more geared towards teens. I reads kind of like a story in a way, and less like an informative text which makes it very easy to read. However, it also includes many quotes of Alexander´s writing which makes it a little harder, but it gives you a better feel for what Alexander was all about. I highly recommend this biography for people who love Hamilton, and for people who know nothing about him because Alexander literally saved this nation, and yet almost everyone has forgotten him. I ran the army for Washington, and was the Secretary of War and Treasury. He dedicated his entire life to this country, and he wasn't even born her. This book talks about all the forgotten heroes of the Revolutionary War which is why I think everyone should read this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I saw this book in my school's library & I immediately grabbed it. The Broadway musical sparked my interest in Hamilton & I'm always eager for a chance to learn more about him. The novel fleshed out more details about Hamilton's life than the musical. I really enjoyed reading this. I realized something while reading earlier; politicians threw just as much shade 200 years ago as they do now. I didn't know that Aaron Burr was the Reynolds' divorce lawyer. I also didn't know that Washington I saw this book in my school's library & I immediately grabbed it. The Broadway musical sparked my interest in Hamilton & I'm always eager for a chance to learn more about him. The novel fleshed out more details about Hamilton's life than the musical. I really enjoyed reading this. I realized something while reading earlier; politicians threw just as much shade 200 years ago as they do now. I didn't know that Aaron Burr was the Reynolds' divorce lawyer. I also didn't know that Washington was furious with Lee after the Battle of Monmouth. I teared up when I read about Philip & Alexander's deaths. Probably because I've listened to the musical so much. It's a real shame that America forgot about a man who contributed so much to the creation of this nation. Overall, this novel does a really excellent job of describing Hamilton's life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linda Keesing

    This well-researched book provides readers with lots of information about Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the US. The writing is accessible for teen and adult readers. Photographs and sketches add interest to the text. The author deserves congratulations for the appendix. It summarizes the Hamilton family tree and offers details about the businesses, dress, customs, and more that pertained to Alexander's lifetime. From his humble beginnings on a Caribbean island to his death i This well-researched book provides readers with lots of information about Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the US. The writing is accessible for teen and adult readers. Photographs and sketches add interest to the text. The author deserves congratulations for the appendix. It summarizes the Hamilton family tree and offers details about the businesses, dress, customs, and more that pertained to Alexander's lifetime. From his humble beginnings on a Caribbean island to his death in a duel with Aaron Burr, readers will appreciate this fascinating historic figure. He was responsible for many of our cherished institutions that remain with us today. After getting only one-third of the way through Chernow's much longer biography, I enthusiastically recommend the Brockenbrough biography. It will definitely satisfy readers.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Really nice biography of Alexander Hamilton, a popular choice right now for teens especially, with the success of the Broadway musical. Brockenbrough takes us through his entire life, beginning with the hurricane in St. Croix that he experienced as a boy, in a very readable biography full of illustrations and pull-out quotes. She shows how he was a man of honor his whole life, having to combat false rumors that he was siphoning money while Treasury Secretary by showing he was having an affair wi Really nice biography of Alexander Hamilton, a popular choice right now for teens especially, with the success of the Broadway musical. Brockenbrough takes us through his entire life, beginning with the hurricane in St. Croix that he experienced as a boy, in a very readable biography full of illustrations and pull-out quotes. She shows how he was a man of honor his whole life, having to combat false rumors that he was siphoning money while Treasury Secretary by showing he was having an affair with a married woman! Talk about too much honesty. Extensive appendices have explanations of politics of the time, a timeline, family tree and plenty of sources. Definitely for older readers, due to length, or very determined fans of Hamilton of any age.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Brockenbrough does a great job of stringing together the relevant facts in a way that both tells a true and complete story of Alexander Hamilton's life, and also keeps the reader engaged way past their bedtime. If you think you don't like history books, try reading this one to change your mind. I am obsessed with Hamilton the musical. Lin Manuel Miranda is a musical genius, but he also had a really great subject to work with. Alexander Hamilton's life was a real-life soap opera (just add musical Brockenbrough does a great job of stringing together the relevant facts in a way that both tells a true and complete story of Alexander Hamilton's life, and also keeps the reader engaged way past their bedtime. If you think you don't like history books, try reading this one to change your mind. I am obsessed with Hamilton the musical. Lin Manuel Miranda is a musical genius, but he also had a really great subject to work with. Alexander Hamilton's life was a real-life soap opera (just add musical score). I'm not alone in my obsession and the glut of Hamilton books on the market in the last year is a reflection of that. If you're going to read only one of the Hamilton biographies, this is an excellent choice.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nia Alise Mason

    At first, I thought the book had good pacing and it was very interesting. But the more I got into it the more jumbled it got. The pacing became terrible, there was no smooth transition, and everyone became flat. It wasn't story telling anymore, but instead it became a stream of facts as if this was the first draft and no onw thought otherwise to fix. And the book had alot of bias which also threw me off since I expect a historical novel/autobiography to talk about what the person did. I don't ne At first, I thought the book had good pacing and it was very interesting. But the more I got into it the more jumbled it got. The pacing became terrible, there was no smooth transition, and everyone became flat. It wasn't story telling anymore, but instead it became a stream of facts as if this was the first draft and no onw thought otherwise to fix. And the book had alot of bias which also threw me off since I expect a historical novel/autobiography to talk about what the person did. I don't need a cheap explanantion on why he did the things he did. It just came out as an excuse or as a commentary on why hes such a great person. Reading this made me not like hin as much... I really wasted my time with this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nora McNabb

    So it took me about 2 months to read, but I LOVED it. I was correcting Hamilton lyrics and did a book report for school, which pushed me too finish. A friend got it for me for Christmas, and it was the perfect gift for that day. I will forever own this book, and have other people read it as well. It is a very good Hamilton book for my age, as you don't need a tolerance for pain, a couple of college credits and a top notch brain to understand it, as it was written perfectly for junior high student So it took me about 2 months to read, but I LOVED it. I was correcting Hamilton lyrics and did a book report for school, which pushed me too finish. A friend got it for me for Christmas, and it was the perfect gift for that day. I will forever own this book, and have other people read it as well. It is a very good Hamilton book for my age, as you don't need a tolerance for pain, a couple of college credits and a top notch brain to understand it, as it was written perfectly for junior high students. Books written by Hamilton are extremely difficult to read as a teen, looking up every word, but it is also not a flip book. Anyway loved the book

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