Alexander Hamilton

Title: Alexander Hamilton Author: Ron Chernow
Pages: 818 Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Recommended: If you like history, especially of the American variety or politics of any kind.
Song: The Hamilton soundtrack. The whole thing. Over and over.

The Hamilton Hype is for real, and this is the book that started it all.

So while the broadway smash is sold out for months and the soundtrack is on repeat in my ears, I’m having a hard time separating the book from the play.

This biography blipped my radar because I wanted to listen to (and better understand) the soundtrack. (Yes, I will watch a movie without reading the book, but that’s just not very often.)

A Good Biography

51P1c42DyLL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Lively or boring. Protective shield or exposé. A good biography can be all of these. Most of these is that I believe it. The second is that I leave it with the feeling that this person’s life impacts me personally; that the world, my world is less without them.

Alexander Hamilton may have died 200 years ago, but he’s still the face on the $10 bill. Youngest founding father, first Secretary of the Treasury, BFF of George Washington and Lafayette, husband and father of eight. He wasn’t perfect, but it takes a big person to openly admit that. He fought for America’s success, and he won. Hard.

That being said, I kept wondering when Aaron Burr was finally going to take his fatal shot. The amount of detail is cray-cray and government policy building isn’t really my thing.

Inspiring Great Things

Ron Chernow’s hard work paid off with this one. Broadway talent Lin-Manuel Miranda (LMM) happened to pick up this book during a vacation and it lit a fire that resulted in the hip hop Broadway smash.

I too laughed when I heard Miranda say that Alexander Hamilton embodied hip hop, but as I read this book, I began to see the connection. Hamilton fought hard for everything he had. He defended himself. He refused to be less than the best.

So, book or play? If you can get tickets, DO IT. Read the book after to get the rest of the details and have songs to enliven the text.