Biography / Book Club Books / History / Karen / Nonfiction Book Club

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

The non-fiction book discussion participants were very interested in reading this. The group was given two and a half months to do so, but only two actually finished it. So first, let’s get the negativity out of the way. Here are those comments:

“WAY, WAY, WAY too long.” OK, that is true.

“WAY, WAY, WAY too many details.” Sort of goes along with that “too long” comment.

“WAY, WAY, WAY too many footnotes.” Yes, but seriously, who reads those anyway?

“WAY, WAY,WAY too many characters.” Yes, but it did cover a REVOLUTION!!!

And a few more “too many” to write about.

And finally – “The play was better.”

Now there were a lot more positive comments:

“What a life Hamilton led.”

“Hamilton was brilliant.”

“I never knew that about…Washington, Adams, Burr, etc.”

“Jefferson really was something else”

“Mrs. Hamilton was such a strong woman.”

“Hamilton truly is the father of our economic system.”

“Hamilton loved this country.”

And finally – “Why did he ever agree to that duel?”

 This book is 818 pages or 29 CDs if you prefer to listen. In any case, it is VERY VERY long.That being said, it is a remarkable study of one man’s life. Personally, I enjoyed much of it, but mostly I enjoyed the “behind the scenes” parts of the book. In other words, the gossipy side about Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s womanizing, about Adams indifference to his position, and Burr’s social climbing. There are tidbits about the wives and girlfriends as well, and too many historical facts to mention (especially about dueling). You need a lot of time for this one, but persistence will pay off.


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