Monday, May 14, 2007

John Adams, Alexander Hamilton

I recently completed Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton." In a nutshell: It's a must read for anyone interested in politics, finance, human nature, Americana or even just the trivia of the early history of the U.S.A. Hamilton provides a thrilling subject to be sure, but Chernow did a yeoman's work in sifting through an incredible mound of background literature on this key player in our nation's birth. Scott Brick's narration never bored me (I confess, I often neglected responsibilities during key sections of Hamilton's life.) I never knew about Hamilton's very humble beginnings as an illegitimate child. I was impressed by the role of honor and the importance of a man's word. Witnessing Hamilton's astonishing failures and the the way George Washington helped protect him from his own flaws was also enlightening. For a more complete picture of the era, read David McCullough's "John Adams." It's particularly good to get the difference in perspective both from the author as well as the subject. I would love to sit in a parlour, listening to Adams and Hamilton argue over details as they related the story of our nation's birth!

No comments: