One of my entrenched beliefs has been that Thomas Jefferson was one of the great heroes of human history, and Alexander Hamilton was not. It is rare that I read something that changes my entrenched beliefs. But Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton did that. He makes a strong (and long) case that Alexander Hamilton was mainly a decent, brilliant, courageous, hard-working, self-made man, who not only talked the talk on liberty, but walked the walk (taking fire in the revolution, and strongly opposing slavery). He wasn’t perfect in either his personal life or his beliefs. But he now has my vote as one of the great heroes of human history (and Jefferson does not).
In the next few weeks, I will quote several of the most revealing or thought-provoking passages of Chernow’s book.
PS: I also previously learned a lot from Chernow’s Titan, a big book about a big entrepreneur.
Main book discussed:
Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: The Penguin Press, 2004.
Other book, briefly mentioned:
Chernow, Ron. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. New York: Random House, 1998.