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Alexander Hamilton: The Illustrated Biography

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Find out who lived and who died in the incredible story of the founding father who made America modern—and became the toast of Broadway. This richly illustrated biography portrays Alexander Hamilton’s fascinating life alongside his key contributions to American history, including his unsung role as an early abolitionist. An immigrant from the West Indies, he played a cruci Find out who lived and who died in the incredible story of the founding father who made America modern—and became the toast of Broadway. This richly illustrated biography portrays Alexander Hamilton’s fascinating life alongside his key contributions to American history, including his unsung role as an early abolitionist. An immigrant from the West Indies, he played a crucial part in the political, legal, and economic development of the new nation: He served as Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War; he helped establish the Constitution; he wrote most of The Federalist Papers; and he modernized America’s fledgling finances, among other notable achievements. Noted Hamilton scholar and chairman of the Museum of American Finance, Richard Sylla, brings the flesh-and-blood man—student, soldier, lawyer, political scientist, finance minister, and politician—to life and reveals captivating details of his private life as well as his infamous demise at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr, expertly telling Hamilton’s incredible story like no other. Open the jacket to reveal a foldout map of New York City in 1776 by Henry Johnston and Joseph Bien. This rare antique map was the first to show all of Manhattan during the War of Independence.  


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Find out who lived and who died in the incredible story of the founding father who made America modern—and became the toast of Broadway. This richly illustrated biography portrays Alexander Hamilton’s fascinating life alongside his key contributions to American history, including his unsung role as an early abolitionist. An immigrant from the West Indies, he played a cruci Find out who lived and who died in the incredible story of the founding father who made America modern—and became the toast of Broadway. This richly illustrated biography portrays Alexander Hamilton’s fascinating life alongside his key contributions to American history, including his unsung role as an early abolitionist. An immigrant from the West Indies, he played a crucial part in the political, legal, and economic development of the new nation: He served as Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War; he helped establish the Constitution; he wrote most of The Federalist Papers; and he modernized America’s fledgling finances, among other notable achievements. Noted Hamilton scholar and chairman of the Museum of American Finance, Richard Sylla, brings the flesh-and-blood man—student, soldier, lawyer, political scientist, finance minister, and politician—to life and reveals captivating details of his private life as well as his infamous demise at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr, expertly telling Hamilton’s incredible story like no other. Open the jacket to reveal a foldout map of New York City in 1776 by Henry Johnston and Joseph Bien. This rare antique map was the first to show all of Manhattan during the War of Independence.  

30 review for Alexander Hamilton: The Illustrated Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cameron H

    While not as exhaustive or comprehensive as Chernow’s biography, it does provide a very readable retelling of Hamilton’s life and achievements. It also provides numerous illustrations that provide context. Of particular interest for me was the Chapter devoted to Hamilton’s global influence. Ultimately, I recommend this book for people who are interested in learning more about the man behind the Musical, but who aren’t especially drawn to reading Historical Biographies.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tova

    Talk about genius. The book even includes mention of the Broadway show and Lin-Manuel Miranda's genius. The author has an interesting point: Hamilton had the genius with words and finances to potentially end slavery without the Civil War...but we'll never know what financial plan he'd have come up with. Talk about genius. The book even includes mention of the Broadway show and Lin-Manuel Miranda's genius. The author has an interesting point: Hamilton had the genius with words and finances to potentially end slavery without the Civil War...but we'll never know what financial plan he'd have come up with.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kamryn Koble

    What a beautiful book! Hamilton by Richard Sylla is an autographed biography rich with information and beauty. Each page is a work of art in itself. There were quite a few portraits of Hamilton and the Schuyler's I haven't seen before, along with other paintings, letters, and memorabilia illia. This is a perfect purchase or gift for any fan of Alexander Hamilton or the musical! This was 50% off at my local Barnes and Noble, perhaps it's the same at yours if you hurry. What a beautiful book! Hamilton by Richard Sylla is an autographed biography rich with information and beauty. Each page is a work of art in itself. There were quite a few portraits of Hamilton and the Schuyler's I haven't seen before, along with other paintings, letters, and memorabilia illia. This is a perfect purchase or gift for any fan of Alexander Hamilton or the musical! This was 50% off at my local Barnes and Noble, perhaps it's the same at yours if you hurry.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Having become instantly obsessed with all things Hamilton since seeing Hamilton with my family, I ordered Chernow's biography immediately. However, that will take me a presidential term to finish, so I needed something full and rich that I could conclude satisfactorily while I absorb the Chernow book and every other article I could find on the subject of both Hamilton himself and Miranda's supreme masterpiece. This definitely delivers the goods, and fills in some gaps that make Hamilton even rich Having become instantly obsessed with all things Hamilton since seeing Hamilton with my family, I ordered Chernow's biography immediately. However, that will take me a presidential term to finish, so I needed something full and rich that I could conclude satisfactorily while I absorb the Chernow book and every other article I could find on the subject of both Hamilton himself and Miranda's supreme masterpiece. This definitely delivers the goods, and fills in some gaps that make Hamilton even richer, deeper, and more well-rounded than I had previously believed (today's libel laws are still modeled on his outlines for it!). The author gives just enough about every facet of Hamilton's layered, too-short life to get enough of the appetite whetted, and to springboard off to continued googling and reading. The contextual maps and artwork are absolutely delightful as well. Hamilton is amazing conversation, and the book itself, and its cover, is so gorgeously wrought that I might purchase a coffee table just so that I could place this atop it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate Parm

    Very readable and quite a beautiful book from beginning to end! The author clearly took the time to do his research. Even though the biographical musical is mentioned a few times and casual references are put in, it does not truly pander to those fans or follow the plot line of the broadway show. This book does delve into the theory and principals of Hamilton’s financial and political ideology which may have to be closely examined to fully encompass the quotes in the book. But that is hardly a f Very readable and quite a beautiful book from beginning to end! The author clearly took the time to do his research. Even though the biographical musical is mentioned a few times and casual references are put in, it does not truly pander to those fans or follow the plot line of the broadway show. This book does delve into the theory and principals of Hamilton’s financial and political ideology which may have to be closely examined to fully encompass the quotes in the book. But that is hardly a fault when these aspects made up so much of this brilliant man’s life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather Mize

    Instead of being linear, it’s divided into the hats that Hamilton wore, “abolistionist”, “soldier”, etc. which makes it repetitive in parts. It’s short, so it is sparse on some details, but a good overall summary. There are a lot of cool pictures in this. I wish Sylla would do a Ben Franklin Edition like this. Overall, a worthwhile read if you’re introducing yourself to Hamilton’s history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A very thorough look at the life of Alexander Hamilton and the impact he has had on the development of not just the United States, but the world itself. An excellent, informative read that is aided by an amazing selection of pictures and illustrations. Definitely worth looking at.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathy May

    Easy to read and fairly short, this book provides an excellent overview of Alexander Hamilton’s life and contributions to the founding of America and our society today. For me, this was a good alternative to Chernov’s 800 page biography.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This man. I do not agree with everything he says and he cheated on his wife, but I can't stop myself from loving him and being obsessed with him. Without him...gosh, without him we may not have had a lot of things. This man. I do not agree with everything he says and he cheated on his wife, but I can't stop myself from loving him and being obsessed with him. Without him...gosh, without him we may not have had a lot of things.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lilith

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed this book as recently my school has closed so I needed to get back into US history which we covered in the first semester. It is beautifully written I feel as if I have gained more of an understanding of one of our founding fathers

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    I remembered nothing about Alexander Hamilton from school, and what a wonderful way to catch up on a most influential and brilliant forefathers of this country. The illustrations are beautiful, and the words bring history to life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joseph J.

    This is a wonderful "fully illustrated including color lithographs" version of Hamilton's life. Even if you read and loved Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton, this is a beautiful compliment which brings old Alex full circle to hit subject of a unique Broadway musical. This is a wonderful "fully illustrated including color lithographs" version of Hamilton's life. Even if you read and loved Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton, this is a beautiful compliment which brings old Alex full circle to hit subject of a unique Broadway musical.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim Blessing

    This illustrated biograpy of Hamilton was a decent read and some of the illustrations were enlightening. However, I prefer the book written by Ron (forgot his last name).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emory Dunn

    A great overview of Hamilton’s life filled with beautiful paintings. Very well organized, and uses pictures to supplement the text. A perfect gift for any history or Hamilton buff!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kira Marie

    This had lots of great pictures and was very interesting. I liked seeing what all the real people looked like and where they were.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Nicholson

    Very interesting and great illustrations. I was very surprised to learn of Hamilton’s contributions to American Government and banking.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Way too much focus on his financial achievements. I wanted more on everything else. Barely glossed over his personal life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    While some books are described as illustrated, this one over delivers. It is packed with detailed images of Alexander Hamilton, the people in his life and the locations where the events happened. It is unfortunate that when the founding fathers are discussed, the focus is on the men that became president, independent of their level of success. Hamilton is largely dismissed, even though his influence was likely greater than even that of Thomas Jefferson. For what Hamilton did was make the new n While some books are described as illustrated, this one over delivers. It is packed with detailed images of Alexander Hamilton, the people in his life and the locations where the events happened. It is unfortunate that when the founding fathers are discussed, the focus is on the men that became president, independent of their level of success. Hamilton is largely dismissed, even though his influence was likely greater than even that of Thomas Jefferson. For what Hamilton did was make the new nation of the United States financially viable and set it on the course to be the leading industrial power of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hamilton established the banking system that led to the federal government having a line of credit that allowed it to borrow vast sums when needed. When his political opponent Thomas Jefferson wanted to purchase the Louisiana Territory from France, it was the policies of Hamilton that made it financially possible. Ironically, these were policies that Jefferson had long been on the record as opposing. Hamilton was also an avid supporter of a strong central government and tariff policies that encouraged the development of domestic industries. He understood that the purchase of cheap goods from foreign nations would not lead to the fledgling nation developing the industrial base that would lead to economic and military security. Others such as Jefferson and James Madison considered the United States to be an agrarian country that did not need industry. This is a great book about Alexander Hamilton, the man that was arguably the smartest and most influential of the group of men collectively called “the founding fathers.” Killed at a relatively young age in a senseless, pointless duel with Aaron Burr, Hamilton could have accomplished far more than the list of incredible things that are not often recognized. This book does a great deal to right that unfortunate historical wrong.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hodges

    The best of both worlds - an inside look at one our most controversial founding fathers, surrounded with an incredible amount of illustrations from the time period. A great read which is also simply gorgeous to view.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scarlet Ingstad

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ana

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Wilser

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liz Holland

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  28. 4 out of 5

    paul hays

  29. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Laberge

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