jamiebowen0306 (jamiebowen0306) wrote,

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I finished "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow.

I finished the Ron Chernow book "Alexander Hamilton" today. Other than being on the $10 bill, he's probably not that well known, but he was an illegitimate white West Indian, who through sheer bloody mindedness and determination rose to become the first American Secretary of the Treasury and largely defined the American economy from that point on (for good or ill, depending on your point of view).

By all accounts that bloody mindedness was to contribute to his downfall. While he was working for Washington, he found his natural tendency to "gob off" was held in check, but once Washington retired, he found it difficult to hold his "natural exuberance" in check and often found himself in trouble as a result.

The book was a good read. I often find it difficult to read biographies (especially from historical figures, because I don't know enough history to place them in a broader context), but this book was one of the better biographies because I was able to see the historical context quite clearly.

Incidentally, Hamilton was at the constitutional convention that wrote the constitution. For all of you "strict constructionists" out there, the founding fathers are often presented as a group who viewed the country as "fixed." This simply isn't Hamilton was never one of those who felt that way, viewing the constitution as a flexible document that could change with time. He wasn't the only one either.

Oh and another thing, for all of you who have "issues with homosexuality," it's possible that Hamilton had bisexual tendencies.
Tags: book, review

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