A. Ham

A little over a year after receiving Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton bio for Christmas (2016), last night I finally finished it. There are several reasons for the delay in getting to the end (hey, it's the journey, not the destination, right?), among them:
  • It's not a light read, nor it it particularly dense. I would say it's very readable for a historical biography.
  • It's very long. I read it on my iPad (I had to purchase the iBooks version when I found the book print too small to read without a lot of light - it sucks to get old). In the iPad version, there was 1,600 pages of text, plus 400 additional pages of acknowledgments, pictures/documents, and references. 
  • At first, I would read the book in small bites, fitting it in among 15 or so other books I read this past year. The monthly bookclub book was always there beckoning me, taking priority. I won't even mention all the Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO and other shows that kept tempting me (and winning...). Also, I rewatched HBO's excellent seven part mini-series on John Adams this past week. That also gave an interesting glimpse into his relationship with Hamilton. What an old curmudgeon Adams was!! I would highly recommend it. 
  • When I got home after a day's work, making dinner and walking pup, I definitely need something that doesn't take a lot of brain power and concentration. It's hard to read a book like Hamilton when your brain and eyes are tired! 
That begin said, I enjoyed it very much and LEARNED A TON, not just about the hypersensitive, egotistical (and brilliant) Alexander Hamilton (although he definitely did not get the credit he deserved as a founding father - to paraphrase "President Madison" in the play), but about the wily treachery of Thomas Jefferson, the generous benevolence of George Washington, the unswaying devotion of Eliza and the creepy, deceitful, without-a-conscience personality of Aaron Burr. 

In the year to come I'd really like to get to The Grange in upper Manhattan (technically in Harlem) to tour Hamilton's home that he only got to enjoy for about two years (although Eliza lived there another 30 beyond his death). I'd also like to visit the General Schuyler House near Saratoga, the family's summer home. That is a definite possibility since it is not too far from Annalisse when we visit her in Troy. 

Next up: The Hemmings' of Monticello. Should be an interesting read given my recent reading on T.J.


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