by Ron Chernow
I’ll admit that I’ve always found the founding of the United States to be a bit dry and boring. And I’ll freely admit that Ron Chernow and narrator Grover Gardner did nothing to change my mind on that matter.
So why did I listen to Alexander Hamilton?
- I knew there was no way I would make it through 818 pages of American history on my own.
- I’m slightly obsessed with the musical so I had to give the source material “my best shot.”
Mr. Gardner’s voice was pleasant enough to listen to and it was pretty cool to hear lines from the book reflected in the lyrics that pretty much run non-stop through my head every day. I’m thankful, that without realizing it, my library only had the abridged version. It clocks in at 11 hours and 34 minutes. The unabridged version is closer to 36 hours. I am almost certain I would not have survived the unabridged version.
I did learn that, of course, the musical takes some liberties with Hamilton’s story to make it exciting. It was interesting to learn how much of Hamilton’s life paralleled Aaron Burr’s and how determined Hamilton was to prove himself to everyone he met and worked with. I can understand why Hamilton’s struggle to be seen as someone who mattered and as someone would could make a difference resonates with so many in the 21st century.
So would I recommend reading Alexander Hamilton? It depends on how you much you like history. It would also depend how devoted you are to reading the source material for the musical. If the American Revolution is your cup of tea. Definitely give it a shot. If you get a kick out reading source materials for adaptations. Definitely give it shot. Just be warned that politics and wars are a bloody business and not all that exciting when played out shot for shot.
The Quick Book Review
Alexander HamiltonAuthor: Ron Chernow
Published on: March 29, 2005
Length: 11.5 hours
Genres: nonfiction, adult
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