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Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  863 ratings  ·  156 reviews
"Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed? Alexander Hamilton comes alive in Martha Brockenbrough's exciting biography Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary, which is an essential read for teen fans of Hamilton the musical.

Discover the incredible true story behind the Tony Award-winning musical – Hamilton’s early years in the Caribbean; his involvement in the Revolutionary War;
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  863 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptional biographical story of Alexander Hamilton. While it's aimed at teens and young adults, and I haven't fit into those categories for some time, I found myself gripped by the narrative momentum and utterly engrossed in the personal story of this exceptional man. What you realize is that America has always been a fractious land, that disputes between states (should the federal government assume state debts or not?) and between ambitious individuals (Hamilton and Jefferson, Hami ...more
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've read the Chernow, and it was great, but this just became my go-to biography to recommend to anyone. It's very well-written, with a lively voice, with excellent pictures and maps, a bibliography, as well as other appendices talking about Revolutionary War weaponry, the slave trade, the sugar trade, and "the Sad Life of Aaron Burr."

But this is ESPECIALLY for Hamilton the musical fans. I did read a YA historical fiction about Alexander and Eliza, and there were several sly references to the mu
David Patneaude
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alexander Hamilton...My name is Alexander Hamilton...There's a million things I haven't done...Just you wait, just you wait...

So you've seen the play--the one that took Broadway by storm a few years ago--and you think you have a handle on everything you need to know about the man. But if you really want to know him, deep down, from the time he was born into poverty and shame on a slave island in the Caribbean, until he escaped to New York as a teen and found the education he'd craved, until he s
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally a history book that isn't boring! This book flowed nicely, the chapters were short, and it is written in a way that makes Alexander Hamilton feel like someone you have met. More biographies on historical people and events should be written like this so anyone can enjoy it, not just historians. ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hamilton
I really enjoyed this biography of Alexander Hamilton, which is definitely aimed at a YA audience of musical fans! It covers all the bases and is a great option for if you don't have the sticking power to do the Chernow. The writing style is entertaining and there are some great pictures and illustrations! I really liked the typesetting and the cover colour scheme too - it's just a really satisfying book on the aesthetics front! ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The only reason this is four stars and not five for is because it took me way to long to finish it and I think that partly is because the font color in the book is a light brown which was really hard on the eyes. But the actual writing was really good, very easy to read even though i did end up listening to more than half of this book in audible. The narrator was amazing and made it very enjoyable to listen. Very educational as well and I loved how it explored how complicated Hamilton was.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I mean I have no idea how to review nonfiction but here goes:

It was well-written, though it was not really like a story, more like facts and years being thrown at me, especially for the war section, but I definitely liked it and will try to read it again some other time?
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is really amazing. It is overflowing with info about Hamilton, his family, his colleagues, and his role in the history of the United States. I had very little knowledge of his role or impact before getting this book in the mail. I now have a much more comprehensive understanding of what he brought to early governance as well as to the war and independence of America from British rule. Martha Brockenbrough is an incredibly talented author. Teen readers and adults will find a lot to love ...more
Mrs. Jenny Cameron Paulsen
Delightful, informational read on this most fascinating of founding fathers, an immigrant who rose out of poverty through the fire of his tremendous intellect and talents to personify the very idea and ideals of a new America. I especially enjoyed the plethora of historical art and artifacts included to assist envisioning the past. Brockenbrough presents his flaws and achievements with exceptional readability. Friends, enemies, weaknesses, & strengths—all get their just due in the complexity of ...more
Sarah Wagner
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's clear this biography was written for a young adult audience - it keeps a quick, readable face throughout and doesn't dwell on Hamilton's more questionable behavior (like his extramarital affairs). Still, I appreciated how this book offered a concise and succinct look at Hamilton's life. This book would be useful for those new to Hamilton but wanting to do more detailed reading as well as those who just want an overview of the historical figure who inspired a Broadway musical. ...more
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Martha Brockenbrough hits the nail on the head in this for-teens biography of the Ten Dollar Founding Father, bringing him to life and telling his story in a way that catches the reader's attention and doesn't let go until the final page. I admit I was hesitant to try this book, as my experience with biographies written for younger people hasn't always been a good one, but I am so glad that I took the chance. I enjoyed every bit of it, and learned quite a bit as well.

Brockenbrough writes in an e
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I thought Brockenbrough did an exceptional job with the narrative style and pacing of the book. I was really intrigued by Hamilton's early life and the depiction of the Revolutionary War. As I told my husband at one point, I often forget just how long the war was and just how difficult it was. I also enjoyed the material at the end of the book: the timeline, family tree, and the short explanations of federalism vs. antifederalism, sugar tra ...more
Patrick Martin
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everyone knows of Ron Chernow's massive biography on Hamilton that was turned into a Broadway play but there are many Hamilton books available to read. I don't believe there are any as exhaustive as Chernow's but there are still some very good ones out there.

This book by Martha Brockenbrough is a very good one. It covers most everything you need to know about Hamilton with enough information to explain the issues and his thoughts on situations. With a wide running swath including accounts of th
C.A. Gray
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book at the same time as I started listening to “Hamilton: An American Musical”, alternating between them so that I’d listen to the musical rendition of the history I’d just heard. And… wow. I wish I was a history teacher, just so I could assign my students to do the same thing. The book alone makes the story come alive, but adding the music gives it a much more powerful emotional punch.

Hamilton is one of America’s Founding Fathers that I really never knew much about before, pro
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-nonfiction, 2017
An extremely accessible biography of Hamilton and an excellent resource for teens who are fans of Miranda's musical but not up to the challenge of reading the Chernow biography. Follows Hamilton from his meager origins in Nevis to the legacy he left behind in the United States. While his flaws are noted, Brockenbrough does not spend a great deal of time dwelling on his shortcomings. The book does mark occasions where his pride and stubborn views were his downfall. A fascinating look at a foundin ...more
The 11-year-old and I finished this one last night. Just in a nick of time, too, because today we saw the show Hamilton! This young adult version of Hamilton's biography is an excellent pre-show read for middle grade and older readers. Knowing more about Hamilton and his story certainly increased my enjoyment of the show and gave the 11-year-old and I lots to discuss. We also filled in the family with a few other details not in the show, like the fact that Alexander and Eliza named their younges ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
There's a lot in this book. Everything mentioned in Hamilton: The Musical is explained. I noticed no direct references to the show, but the publication date is sufficiently past and there's enough details/clarifications about particularly important points in the show that I don't doubt this came together in response. Martha Brockenbrough's catalog of past works shows she can write as nonstop as Hamilton himself. Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary entertains and enlightens about the nation's first ...more
Lin Elle
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story of a very interesting man written by the wrong person. The Revolutionary War part, one of the highlights of Hamilton’s life, became the most boring parts to strive through. Everything that was unecessary dragged on. You know something’s wrong when the only reason I came back to finish this story after months of trying to gruel through it piece by piece is because I needed my bookmark for another novel I was more eagerly starting. The only reason this didn’t get a 1 star from m ...more
Susan Hein
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My sister-in-law recommended I read this before we went to see 'Hamilton' in Chicago. It was a great read. I learned so much about our founding fathers and had no idea the influence Alexander Hamilton had on our country. It's also a fascinating read about his childhood, his marriage, his much publicized affair, his friendship with George Washington and the circumstances surrounding his death. Highly recommend! ...more
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book for older elementary and teen readers, as well as for adults who don't want to wade through Chernow's biography. If you've read Chernow already, I think you can skip this one - it doesn't add anything to the narrative, just makes it more accessible, which is a good thing! ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
I did it, I finished a book. And i learned something. Yeahhh
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary
Book Review By Beau Colvin

Hamilton. Scholar, hero, legislator, orphan, genius, soldier, treasurer, husband, politician, firebrand, financier, lawyer, father, banker, friend and fool; Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary covers nearly every aspect of Hamilton’s life in the biography, with a hopeful and respective voice. Revealing the life of the man portrayed on the ten dollar bill, and the life delineated in the Broadway hit.
“I never expect to see a perfect work f
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Martha first announced Hamilton, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to see Hamilton through the eyes of such a spectacular woman.

Filled with notes and photos, Revolutionary is as much the story of the birth of America as it is Hamilton’s story, including the messy parts. Taking over what is now the US was not so great for the indigenous people on this land and Revolutionary explores that. It also doesn’t shy away from Hamilton’s flaws (which are plentiful). There’s a quick look into the people
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The best word to describe my feelings toward this biography would be complex.

I have a problem with the way Brockenbrough romanticizes Alexander Hamilton. Many people love our first Treasury Secretary, ever since the wildfire play by Lin Manuel-Miranda became popularized, but much of what I read were snarky references to anyone who opposed Hamilton and quick excuses for his wildly immoral behavior. Brockenbrough is primarily an author of young adult fiction, and such skill does bring his book to
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This has been the 2nd Hamilton biography that I’ve read and I enjoyed it. I focused a lot more on the military prospect of his life and I think that that section was very well-written and entertaining to read about. I liked that throughout this whole book the author would toss in little stories that were funny or just interesting facts but it made me feel closer to this historical figure because I’m learning interesting little stories about him that make him feel altogether more human. Plus they ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I turned to this biography when my local library did not have the Chernow work that inspired the musical. This didn’t disappoint, however. The author’s research experience in nonfiction and their prose experience in YA fiction creates a well-written piece of history. Detailed and engaging, I think this book is a great resource for those who want to learn more about this great American man and historical figure but may not have the time or desire to ingest a longer book like Chernow’s.
Eric Stutzman
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ah, Alexander Hamilton. Just a decade ago, the thought of Alexander Hamilton being as big a phenomenon as he is today would have been laughable, but following the Broadway musical named after the famous historical figure, Alexander Hamilton was finally given the credit he was due. Since the musical has come out, there has seemingly been an influx of biographies and other such books written about the man and his influence upon the founding of our nation. Prior to that point the best biography of ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, favorites
Honor and intelligence. Those are the two words I would use to describe the core of Alexander Hamilton's character. He had to fight for every upward movement, and every gain he had in life, beginning with his early life on Nevis. It was his intelligence, skill with the written word and bravery that enabled him to leave that rocky start and forge a new life, and new family in America.

He distinguished himself during the Revolution, though more often than not, was not recognized for it. One of the
Lauren Ford
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
This is a book I came across a few months ago at the library (although I’m writing this in the beginning of October, so I found this the last week of September), and since it had Hamilton on the front, of course I picked it up. I have a deep obsession with Alexander Hamilton, thanks to me jumping on the Lin-Manuel Miranda bandwagon. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I know all the lyrics by heart.

I do own the Kindle version of the Chernow biography, bought because I needed something long to read
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I enjoy nonfiction, but when I picked up Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as engaging as it is.  With a lively narrative voice and a text design seemingly geared to keep people even with short attention spans reading, the book offers a quick but fun and informative look into one of America’s Founding Father’s.

Brokcenbrough begins with Hamilton’s early life in the Caribbean and follows him to his death, exploring especially his actions d
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Maddie Frankina Review 6 1 1 Nov 01, 2019 07:22AM  

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Martha Brockenbrough is author of The Game of Love and Death, Finding Bigfoot, The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy, and Devine Intervention, books for young readers. For adults, she has written Things That Make Us [Sic], a hilarious guide to things that can go wrong with English, and It Could Happen to You, a diary of her first pregnancy. She's the founder of National Grammar Day and SPOGG, the Society for t ...more

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