Alexander Hamilton: American – by Richard Brookhiser

alexander_hamilton_bioAlexander Hamilton in a few words: Amazing rags-to-riches story, from West Indies born orphan boy, to  aide George Washington, a lawyer, and perhaps the greatest Federalist of all. Weird ideas about the Constitution, a generally negative opinion of the abilities of the common man, but undoubtedly correct about the need for a strong federal government, banking system, standing army.

Like many great men, Hamilton also had great weaknesses. A crazy affair with a married  woman, an affair he continued even after  she blackmailed him. A tendency towards backstabbing to get his way. As Oliver Wolcott  said: “…on certain points, the most enlightened men are governed by the most unsound reasons.”