These book pairings for Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow reviews the Disney+ version of the musical based on the book, summarizes the book Alexander Hamilton and, because this is a book pairings blog “where books meet lifestyle,” provides some recommended book pairings for further learning.
Summary of Hamilton on Disney+
Before we get to the book, let’s talk Hamilton the musical on Disney+.
Confession: This is the first book I am recommending that I haven’t actually read. I am recommending it solely based on my newfound obsessions with the musical Hamilton, based on the book.
I’ve been a lifelong Broadway fan and have seen a lot of hype over several decades. When I heard there was a rap musical based on this book and the Revolutionary War, I thought it was, well … kind of weird and probably overhyped. I didn’t think I could get into three hours of rap about history.
When the musical toured Philly (where I live), I chose not to go on principle — tickets were at least $500 each and I don’t believe theater should be that elitist of an activity (while, of course, the cast and crew deserve fair wages at the same time).
When Disney+ released the musical Hamilton to stream, that was something I could get into. I thought it would be enjoyable, but I wasn’t expecting the emotional journey I went on over the course of three hours. I honestly felt I had experienced the peak of any cultural event I could ever see in my lifetime.
It was, dare I say, revolutionary. The music isn’t just rap, but the most rhythmic and lively beats and melodies you can imagine. And the story pulls at your heartstrings and leaves you in tears. The diverse cast lends a beautiful modern layer to the story. And it was also fascinating to hear the story of the American revolution from the perspectives of Alexander Hamilton and main character Aaron Burr.
I felt especially connected to the story, as Hamilton’s personality matched my husband’s more than any character I have ever experienced.
When Hamilton on Disney+, I thought, “Wait, there’s an end?! This isn’t just my life now?!” I simply could not imagine what it would be like to see the musical live, knowing that virtual cultural experiences never come close to comparing to in-person ones.
I thus became obsessed with all things Hamilton decided to share the book that inspired it, along with so many pairings to satiate your Hamilton appetite.
Summary of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
As I mentioned, I haven’t actually read the biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, which inspired the musical. But, I still want to share it based on my love of the story I learned through the musical.
Alexander Hamilton is a behemoth 818 page #1 New York Times bestselling book about the debated and misunderstood founding father. Chernow argues that today’s political and economic greatness is the direct result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion disputed ideas. Hamilton was an illegitimate, mostly self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who took America by storm and became George Washington’s aide in the Continental Army. He coauthored The Federalist Papers, founded the Bank of New York, led the Federalist Party and served as the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.
Chernow presents Alexander Hamilton as a man motivated by unwavering patriotism and the will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power at all costs. Chernow’s Hamilton has humanity, and the biography delves into his marriage, public affair with another woman and famous feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, including the one which led to his death.
And it’s filled with reverberations that echo into our daily lives today.
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For more like Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow:
- Listen to the Hamilton soundtrack and the Hamilton mixtape on Spotify. (My favorite song on both albums is the sweet lullabye “Dear Theodosia.” What’s yours?)
- Watch Hamilton on Disney+. Seriously, just give Disney your money.
- Watch the original Revolutionary War musical, 1776.
- Read My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.
- Play Deal or Duel Hamilton Game: An Alexander Hamilton Card Game.
I hope these book pairings for Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow foster your fandom for this remarkable story.
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