Alexander Hamilton - The Man Who Made Modern America
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Articles on Hamilton

Cynthia Crossen, "We Worship Jefferson, But We Have Become Hamilton's America," The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2004.

Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, "Behind America's Obsession with the Founding Fathers," The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2004.

David Gates, "Alexander the Great," Newsweek, April 19, 2004.

Janet Maslin, "'Inspired Windbag' Who Molded the U.S. Government," The New York Times, April 22, 2004.

Ron Chernow, "Alexander Hamilton, City Boy," The New York Times, April 25, 2004.

David Brooks, "Creating Capitalism," The New York Times, April 25, 2004.

Richard Brookhiser, "A Statesman for All Seasons," Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2004.

Arthur M., Schlesinger, Jr., "Hold On There, He's Ours," The New York Sun, April 29, 2004.

John Steel Gordon, "The Self-Made Founder," American Heritage, May 2004.

Scott Lindsay, "Honoring Reagan: Should He Be on Our Money?" New York Times, June 13, 2004.

James Aley, "Founding Father Knows Best," Fortune, May 17, 2004.

Walter Isaacson, "How We Got Shafted at the Revolution," New York Magazine, May 17, 2004.

Ben McGrath. "The Talk of the Town," The New Yorker, June 7, 2004.

Lara M. Brown, "Alexander the Great: No Need to Buck the System," Santa Monica Daily Press, June 17, 2004.

Ron Chernow, "The Clash of Ideals," Time, July 5, 2004.

Ted Widmer, "Nobody's Founder," NYT Magazine, July 11, 2004.

Francis Morrone, "Abroad in New York," The New York Sun, July 26, 2004.

Books on Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton, American, by Richard Brookhiser (New York: Free Press, 2004, first ed. 1999, 0-7432-7201-3, 256 pages, paperback, $14)

    In these pages, Alexander Hamilton sheds his skewed image as the 'bastard brat of a Scotch peddler,' sex scandal survivor, and notoriously doomed dueling partner of Aaron Burr. Examined up close, throughout his meteoric and ever-fascinating (if tragically brief) life, Hamilton can at last be seen as one of the most crucial of the founders."
Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow (New York: Penguin, 2004, ISBN 1-594200-092, 818 pages, hard cover, $35)

    Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza.
Hamilton: Writings, edited by Joanne B. Freeman (New York: Library of America, 2001, ISBN 1-931082-04-9, 1108 pages, hard cover, $40)

    One of the most vivid, influential, and controversial figures of the American founding, Alexander Hamilton was an unusually prolific and vigorous writer. His public and private writings demonstrate the perceptive intelligence, confident advocacy, driving ambition, and profound concern for honor and reputation that contributed both to his astonishing rise to fame and to his tragic early death. Arranged chronologically, Writings contains more than 170 letters, speeches, essays, reports, and memoranda written between 1769 and 1804.
Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth, by Stephen Knott (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002, ISBN 0-7006-1157-6, 344 pages, hard cover, $34.95)

    Knott explores the shifting reputation of our most controversial founding father. Since the day Aaron Burr fired his fatal shot, Americans have tried to come to grips with Alexander Hamilton's legacy. He surveys the Hamilton image in the minds of American statesmen, scholars, literary figures, and the media, explaining why Americans are content to live in a Hamiltonian nation but reluctant to embrace the man himself.
Alexander Hamilton: A Biography, by Forrest McDonald (New York: Norton, 1982, orig 1979, ISBN 0-393-30048-X, 480 pages, paperback, $17.95)

    This book re-examines Hamilton's policies as a secretary of the treasury. The author presents a new account of the origins and development of his subjectÕs political and economic theories.

Films about Hamilton

Duel: Hamilton vs. Burr (History Channel, 2004, 90 min.) Available on VHS and DVD for $29.95 at or 1-800-708-1776.

    Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss asks the question, "Why did the Vice President of the United States kill the former Secretary of the Treasury?" The documentary lays bare the personal and political rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr while questioning the conventional telling of the story.
The Duel (PBS Home Video, 2000, 60 min.) Available on VHS for $19.98 at or 1-800-531-4727.

    The Duel is the story of the conflict between Alexander Hamilton, an architect of the Constitution and designer of American capitalism, and Aaron Burr, vice president of the United States and the first modern politician. Drawing upon the techniques and style of feature filmmaking, The Duel brings to life this compelling, tragic tale from America's earliest years. The Duel is produced by Carl Byker; Linda Hunt narrates.
Web sites on Hamilton and His Era

Alexander Hamilton

    The Web companion for the New-York Historical Society's exhibition, Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America, includes exhibition highlights, portraits of Hamilton and his contemporaries, a timeline of his life, a weekly Hamilton log, maps featuring Hamilton-related places in New York and New Jersey, and other Hamilton news.
Independence and Its Enemies in New York

    A special NYHS web feature introducing visitors to New York City's involvement in the Revolutionary War from 1765 to 1784. It also provides useful links, a bibliography, and topical games and activities.
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School: The Federalist Papers

    One of many online resources for the complete set of 85 Federalist essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in 1787 and 1788 championing the ratification of the U.S. Constitution
1st Federal Congress Project

    The First Federal Congress Project, a chartered University Research Center and affiliated with the Department of History at the George Washington University, has a dual mission: collecting, researching, editing and publishing the documentary history of the first Federal Congress, 1789-1791, and serving as a research center on the most important and productive Congress in U.S. history.
National Constitution Center

    The Web site provides the text of the U.S. Constitution, the historical context for the documents relevance and development, and educational resources for use in classrooms, and well as links to resources exploring the Consitution today.
The Revolutionary War

    One of many exploring the American Revolution, this National Park Service site pulls together documents, historical sites, timelines, and a host of other resources and delves into the "Unfinished Revolution" how the ideas generated by the founding fathers affected other nations and still influence the nation today.
Alexander Hamilton Historical Society
    A non-profit organization devoted to reinvigorating public interest in Hamilton's life, legacy, and philosophy through educational, publicity, and preservation projects such as the restoration of the Grange, Hamilton's country home.
Places to go:

Adams National Historical Park
    The historical park includes the birthplaces of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as Peace field, the home of four generations of Adamses. The oldest part of the house was built in 1730 by Maj. Leonard Vassall. John Adams bought it in 1787 and added a kitchen, servants' quarters and, in 1800, and L-shaped wing. (135 Adams St., Quincy, MA 02169-1749; phone: 617 770-1175; web site:
Hamilton Grange
    Alexander Hamilton's "country home," built in 1802 and designed by architect John McComb (who also designed Gracie Mansion and New York's current City Hall), still stands in Manhattan. It is a National Park Service site and is open to the public. (287 Convent Ave. (between 141st and 142nd Streets), New York, NY 10005; phone: 212 283-5154; web site:
    Thomas Jefferson's home in Charlottesville, Virgina, is a historic site, open to the public. The house, designed by Jefferson, was begun in 1769 and finished when Jefferson went to Europe in 1784; he started enlarging and redesigning the house in 1796. When Jefferson died in 1826, he was more than $100,000 in debt, and his daughter had to sell the house and its furnishings. (Thomas Jefferson Foundation, PO Box 316, Charlottesville, VA 22902; phone: 434 984-9800; web site:
    James Madison's home in Virginia started out as an eight room brick house, built between 1755 and 1760. After several renovations, the building became a 22-room mansion for the President of the United States and his wife. Owners throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries continued to add on to the property. The house is now part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Montpelier Foundation is in the midst of an exciting program of restoration to bring the house back to its early 19th-century configuration, while continuing to welcome visitors. (P.O. Box 911, Orange, VA 22960; 11407 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA 22957; phone: 540-672-2728; Web site:
Mt. Vernon
    George Washington's estate on the Potomac had been in his family since 1674, when the land was granted to his great-grandfather John Washington. After he inherited it in 1761, Washington expanded the property from 2,000 acres to 8,000 and rebuilt the mansion. It has been restored to its appearance in 1799, the year the former President died, and is open to the public. (Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, PO Box 110, Mount Vernon, VA 22121; phone: 703 780-2000; web site:
Museum of American Financial History
    An active national level advocate on behalf of the growing financial literacy movement, the museum is committed to helping all Americans look to the lessons of financial history, while taking charge of their own financial lives. The exhibits are designed to show significant events in American history from a financial perspective. (28 Broadway, New York, NY 10004; phone: 212 908-4110; Web site:
American History Journals

Special Hamilton Issue New-York Journal of American History, volume 3 (Spring 2004), published by the New-York Historical Society, includes articles on Alexander Hamilton by Richard Brookhiser, James O. Horton, Robert A. McCaughey, Richard Sylla, Joanne B. Freeman, and Sherwin B. Nuland, and an interview with Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow. (New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024; phone: 212 873-3400; Web site: (PDFs for teachers)

Journal of American History, published by the Organization of American Historians, is a leading scholarly publication in the field of U.S. history and features historical articles, historiographic essays, and book reviews. (Organization of American Historians, P.O. Box 5457, Bloomington, IN 47408-5457; phone: 812 855-9851; Web site:

Magazine of History, published by the Organization of American Historians, is designed to provide historical information, documents, lesson plans , and other resources for history teachers. (Organization of American Historians, P.O. Box 5457, Bloomington, IN 47408-5457; phone: 812 855-9851; Web site:

William and Mary Quarterly, published by Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, is a scholarly journal exploring the Atlantic world from Old World Š New World contacts to the early 19th century through a range of disciplines, including literature, law, political science, anthropology, archaeology, material culture, cultural studies as well as history. (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, PO Box 8781, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8781; phone: 757 221-1110; Web site:

Online American History Journals

History Now, at, is a new online journal sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for history teachers and their students. The first issue, on elections, will appear on September 13, 2004. Regular features will include: The HistorianÕs Perspective, Advice from a Master Teacher, Ask the Archivist, and The Interactive Digital Drop Box.

Common-place, at, is a common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks and listens to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900 from architecture to literature, from politics to parlor manners.