Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough (review)
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Reviewed by
Brockenbrough, Martha Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary. Feiwel, 2017 [384p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-250-12319-0 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-250-12320-6 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 8-12

The musical Hamilton has unleashed a crop of young Hamiltonians on the world, but where are they to go if they’re looking for some biographical expansion without tackling Ron Chernow’s adult work? Brockenbrough, author of The Game of Love and Death (BCCB 7/15), comes to the rescue with this lively and affectionate treatment of the subject. She’s both explicitly and implicitly aware of the musical, with echoes of its phrases popping up throughout and a strong focus on the episodes and people who were prominent in it; her casting of historical figures as protagonists or antagonists falls in line as well (don’t look here for any redemption of Jefferson, for instance). However, this volume not only fleshes out the story but also gives particularly cogent yet accessible explanation of Hamilton’s economic plans and contributions, making this an excellent curricular tool even for non-fans. End matter goes beyond extensive to humongous, with an overview of “allies and enemies” and over two dozen sidebar-type entries on various aspects of the War of Independence and eighteenth-century life as well as Burr’s later years. The more usual timeline, source notes (demonstrating considerable work with primary sources), and index are also included, and historical images and maps appear throughout. In addition to the obvious tie-ins, this would make an illuminating counterpart to Anderson’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing (BCCB 11/06).

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