What is there left to say about this book? Not only did it fill an important gap in the popular biography of an important Founding Father – it inspired a groundbreaking Broadway musical that will inspire generations to come with the story of an extraordinary individual and the founding of our nation.
There was the odd sensation seeing the origin of song lyrics from the musical throughout. “Not Throwing Away My Shot” seems to actually have been inspired by the clear historical record that Hamilton told people he “was” in fact “throwing away his shot” in the duel with Burr. Burr actually did say that “the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me.” There was the heartbreak in the final portrait of a middle-aged Hamilton after his son Philip was killed in a duel.  I never knew he had made it to middle age, candidly, or that the light in his eyes had seemed to have gone out.
But there was substance I had not seen as well. No one comes out terribly well here, and the worst decisions were Hamilton’s, from the ill-advised publication of the Reynolds and Adams pamphlets to the panicked calls for the New York Legislature to find a way to set aside statewide electoral results in 1800, since they would in effect guarantee the Federalists’ loss to Jefferson’s emerging Democratic-Republicans later in the year. And ending, of course, in his failure to find a way to avoid the duel that would leave his family in poverty.
A terrific book, all in all. And it’s remarkable how well the musical tells the same story.