Hamilton

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Hamilton continues a torrid run on Broadway and now on select stages around the world.

The book its based on, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow has a much different pace than pieces from the musical I've seen on television.

This is a tremendous biography with an incredible level of detail about one of the youngest men considered founding fathers of the United States.

I highly recommend it.

You should know going in the 730 pages tends toward the academic side of things.

It gives a clear picture of a boy growing up on a Caribbean Island forced at an early age to fend for himself and succeeding beyond all expectations.

Mentors and sympathetic friends helped the young Hamilton find his way to the British Colony and an education in New York City.

Journeying from an early job as clerk for a shipping company in the West Indies to college then into the military in his late teens it is an impressive tale of opportunity and hard work creating steps up a career ladder.

I can't say I was really aware of Hamilton's influence in the early years of our nation or his lasting impact on the shape of government.  A public servant much of his life who came to prominence as the right-hand of General George Washington, Chernow traces the ups, downs, and missteps of his life.

One misstep in particular ends up blocking a possible path to the Presidency and an out-sized ego to his demise.

I checked out the book thinking it will give me some background in advance of the musical reaching Madison; in the end it gave me a more profound appreciation of the narrow margin of error our young country walked in those earliest years.