Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life (2016)

alexJeff Wilser, Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life New York: Three Rivers Press, 2016, 314 pp. $11.55

The Founding Father’s were men of principle and courage. In Jeff Wilser’s book, Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life, he argues that Hamilton is the most underrated Founding Father. Indeed, Alexander Hamilton is likely the most qualified man to serve as President, yet never filled the office.

Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life is cleverly divided into nine areas of discussion. These areas include self-improvement, career advancement, romance, money, style & etiquette, leisure (!), friends & family, leadership, office politics, and honor. The author reveals the heart of Hamilton in each area and carefully unfolds the pertinent aspects of his personality, core convictions, and weaknesses.

Wilser’s work is a mixture of history and suggestions for personal improvement. Sections of the book of really funny. Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life is a quick read. It is a fun read, to be sure. But it is also a serious historical work. Never intended to match the scholarship of books like Ron Chernow’s, Alexander Hamilton, Wilser’s writing clearly depends on Chernow’s scholarship. In that respect, the work under consideration is truly unique. It is a fitting introduction to Alexander Hamilton and will likely motivate readers to dig deeper into the life of this Founding Father.

The closing words demonstrate Wilser’s respect for the man:

After writing this book, I’m convinced that Alexander Hamilton is one of the main reasons – maybe the reason – that we are the United States, not just some united states. He’s the reason that we do more in America than just plant cabbage and herd sheep. With astonishing foresight that eclipsed every other Founding Father’s – Washington, Adams, Jefferson, all of them, Hamilton envisioned the future of the United States. Then he made it happen.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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