Thursday, June 23, 2016

Nine Books for Hamilton Fans

If Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ron Chernow, and Alexander Hamilton have sparked your interest in the history of the United States' founding and its early days, you're not alone. The Tony Award-winning musical has inspired enthusiasm and curiosity among many, which is why we've invited Dr. Eugene Tesdahl to give a presentation on the life and times of Alexander Hamilton. Dr. Tesdahl, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will be presenting at Carnegie-Stout Public Library on Monday, July 11 at 6 p.m. (the 212th anniversary of Hamilton and Burr's duel).

Dozens of books have been written about our nation's earliest days, but we've narrowed the list down to nine suggestions below (we assume you've already checked out Hamilton: The Revolution and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow).

You might also enjoy reading some of the same books that our Founding Fathers borrowed from the New York Society Library, which included such notable members as George Washington, Aaron Burr, and Hamilton himself. You can browse their ledgers of borrower records online!

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph Ellis
(973.3 ELL) The triumph of the American Revolution was neither an ideological nor political guarantee that the colonies would relinquish their independence and accept the creation of a federal government with power over their individual autonomy. The Quartet is the story of this second American founding and of the men responsible, men who shaped the contours of American history by drafting the Bill of Rights.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
(973.33 VOW) On August 16, 1824, an elderly French gentlemen sailed into New York Harbor and giddy Americans were there to welcome him. Or, rather, to welcome him back. It had been 30 years since the Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette had last set foot in the United States, and he was so beloved that 80,000 people showed up to cheer for him.

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
(Biog Jefferson) Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson's genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America by Stephen Knott & Tony Williams
(973.41 KNO) From the rumblings of the American Revolution through the fractious Constitutional Convention and America's turbulent first years, this captivating history reveals the stunning impact of this unlikely duo that set the United States on the path to becoming a superpower.

The Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of the American Revolution by Sam Willis
(973.35 WIL) Sam Willis traces every key military event in the path to American independence from a naval perspective, and he also brings this important viewpoint to bear on economic, political, and social developments that were fundamental to the success of the Revolution. In doing so Willis offers valuable new insights into American, British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Russian history.

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick
(973.3 PHI) The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington's unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.

The Washingtons: George and Martha, "Join'd by Friendship, Crown'd by Love" by Flora Fraser
(Biog Washington) This is a remarkable story of a remarkable pair as well as a gripping narrative of the birth of a nation--a major, and vastly appealing, contribution to the literature of our founding fathers . . . and founding mother.

Washington's Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution by Patrick O'Donnell
(973.33 ODO) In August 1776, General George Washington's army faced off against over 20,000 British and Hessian soldiers at the Battle of Brooklyn. It was almost the end of the war. But thanks to a series of desperate bayonet charges by a single heroic regiment from Maryland, known as the "Immortal 400," Washington was able to retreat and regroup.

Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence by Carol Berkin
(973.3 BER) The American Revolution was a home-front war that brought scarcity, bloodshed, and danger into the life of every American, and Carol Berkin shows us that women played a vital role throughout the struggle. Berkin takes us into the ordinary moments of extraordinary lives.

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