Tuesday 27 June 2017
Book Review: Alexander Hamilton's Revolution by Philip Thomas Tucker
Author: Philip Thomas Tucker
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication Date: 1 June 2017
Format: eBook - EPUB
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Sell-outs crowds every night enjoy the smash hit Hamilton on Broadway, which presents a fact-filled and entertaining glimpse into the patriot’s life. But very few of us know about Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, General George Washington’s trusted military advisor.
Despite his less-than-promising beginnings as the only Founding Father not born and raised on American soil, Hamilton was one of the best and brightest of his generation. His notoriety has rested almost entirely on his role as Secretary of the Treasury in Washington’s administration, yet few realize that Washington and Hamilton’s bond was forged during the Revolutionary War. Hamilton’s Revolution is the first book to explore Hamilton’s critical role during the battle for independence. New information presents a little-known and underpublished aspect of Hamilton’s life: that he was not only Washington’s favorite staff officer, but also his right-hand man for most of the Revolution, serving as Chief of Staff from 1777 to early 1781.
While he found this position rewarding, Hamilton continually asked Washington for a field command. Hamilton’s wish was granted at the decisive battle of Yorktown, where his Infantry Battalion charged on the defensive bastion on Cornwallis’s left flank. Hamilton’s capture of this position, while French forced captured the adjacent position. This sealed Cornwallis’s fate and forced his surrender, and ultimate Colonial victory.
The entire patriotic cause benefited immeasurably from the advice and strategies provided to Washington by his youngest staff officer Alexander Hamilton. Now, those critical contributions are brought to light in Hamilton’s Revolution. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Overall, I found Alexander Hamilton's Revolution an interesting and easy read. Although my American Revolution reading up to now has focused strongly on John André, I knew a little of Hamilton. However, my knowledge was mostly superficial: his background in the West Indies and his famous death. I was, therefore, delighted to learn more about his work with Washington, having never realised how influential he was. For the most part, the book was very readable; nevertheless, it was repetitive at times, with Tucker stating the same information multiple times across different pages and chapters, which started to grate. That made the difference between four stars and five for this review, but it didn't completely dampen my appreciation for the work. As the title suggests, this book focuses on the years Hamilton spent as Washington's aide-de-camp. If you are looking for a complete overview of Hamilton's life, I would suggest commencing your reading elsewhere. Do come back to this work afterwards, though, for a more in-depth review of his role during the Revolution.