The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton

The Life and Legacy of America's Most Elusive Founding Father

300 pages

April, 2006

ISBN: 9780814707142



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Douglas Ambrose is Sidney Wertimer, Jr. associate professor of history at Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York. He is the author of Henry Hughes and Proslavery Thought in the Old South.

All books by Douglas Ambrose

Robert W. T. Martin is associate professor of government at Hamilton College and author of The Free and Open Press (NYU Press, 2001).

All books by Robert W. T. Martin

Revolutionary War officer, co-author of the Federalist Papers, our first Treasury Secretary, Thomas Jefferson’s nemesis, and victim of a fatal duel with Aaron Burr: Alexander Hamilton has been the focus of debate from his day to ours. On the one hand, Hamilton was the quintessential Founding Father, playing a central role in every key debate and event in the Revolutionary and Early Republic eras. On the other hand, he has received far less popular and scholarly attention than his brethren. Who was he really and what is his legacy?

Scholars have long disagreed. Was Hamilton a closet monarchist or a sincere republican? A victim of partisan politics or one of its most active promoters? A lackey for British interests or a foreign policy mastermind? The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton addresses these and other perennial questions. Leading Hamilton scholars, both historians and political scientists alike, present fresh evidence and new, sometimes competing, interpretations of the man, his thought, and the legacy he has had on America and the world.


  • “Scholars whose interests include the political, diplomatic, and economics aspects of the early republic will find these works rewarding additions to their reading.”

    Journal of the Early Republic

  • “This book . . . achiev[es] a badly needed analysis of Hamilton’s impact on his and later times.”

    The Historian

  • “Talleyrand, who was acquainted with all of the statesmen of Europe, once remarked that he had never encountered anyone ‘equal to Alexander Hamilton.’ Hamilton may, in fact, have been the greatest of the American Founding Fathers. He was certainly one of the most important. Despite this, he has rarely been given his due. This superb collection of essays goes a considerable distance towards redressing the balance and towards restoring an American statesman to the central place that he occupied in his own time.”

    —Paul A. Rahe, author of Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution

  • “Here are many fresh thoughts by many of the most innovative scholars at work on Alexander Hamilton today. Every student of the new republic and many general readers who are captivated by the subject will want to read this volume.”

    —Lance Banning, author of Conceived in Liberty: The Struggle to Define the New Republic, 1789-1793