15 Must-Read Alexander Hamilton Books

There are several books about Alexander Hamilton, one of the United States Founding Fathers. Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Nevis in the West Indies and orphaned at an early age. He migrated to North America and became George Washington's aide-de-camp during the American Revolutionary War. 

Afterward, he was one of the signers of the United States Constitution and served as the country's first Secretary of Treasury. 

Today, Hamilton is celebrated for his unique contribution to American democracy and finance. If you're looking for a great read about this fascinating figure, check out one (or more!) of these 15 books about him.

Alexander Hamilton Books

1. Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

Written by: Ron Chernow

Published: 2004

Pages: 818

Alexander Hamilton was one of the most influential and controversial figures in American history. His life story is full of dramatic events, from his humble beginnings as an illegitimate child in the West Indies to his rise as one of America's Founding Fathers.

Ron Chernow's biography reveals all the complexities that made up this fascinating man, from his political achievements to personal relationships. Anyone interested in American history will find much to explore in this detailed and well-written biography.

>> More books about the Founding Fathers

2. Alexander Hamilton: A Life

Alexander Hamilton: A Life

Written by: Willard Sterne Randall

Published: 2003

Pages: 496

Author Willard Sterne Randall does a masterful job of recounting Hamilton's life story in detail, painting a complete picture of this complex man.

In this book, you’ll learn about his dramatic life and accomplishments, from his humble beginnings as an orphan to his role in creating the American financial system.

Whether you're already familiar with Hamilton or are just learning about him for the first time, this book is worth reading.

3. Rivals Unto Death: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr

Rivals Unto Death

Written by: Rick Beyer

Published: 2017

Pages: 224

In the early morning of July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton met on a dueling ground in Weehawken, New Jersey. The two men had long been political rivals, and their hostility had come to a head after Burr's defeat for the governorship of New York.

That morning, each man fired a shot at the other. Hamiton hit a tree nearby, while Burr took a shot that fatally wounded Hamilton.

In the years since that tragic event, historians have tried to unravel the motives behind Burr and Hamilton's feud.

Was it really about politics? Or were there personal issues at play as well?

In his book, Rivals Unto Death: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, you'll learn more about what happened in this fateful event that eventually took the life of Hamilton.

4. Alexander Hamilton: First Architect Of The American Government

Alexander Hamilton: First Architect

Written by: Michael W. Simmons

Published: 2016

Pages: 243

As one of the Founding Fathers of America, Alexander Hamilton's role in the country's early years was immeasurable. One of his many contributions was the nation's first architect of its government.

Hamilton helped create the system of checks and balances that we still use today and left an indelible mark on American politics.

In this book, you’ll learn more about Hamilton's life and legacy. You'll find out how he became one of the most influential figures in the development of our government.

5. 1776


Written by: David McCullough

Published: 2006

Pages: 386

Looking at the events of 1776, it's hard to imagine that anything other than American independence could have resulted. The British were in the midst of a civil war, and their resources were stretched thin.

The American colonists had been arming and organizing for years, with significant popular support.

But David McCullough's 1776 shows that it was far from a sure thing. McCullough vividly brings to life the characters and events of the year leading up to the Declaration of Independence, painting a fascinating picture of the politics and battlefields of the time.

>> More books about US History

6. Washington's Circle: The Creation of the President

Washington's Circle

Written by: David Stephen Heidler, Jeanne T. Heidler

Published: 2015

Pages: 560

Washington's Circle: The Creation of the President by David Stephen Heidler is a meticulously researched and highly engaging look at creating the American presidency.

Focusing on the early days of our country, Heidler provides a detailed exploration of how George Washington set a precedent for presidential authority and established many of the traditions we take for granted today.

We've added it to this list of Alexander Hamilton books as he was an important figure in the formation of the U.S. Government and a close friend and business partner of Washington.

>> More books about George Washington

7. The Essential Hamilton: Letters & Other Writings

The Essential Hamilton

Written by: Alexander Hamilton

Published: 2017

Pages: 424

Alexander Hamilton's life was cut tragically short after a duel with Aaron Burr, but his legacy as one of America's Founding Fathers lives on. Letters & Other Writings collects Hamilton's thoughts and writings on everything from the Constitution to his love for Eliza Schuyler.

It's an excellent read for anyone looking to get into the mind and life of Hamilton.

8. A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States

Written by: Howard Zinn

Published: 2003 (1980)

Pages: 752  

Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" is a seminal work in American history. Zinn offers a different perspective on U.S. history, one that is more reflective of the experiences of ordinary people. His book provides an illuminating look at the country's past and helps readers understand its complex and often contradictory origins.

While Hamilton is only a tiny part of this book, it shows you the impact he had on creating the U.S. and how it operates today.

9. Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton

Eliza Hamilton

Written by: Tilar J. Mazzeo

Published: 2018

Pages: 352

Eliza Hamilton by Tilar J. Mazzeo tells the remarkable story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Making use of previously unpublished letters and documents, Mazzeo brings new insight to Eliza's life as a woman in Revolutionary War-era America, as well as her role in shaping one of the most significant periods in U.S. history.

Drawing on her prodigious knowledge of early America, Mazzeo brings readers inside Eliza's world, offering an intimate look at the complicated dynamics between husband and wife and among the founding fathers themselves.

10. The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers

Written by: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

Published: 2006 (1788)

Pages: 656

The Federalist Papers are a series of eighty-five essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. The essays were published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.

The Federalist Papers offer a clear and concise explanation of the Constitution, and they remain an important resource for understanding the framers' intent.

They are essential to read for anyone interesting in how Hamilton thought and what pieces were adopted into the Constitution.

>> Additional books about James Madison

11. The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

Written by: Thomas Fleming

Published: 2009

Pages: 480

In his book, The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Fleming offers a comprehensive look at the personal lives of America's founding fathers. Drawing on letters, diaries, and other primary sources,

Fleming provides an in-depth portrait of these men–their relationships with one another, their families, and their private lives.

This fascinating account sheds new light on the revolutionary era and the shaping of our nation.

12. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different

Revolutionary Characters

Written by:  Gordon S. Wood

Published: 2006

Pages: 336

What distinguished the Founding Fathers from other early American revolutionaries? In his book, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, historian Gordon S. Wood argues that their unique personal characteristics and experiences set them apart.

Drawing on a wide range of sources, Wood explores the unique backgrounds and motivations of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson.

He shows how their upbringing, education, and life experiences shaped their views on government and influenced the course of the revolution.

>> More books about the American Revolution

13. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Founding Brothers

Written by: Joseph J. Ellis

Published: 2002

Pages: 288

This book takes a closer look at the founding fathers of the United States and their roles in the nation's early years. It's an enlightening read that will give you a new appreciation for these men and their contributions to our country.

You'll learn about their relationships with one another, as well as their accomplishments and failures.

If you're looking for a deeper understanding of America's history, then be sure to check out this book.

14. The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America

The Patriots

Written by: Winston Groom

Published: 2020

Pages: 464

This book takes a deep dive into three of the United States' founding fathers. Groom paints the picture of important events, decisions, and ideas that made these three powerful during the American Revolution.

You'll learn more about each of their backgrounds and the pieces of the government they helped to create. Even though they didn't always agree, these three still worked together to develop significant portions of the government we know today.

>> Additional books about Thomas Jefferson

15. War of Two: The Dark Mystery of the Duel Between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and Its Legacy for America

War of Two

Written by: John Sedgwick

Published: 2015

Pages: 455

This is a second book on our list of Alexander Hamilton books that dives deep into the duel. It's another look at their long-standing conflict. It also outlines the events that led up to them meeting for a duel on the morning of July 11.

You'll read more about a series of letters between the two, including one written by Hamilton the night before the duel. It's a great insight into what happened in the days leading up to the duel and what each was thinking when they arrived.