Alexander Hamilton Portrait in Paradox Author:John C. Miller He left an imprint upon this country that time has not effaced. Probably no American statesman has displayed more audacity and a bolder and more constructive imagination than he, so prodigal of ideas and so obsessed by a determination to make the United States a powerful nation. — "Of some of our institutions," comments the author, "it may be ju... more »stly said that they are the lengthened shadow of one man-Alexander Hamilton."
The period in which he lived was an age of great men and great events-the age of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and John Marshall, of Pitt and Fox and Bonaparte. Yet Talleyrand, no mean judge of men and measures, pronounced Hamilton to be the greatest of these "choice and master spirits of the age."
Hamilton's was a strange career-and no one was more conscious of its strangeness than Hamilton himself. A West Indian by birth, and of antecedents that provided his enemies with a never-failing source of scurrility-John Adams called him "the bastard brat of a Scotch peddler" - he rose by sheer brilliance and courage to high social, political, and military position in his adopted country.
In this extraordinarily readable account of Hamilton and his life-long love affair with the United States, Mr. Miller reveals him clearly as a man of vision and audacity who went a long way by pushing his luck; a devoted public servant who gave unstintingly of his energy and ability to the cause of American union, though he had little love for the people whose power and well-being he sought to advance. Skillfully, scrupulously and in absorbing detail, Miller, explores the springs of Hamilton's thinking and the experiences and influences that shaped his attitudes and molded his policies, examines the results, and shows how and why this country would have developed differently had Hamilton not lived when he did and been the kind of man he was.« less