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Comprehensive Biography: 'Alexander Hamilton'

Cover of 'Alexander Hamilton' by Ron Chernow.
Cover of 'Alexander Hamilton' by Ron Chernow.

Award-winning historian Ron Chernow releases Alexander Hamilton, his new biography of the first secretary of the Treasury, a man who Chernow calls the most underrated of the Founding Fathers.

'Alexander Hamilton' traces Hamilton's rise from a poverty-stricken childhood on the West Indies island of Nevis to his role as a key planner of a new society and his early designs for the American economy.

The biography also details the circumstances surrounding Hamilton's death in a duel with then-Vice President Aaron Burr. NPR's Liane Hansen speaks with Chernow.

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Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.