The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr by Henry W. Brands

88%

8 Critic Reviews

In this short, accessible study, written entirely in the present tense, historian H.W. Brands has contributed a much more tightly focused work than the massive studies he has published in the past.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

Though he was a hero of the Revolutionary War, a prominent New York politician, and vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr is today best remembered as the villain who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. 

But as H. W. Brands demonstrates in this fascinating portrait of one of the most compelling politicians in American history, Burr was also a man before his time—a proponent of equality between the sexes well over a century before women were able to vote in the US. Through Burr's extensive, witty correspondence with his daughter Theodosia, Brands traces the arc of a scandalous political career and the early years of American politics. The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr not only dramatizes through their words his eventful life, it also tells a touching story of a father's love for his exceptional daughter, which endured through public shame, bankruptcy, and exile, and outlasted even Theodosia's tragic disappearance at sea.

A Paperback Original




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Henry W. Brands

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H. W. BRANDS is the Dickson Allen Anderson Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American and again for Traitor to His Class. His website is www.hwbrands.com.



















Author Residence: Austin, TX
 
Published May 1, 2012 by Anchor. 194 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 15 2012

A short but thrilling page-turner. Brands burrows into Burr’s psyche and exposes his failings as he details the outstanding talents that were so sadly wasted.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Apr 02 2012

What could have been an insightful dual portrait is instead an insubstantial, if pleasing, work.

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Washington Times

Excellent
Reviewed by James Person Jr. on May 22 2012

In this short, accessible study, written entirely in the present tense, historian H.W. Brands has contributed a much more tightly focused work than the massive studies he has published in the past.

Read Full Review of The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr | See more reviews from Washington Times

Seattle PI

Excellent
Reviewed by Tim Gebhart on Apr 29 2012

Largely from beginning to end the portrait Brands creates is crafted with Burr's own words...This also makes the narrative quite readable and well-paced.

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BookIdeas.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Paul Markowitz

This is not a full-on biography but a thoughtful narrative mostly in the characters' own words, of a talented yet flawed politician at a critical and formative time in U.S. history.

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Newcity Lit

Excellent
Reviewed by Martin Northway on May 15 2012

In his brief but compelling “The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr,” he absolutely delivers on the publisher’s promise of a series of “American Portraits:” that they are “tightly written, vividly rendered accounts of lost or forgotten lives and crucial historical moments.”

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The Austinist

Excellent
Reviewed by Siobhan Welch on May 03 2012

The letters give us an authentic glimpse of his personality while nicely mirroring the dramatic political landscape (duels, deals and treason) of the time.

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Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Steve Hopkins on Jun 14 2012

During a time when most histories and biographies run hundreds of pages in length, and provide sweeping depth and breath, this short book, 176 pages of text, is a refreshing change.

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Reader Rating for The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr
75%

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