100 books like Alexander Hamilton

By Ron Chernow,

Here are 100 books that Alexander Hamilton fans have personally recommended if you like Alexander Hamilton. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Churchill: A Life

Adam Leitman Bailey Author Of Finding the Uncommon Deal: A Top New York Lawyer Explains How to Buy a Home For the Lowest Possible Price

From my list on making you a better and more successful leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Adam Leitman Bailey. I am a lawyer, a writer, an advocate, and a leader. Most importantly, I can not stand injustice.  

Adam's book list on making you a better and more successful leader

Adam Leitman Bailey Why did Adam love this book?

Churchill was a great leader and lawyer and showed how to overcome difficult times.

No leader in world history has exemplified overcoming great odds to lead a country to beat the Nazis and instill a morale within its people when none existed. Almost every chapter in the book is a lesson on how to be a better leader.

By Martin Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Churchill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This edition of the highly acclaimed one-volume Churchill: A Life, is the story of adventure. It follows Winston Churchill from his earliest days to his moments of triumph. Here, the drama and excitement of his story are ever-present, as are his tremendous qualities in peace and war, not least as an orator and as a man of vision. Martin Gilbert gives us a vivid portrait, using Churchill's most personal letters and the recollections of his contemporaries, both friends and enemies, to go behind the scenes of some of the stormiest and most fascinating political events of our time, dominated by…


Book cover of The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Susan E. Lindsey Author Of Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia

From my list on explore history you didn’t know.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical nonfiction, I’m an avid reader, and I’ve long been fascinated by the past. But I’m far less interested in the stories of powerful people, political intrigues, and significant battles. I would rather read (and write) hidden history: the stories that have not yet been discovered or fully explored and stories that are left out of history books—accidentally or deliberately. I find these far more compelling. They often provide a deeper look at how history affects those who lack power, influence, and money but who nevertheless do remarkable and often heroic things. I live in Portugal and have started working on a new historical nonfiction book.   

Susan's book list on explore history you didn’t know

Susan E. Lindsey Why did Susan love this book?

I couldn’t put down this book that traces dual stories of the architect who designed the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and a serial killer who chose his victims from among those who flocked to the city.

One of my great-aunts served as a nurse at the World’s Fair infirmary, and I remember hearing about the fair and her experiences there—how wondrous and magical it had all seemed to a young woman from a small town.

I couldn’t help but think of her when I read about the very dark side of the fair, too. Erik Larson is one of my favorite authors, and this is my favorite of his books.

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Devil in the White City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Chicago World Fair was the greatest fair in American history. This is the story of the men and women whose lives it irrevocably changed and of two men in particular- an architect and a serial killer. The architect is Daniel Burnham, a man of great integrity and depth. It was his vision of the fair that attracted the best minds and talents of the day. The killer is Henry H. Holmes. Intelligent as well as handsome and charming, Holmes opened a boarding house which he advertised as 'The World's Fair Hotel' Here in the neighbourhood where he was once…


Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

I found Count Alexander Rostov to be a fascinating character with real depth. Sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he outwits his opponents at every turn. I love how he changes the lives of everyone around him, whether they are his friends or his jailers, and ultimately how he is changed by them.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Sergei Guriev Author Of Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century

From my list on why countries succeed and why they fail.

Why am I passionate about this?

What are some countries rich and others are poor? I strongly believe that this is the most important question for modern economics. I've become an economist to understand this. I am happy that in recent decades economists – working closely together with other social scientists – have made so much progress in this field. And this is not abstract knowledge – it is being applied already to help developing countries catch up with the rich world. I have seen it myself when I took a leave from academia to work as a Chief Economist of a development bank (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) – to learn more from and to contribute to this work.

Sergei's book list on why countries succeed and why they fail

Sergei Guriev Why did Sergei love this book?

This is a bestselling book that tackles the most important question in economics: why some countries are rich, and some are poor.

This well-written and convincing book provides a very broad and accessible overview of history of successful and failing societies. It argues that inclusive democratic institutions deliver better economic outcomes than authoritarian ones.

Given that this view is based on recent research in political economy and development economics – including the authors’ own groundbreaking work – this is a must-read for all advocates of liberal democracy who want to have quantitative arguments and historical narratives to stand up to the rise of authoritarianism around the world. 

I teach political economy of development. My job is to explain to the students why some countries are rich and others are poor.

Acemoglu and Robinson is a wonderful and accessible textbook. Students love it – even if they often argue with the…

By Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Why Nations Fail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012.

Why are some nations more prosperous than others? Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money…


Book cover of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had a long career as a professor of organizational behavior. My view is that the most ignored and undervalued aspect of leadership is the development and implementation of political skills. Any leader who claims, “I don’t do politics” or “I’m not political,” is not serving themselves very well and, in fact, may be setting themselves up for failure. Whether in organizational life, in the sphere of public policy, or in daily life, we need to overcome the obstacles that impede our capacity to implement agendas and ideas and achieve our aspirations. Dreamers who lack political skills remain dreamers, not leaders. 

Samuel's book list on books for leaders who need to master the political skills to move ideas and innovations and overcome resistance

Samuel Bacharach Why did Samuel love this book?

This book has become a classic. It’s a brilliant book.

Doris Kearns Goodwin gives specific examples of how Abraham Lincoln was a master in creating coalitions and mobilizing support in the face of continuous resistance. His cabinet was made up of senior and ambitious individuals, many of whom were strong leaders in their own right.

Lincoln had to figure out how to get them on his side and create viable coalitions in order to move his key agenda—win the war and ensure the passage of the 13th Amendment. In many ways, he was not simply a visionary but a master of balancing persuasion and authority—which is a desirable leadership skill.

By Doris Kearns Goodwin,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Team of Rivals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most influential books of the past fifty years, Team of Rivals is Pulitzer Prize–winning author and esteemed presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s modern classic about the political genius of Abraham Lincoln, his unlikely presidency, and his cabinet of former political foes.

Winner of the prestigious Lincoln Prize and the inspiration for the Oscar Award winning–film Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, directed by Steven Spielberg, and written by Tony Kushner.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago.…


Book cover of Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive

D. Greg Scott Author Of Trafficking U

From my list on people like me who became heroes under pressure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a dad, a grandfather, an alcoholic family survivor, a writer, and a Christian, and I do technology for a living. I'm pretty good with cybersecurity. This gives me a unique background to present modern stories. My novels so far feature technology elements, but never any Hollywood hacker scenes. I respect my audience too much for that. But look deeper to find ordinary people overcoming extraordinary challenges. I draw inspiration from my own life—Jerry Barkley is pretty much me with the benefit of an editor. But Jesse Jonsen is pure fiction. Look for the human element behind the technology in my stories. Enjoy the fiction. Use the education. 

D.'s book list on people like me who became heroes under pressure

D. Greg Scott Why did D. love this book?

Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner before WWII. He had extraordinary talent, which almost disqualified him from my list. But after his plane crashed in the Pacific, and then as a Japanese prisoner, he endured unbelievable hardship. And shortly after returning home, he was done running—no more extraordinary talent.

He spent years fighting alcohol addiction and PTSD before we knew what PTSD was. He recovered, accepted Jesus, learned how to forgive, and reached out to his former torturers who had taken away his prime athletic years. But even better, author Laura Hillenbrand demonstrated what it means for authors to get out of the way and let the story do the work. No fancy language, just the story. So, this book inspired me twice.

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Unbroken as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian's courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory. This adaptation of Unbroken introduces a new generation to one of history's most thrilling survival epics. 

On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the…


Book cover of The Fountainhead

Luis de Miranda Author Of Philosophical Health: A Practical Introduction

From my list on improving your philosophical health.

Why am I passionate about this?

Choosing philosophy at 18 raised a few eyebrows: friends and family thought I was a bit mad and a little lost. Later, when I decided to write philosophical stories and essays, I heard the same refrain: “Most people are afraid of philosophy.” But those voices never swayed me. Deep down, I knew that thinking is a powerful tool for healing, a way to mend what’s broken within us and in the world. Ideas, I believe, can spark change and make the world a better place.

Luis' book list on improving your philosophical health

Luis de Miranda Why did Luis love this book?

This book is like a forbidden fruit, tempting and dangerous. But it came to my rescue when I’d lost sight of my own dreams for a little while. Sure, Ayn Rand’s philosophy has many simplistic flaws, but in this novel, she channels a Nietzschean spirit that jolts you awake. It was a call to never forget to embrace my ambition and to continue to forge my own writing path even when readers seem indifferent.

In a world full of compromises, there’s power in refusing to settle for less than your own extraordinary potential.

Book cover of How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth

Sergei Guriev Author Of Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century

From my list on why countries succeed and why they fail.

Why am I passionate about this?

What are some countries rich and others are poor? I strongly believe that this is the most important question for modern economics. I've become an economist to understand this. I am happy that in recent decades economists – working closely together with other social scientists – have made so much progress in this field. And this is not abstract knowledge – it is being applied already to help developing countries catch up with the rich world. I have seen it myself when I took a leave from academia to work as a Chief Economist of a development bank (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) – to learn more from and to contribute to this work.

Sergei's book list on why countries succeed and why they fail

Sergei Guriev Why did Sergei love this book?

This is a great textbook as well. But it has two important advantages.

First, it came out 10 years later than Why Nations Fail, therefore covering so much more recent research in this very vibrant field of interdisciplinary work on what drives and what slows down economic development.

Second, while the authors have worked on these issues themselves, they are much less focused on one of the explanations of development and provide a more balanced view of the field.

Very informative read even for those who (like me) have already read a lot on the subject. A treasure of previously unknown stories of development and underdevelopment to discuss with friends and students. 

By Mark Koyama, Jared Rubin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the World Became Rich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most humans are significantly richer than their ancestors. Humanity gained nearly all of its wealth in the last two centuries. How did this come to pass? How did the world become rich?

Mark Koyama and Jared Rubin dive into the many theories of why modern economic growth happened when and where it did. They discuss recently advanced theories rooted in geography, politics, culture, demography, and colonialism. Pieces of each of these theories help explain key events on the path to modern riches. Why did the Industrial Revolution begin in 18th-century Britain? Why did some European countries, the US, and Japan…


Book cover of Upheaval

Sergei Guriev Author Of Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century

From my list on why countries succeed and why they fail.

Why am I passionate about this?

What are some countries rich and others are poor? I strongly believe that this is the most important question for modern economics. I've become an economist to understand this. I am happy that in recent decades economists – working closely together with other social scientists – have made so much progress in this field. And this is not abstract knowledge – it is being applied already to help developing countries catch up with the rich world. I have seen it myself when I took a leave from academia to work as a Chief Economist of a development bank (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) – to learn more from and to contribute to this work.

Sergei's book list on why countries succeed and why they fail

Sergei Guriev Why did Sergei love this book?

This is a fascinating in-depth account of several case studies of countries that faced a crisis and had to reinvent themselves: Australia, Chile, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, and the US (I am not mentioning the exact time points to avoid spoilers).

The author puts together a general framework to evaluate the factors that contribute to successful or failing transformations.

For me, as a Russian, this is a very practical guidebook – how should we rebuild Russia after Putin, how should Russia re-emerge as a peaceful and free country; how can we make sure that Russia will never again be what it is now. The book provides many insights on this but, unfortunately, also suggests that success is not guaranteed.

By Jared Diamond,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Upheaval as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A "riveting and illuminating" Bill Gates Summer Reading pick about how and why some nations recover from trauma and others don't (Yuval Noah Harari), by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the landmark bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel.

In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises.

Diamond compares how six countries have survived…


Book cover of Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Adam Leitman Bailey Author Of Finding the Uncommon Deal: A Top New York Lawyer Explains How to Buy a Home For the Lowest Possible Price

From my list on making you a better and more successful leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Adam Leitman Bailey. I am a lawyer, a writer, an advocate, and a leader. Most importantly, I can not stand injustice.  

Adam's book list on making you a better and more successful leader

Adam Leitman Bailey Why did Adam love this book?

Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking made John D. the first billionaire, and those leaders and entrepreneurs looking to sharpen their skills with a fascinating story should make this book a must-read.

It made me a better entrepreneur, a smarter businessperson, and a stronger leader among men and women.  

By Ron Chernow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Titan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
 
From the acclaimed, award-winning author of Alexander Hamilton: here is the essential, endlessly engrossing biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.—the Jekyll-and-Hyde of American capitalism. In the course of his nearly 98 years, Rockefeller was known as both a rapacious robber baron, whose Standard Oil Company rode roughshod over an industry, and a philanthropist who donated money lavishly to universities and medical centers. He was the terror of his competitors, the bogeyman of reformers, the delight of caricaturists—and an utter enigma.
 
Drawing on unprecedented access to Rockefeller’s private papers, Chernow reconstructs his subjects’ troubled origins…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in statesmen, politics, and Alexander Hamilton?

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