Book review: Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History, by Dan Brown

Brown, Don. Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History. Roaring Brook, 2015. $17.99 32p. 9781596439986. Ages 7-10. P6Q9

Brown Aaron and AlexanderThe parallels between the lives of founding fathers Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton should have brought them together—orphaned at early ages, exellent students who became lawyers, short, courageous, and passionate about politics. Yet their political differences, especially when Burr ran against Thomas Jefferson for president in 1800, brought them to one of the famous duels in history, leading to the death of one and a lost reputation for the other. The use of the word “bang” in the duel and the wry facial expressions in the muted pencil and watercolor illustrations may have been intended to provide a bit of lightness to the tragedy, but the book is essentially about ideological differences between colleagues leading to one of them dying. The appended author’s note and list of sources may be more appropriate for older readers.

April 2016 review by Nel Ward.

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