Book Buzz: Hamilton Versus Wall Street by Nancy Bradeen Spannaus


A thoughtful, well-written argument for Alexander Hamilton’s financial system as a guard against tyranny.―Kirkus

"How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?", the cast sings during the first act of Broadway's Hamilton. Although this provides a summary of Alexander Hamilton's life that can fit in a song verse, it leaves so much of his accomplishments and impact on the United States of America unsaid. 

Broadway's Hamilton has captured the attention of a lot of people, especially the younger generation. It has sparked a fresh curiosity about the first U.S. Treasury Secretary's life. Nancy Spannaus' book, Hamilton Versus Wall Street: The Core Principles of the American System of Economics, speaks to an area of Hamilton's life that is not explored enough in the musical. This book focuses on Hamilton as the founder of an American system of Economics, which catapulted the United States into an industrial powerhouse.

In Hamilton Versus Wall Street, Spannaus presents Hamilton's economic principles that changed the course of American history. She also refutes some of the misleading assertions about his policies that are propagated in contemporary culture and many of his biographies. She debunks the portrayal of Hamilton as the Father of Wall Street and its financial premises and methods. She emphasizes that if Hamilton were alive today, he would refute the principles and practices prevalent in Wall Street.

Hamilton Versus Wall Street is based on Spannaus' 40-year study of Hamilton's ideas and policies on political economy. Her interest was first captured upon reading Hamilton's Report of Manufactures. Four decades later, she is an expert on Hamilton's economics and how they can be applied today. The book is written to inform, even those who are non-experts in history, economics, or politics, about Hamilton's contribution to the creation of the United States.

In bite-sized chapters, Spannaus presents the keys to unlocking Hamilton's theories, and shows how succeeding administrations relied on Hamilton's wisdom in building America's economic and financial system, despite strong opposition from the private financial sector. Highly recommended!
Neil C. Hughes, former private banking and World Bank official

Hamilton Versus Wall Street by Nancy Bradeen Spannaus

244 Pages

ISBN 9781532067549

Nancy Bradeen Spannaus began studying Alexander Hamilton in the 1970s. In 1977 she co-edited The Political Economy of the American Revolution, which featured Hamilton's economic reports. After a career in political journalism, she created the blog She lives with her husband, Ed, and their two amusing cats in Northern Virginia.