It begins with their Revolutionary War courtship. Although born poor and illegitimate, as an Aide de Camp to General George Washington, Hamilton dares to reach, boldly pursuing Betsy, daughter of a wealthy and prominent New York family.
After the war, Hamilton engages in nation building. Like all mission-driven men, he is preoccupied, often absent, and not the best provider. The trials of making ends meet and raising their ever-growing troop of children falls to Betsy, who accomplishes her task with grace and devotion.
Conflict is built into their marriage. It does not simply spring from Alexander's agonizing childhood experience of bastardy, abuse, and abandonment. To quote Alexander Pope, Hamilton's favorite poet:
“And hence one Master Passion in the breast
like Aaron's serpent, swallows up all the rest..."
Betsy's passion is Alexander. Alexander's passion is America.
Though Hamilton's financial acumen and political courage is crucial to the formation and survival of our nation, his star sets quickly. Disillusioned, political power broken, his adored eldest son killed in a duel, Hamilton goes to his own famous duel with Aaron Burr in the spirit of those noble Romans he so steadfastly admires, preferring death to dishonor.
The Master Passion places the battles of Alexander Hamilton, the lonely idealist, within a family saga rich in period detail. The great edifice for which he laid the groundwork -- America -- has become, exactly as he planned, the richest and freest country on earth.