Revolutionary, soldier, lawyer, vice-president of the United States, schemer, adventurer, and incurable spendthrift, Aaron Burr was one of the most extraordinary and colorful men in early American history. This competent biography of Burr embraces a thorough understanding of military, social and political history as well as an adroit sensitivity to the subtle traits that constitute the character of a complex man. Because of his involvement in political--often personal--plots and in the death of Alexander Hamilton, Burr can too easily be portrayed as a villain, a simplistic deadfall that the biographers here have avoided. This balanced biography shows extensive research and exhaustive investigation, with very full notes and comprehensive bibliographic materials. It enables the student and the interested layman to draw independent conclusions from the raw material at hand. One regrets only that the writing is uneasy collaboration of two people and that it is never as alive as its subject.