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Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical Is Restaging America’s Past

Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical Is Restaging America’s Past

"A superb book on the cultural phenomenon that is ‘Hamilton’. Historians have come very late to this particular ball, but these scholarly essays are superb—dealing with what ‘Hamilton’ got right and what it got wrong, the topics it chose to explore (or not), the subjects even historians can’t agree on, its place in musical theater history, and even who gets on the currency and why. There is a lot to be said about it all and this book is a very good start. ‘Who tells your story?’, indeed."

Alan H.

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Publisher Rutgers University Press
Publication Date 2018-05-09
Section Academic New Arrivals / US History / All Staff Suggestions / Non-Fiction Suggestions / Alan H.
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780813590295

America has gone Hamilton crazy. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical has spawned sold-out performances, a triple platinum cast album, and a score so catchy that it is being used to teach U.S. history in classrooms across the country. But just how historically accurate is Hamilton? And how is the show itself making history?

Historians on Hamilton brings together a collection of top scholars to explain the Hamilton phenomenon and explore what it might mean for our understanding of America’s history. The contributors examine what the musical got right, what it got wrong, and why it matters. Does Hamilton’s hip-hop take on the Founding Fathers misrepresent our nation’s past, or does it offer a bold positive vision for our nation’s future? Can a musical so unabashedly contemporary and deliberately anachronistic still communicate historical truths about American culture and politics? And is Hamilton as revolutionary as its creators and many commentators claim?

Perfect for students, teachers, theatre fans, hip-hop heads, and history buffs alike, these short and lively essays examine why Hamilton became an Obama-era sensation and consider its continued relevance in the age of Trump. Whether you are a fan or a skeptic, you will come away from this collection with a new appreciation for the meaning and importance of the Hamilton phenomenon.

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