Sunday, February 19, 2017

Your Syllabus For: Hamilton

Yes, I'm starting a new feature. This is what happens when one is bored. Mostly this is another version of Thematic Sunday or So You've Finally. I'm just being more thorough with these lists. It's list form, not many pictures. Lots of links. There are going to be a variety of topics from genres to specific themes.
So it's President's Day Weekend and if you're like me, you probably took that as an excuse to re-listen to the Hamilton musical for upteenth time. So, here's a proposed syllabus/reading list for the Hamilton musical.

Required Reading:

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy Carter

For ultimate Hamilton fans, absolutely get this book. It has the entire script of the musical itself that is annotated by Lin-Manuel himself, gorgeous pictures, several essays going into the making of the musical and as bonus, the book is just beautiful itself.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

The musical definitely covered a lot and gave an excellent overview of Hamilton's life. For more in depth look into things the musical maybe didn't have time to go into, check out this biography.

Suggested further reading for specific characters:

George Washington: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. Yes, Chernow again. What can I say, the man knows his stuff.

Aaron Burr: Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenburg

Lafayette: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

Thomas Jefferson: American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis

James Madison: James Madison: A Biography by Ralph Louis Ketcham

John Adams: John Adams by David McCullough

The Schuyler Sisters: Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts-Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any books that I can see specifically about the Schuyler Sisters. Hopefully the musical inspires some historian somewhere and we get one. In the meantime, here's a book about several awesome ladies during the early days of the US.

Further Reading for the historical tidbits mentioned in the musical:

For the Revolutionary War itself: The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauf-For a overview of the war that Hamilton and co. were involved in during the first half of the musical.

1776 by David McCullough, yes him again. Again, some authors are just that good.

The election of 1800: Adams VS Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

Adams Jefferson Letters-Not specifically about the election, but considering these two were the major players in that election, this might be a good collection of letters to look into.

Extra Credit: Books/Writing that the characters in the musical were likely reading during this time (or in some cases specifically mentioned in said musical):

The Constitution of the United States of America

Robinson Crusoe as well as Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Candide by Volitaire

The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding

The Federalist Papers by various authors

Common Sense by Thomas Paine, and later The Age of Reason by the same author.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin This was not published until the late 1790s, but I'm sure Hamilton and co. read it (and probably either laughed at it or hated it)..

No comments:

Post a Comment