Today we’re chatting the real life history behind Alexander Hamilton and the world in which he found himself…
Helping us break through the myth and legend is the foremost expert on Hamilton, Joanne Freeman – a professor of History and American Studies at Yale University.
In this episode we explore Hamilton’s politics, the famous duel, the real relationship with Angelica Schuyler, who Alexander would be most comparable to in today’s political environment, the friendships and rivalries between the founding fathers, if Hamilton would actually be a good president, if he would have liked his musical and much more…
This production is a PREMIUM Mary & Blake show – so in order to have access to the full episode, you need to become a “Sassenach” – $5 patron.
For now, I have included a brief snippet of the show that you can listen to here.
If you would like to listen the full episode, click here
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I’m passionate about the study of politics, culture, and political culture in early America. Two of my books delve into these topics by exploring the ground-level political practices of political power-holders: how democratic contingencies shaped their actions; how they did—or didn’t—abide by public opinion; the rules by which they played the political game; and how all of these things were being explored and manipulated in the American republic’s early decades. Political violence was woven into all of these practices, and it had a logic that requires decoding—a big interest of mine. Along similar lines, I’m fascinated by the ways in which powerful emotions shaped politics, even at the highest levels. The Field of Blood gave me the chance to explore this idea at length for the first time.
I’m also a leading expert on Alexander Hamilton—and have been for several decades. I was the lead consultant in the renovation and reinterpretation of Hamilton’s home in Harlem, The Grange. But until the publication of Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton and the launch of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical, few people knew why Hamilton was important. After reading (and re-reading, and RE-reading) the 27 volumes of Hamilton’s collected papers since the age of 14, it’s stunning—and strange—so see such widespread interest in what was long a private interest of mine. As a result, I’ve been teaching, lecturing, commentating, and consulting my heart out, and enjoying every bit of it. I’m currently the historical consultant for Hamilton: The Exhibition, a multi-media exploration of Hamilton and his times that will open in Chicago in 2019. Miranda used my first two books—Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic, and Alexander Hamilton: Writings—while writing Hamilton; a bit of my first book appears in the song “Ten Duel Commandments.”