CRB: Hamilton versus history

Richard Samuelson is learned in the things that interest me. As an undergraduate I read and admired Garry Wills’s Nixon Agonistes. During my senior year I even raised the money to bring Wills to campus to speak about the imminent presidential election of 1972. Studying American literature with James Cox and Noel Perrin that year, I also read the novel Democracy by Henry Adams as well as Adams’s classic autobiography and found Adams to be an incredibly interesting writer in the American grain.

When Wills subsequently wrote a book about Adams’s now unread (multivolume) history of the Jefferson and Madison administrations, I wondered who could knowledgeably review it. Richard Samuelson, it turned out, was the man (in the pages of the Claremont Review of Books).

And so with Hamilton, the musical. While I am waiting for the show to go on tour and come to town, while I am still working my way through the Chernow biography of Hamilton on which the musical is based, I have wondered who can tell me what I need to know. Professor Samuelson is once again the man.

In the new issue of the CRB, Professor Samuelson turns to the musical in Hamilton versus history.” I thought many readers would find it of interest, as I did. It is the second in our three previews of the new issue and I am grateful for the opportunity to offer it up to interested readers.

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