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Hamilton: The Rest is History

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With all the buzz about Hamilton these days, Bellaire librarian Mary Cohrs talks about Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. 

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

One of the hottest names on so many lips these days is Hamilton. Mention it and you either have someone who is so excited to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical or has read Ron Chernow’s epic biography of this Founding Father. Me? The closest connection I have to either of these Hamiltons is the $10 in my purse. I would love to attend the musical and am envious of those who have obtained coveted tickets, but let’s just say the $10 in my purse does not have very many presidential friends at this time. 

Published in 2004, Alexander Hamilton was written by Ron Chernow who was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the 2011 American History Book Prize for Washington: A Life published in 2010.

Alexander Hamilton is the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, and tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape and inspire our country. Mr. Chernow’s research of 22,000 pages of letters, manuscripts and articles brings new insight to the first Secretary of the Treasury, co-author of The Federalist Papers, and member of the Constitutional Convention.

But how is Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Tony-winning playwright and composer, lyricist and actor, connected to Hamilton? The story is already legend. In 2008 while looking for a beach book, he buys Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. According to "In a white hammock under a blue sky beneath a hot yellow sun he reads the defining work of popular scholarship about our most mysterious founding father, and long before he’s 50 pages into it he’s wondering to himself who might have already made this extraordinary story into a play. Into a musical. He searches. Finds nothing. No one.” 

As they say, the rest is history. 

While I may have to wait on the musical, I can start my summer reading with the 800+ book or even with Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. What’s on your summer reading list?

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