Historians on Hamilton by Renee C. Romano and Claire Bond Potter is given a starred review in the April 1 issue of Library Journal.
Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical Is Restaging America’s Past. Rutgers Univ. Mar. 2018. 396p. ed. by Renee C. Romano & Claire Bond Potter. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780813590301. $75; pap. ISBN 9780813590295. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780813590318. THEATER
If you think there is nothing more to say about one of the most popular and highly lauded musicals in American theater history, read this work and you’ll know you’re mistaken. Romano (Robert S. Danforth Professor of History, Oberlin Coll.;Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders) and Potter (history, The New Sch.; coeditor, War onCrime: Bandits, G-Men and the Politics of Mass Culture) have assembled a group of scholars who explore the phenomenon that is Hamilton through the lens of politics, history (American and theater), race, gender, and more. Fifteen essays delve into the script (looking at Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, black history, and slavery in New York duringHamilton’s time); the stage (“Hamilton as Founders Chic,” the American Revolution on stage and screen, and a brief history of Broadway blockbusters) and the audience (teaching Hamilton, the production as a people’s history and on social media). Special features include a course syllabus on “Hamilton: A Musical Inquiry” and a chronology that extends from early American history to the present. VERDICT A thought-provoking and carefully crafted collection of scholarship that has much to offer readers interested in music, theater, or American history.—Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago