On June 12th the annual Tony Awards will be presented, and this year, there may be extra attention to the results, due to a little juggernaut called "Hamilton." The Broadway smash has taken the critics and public by storm and looks to continue to do so for the near future. Inspired by Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and stars in the musical that has already spawned a Grammy-winning cast album and and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. An inside look into the phenomenon has just been released as Hamilton: The revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The popularity of the musical and the interest in the story behind the story has inspired lists from Book Riot with their suggestions for further reading , Bustle's suggestions for books for the Hamilton obsessed, and Booktrib's suggestions for 4 books you should be reading right now if you loved the musical. To this mix I add 2 more suggestions:
"In the summer of 1804, two of America's most eminent statesmen squared off, pistols raised, on a bluff along the Hudson River. That two such men would risk not only their lives but the stability of the young country they helped forge is almost beyond comprehension. Yet we know that it happened. The question is why. In War of Two, John Sedgwick explores the long-standing conflict between Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr." - From the publisher.
Library Journal highly recommended the work and felt that "with his descriptions of the intense ideological and political climate of the nation's early years, Ferling provides valuable perspective not only on the Founding Fathers and their accomplishments but, overtly, on today, when fierce differences divide people who say they are seeking to preserve their nation and its values."
Hamilton is a fascinating figure, but that only partly explains the popularity of the musical. Just as, if not more important, it's the musical structure, the staging, the cast, the production, the music that are really generating the enthusiasm from the masses. The New York Times highlights 6 'snapshots' that illustrate why "Hamilton" is important right now. Time will tell if it will join the ranks of the great musicals that have entertained, informed, and became part of the cultural dialog, but from where we're sitting, chances look pretty good.