How much Hamil do we need in the Chicago area?
Bad joke, bad joke. You’ll forgive me. I get a little excited sometimes. And now we know that the musical Hamilton is slated to arrive in Chicago in September. Of course, if you’re a fan now then you’re going to need something to read while you wait for the next six months. You can listen to the entire cast recording of the smash hit Broadway show on Hoopla for free, of course, but your brain needs more.
Recently the site Bookriot published the article “What to Read Now That You’ve Heard Hamilton“. In the piece author Jesse Doogan outlined all the books you should get under your belt if you want to know more about your favorite cast of characters. And good news, happy citizens. Evanston Public Library owns them too. Here’s the list:
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
The book that the show is actually based on (note the teeny tiny Hamilton music icon on the cover). I’ve had to buy multiple copies of this one because folks are just clamoring for it. Stand in line to get your copy here.
Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg
Doogan mentions two Burr bios that are worth looking at. Isenberg’s bio is mentioned as being distinctly “pro-Burr”. Reserve your copy here.
The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr by H.W. Brands
This one focuses far more on Burr’s relationship with his daughter. Reserve your copy here.
Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts
Good luck finding information out there on the Schuyler sisters. Thought I’ve no doubt someones’s working on it right now, there isn’t exactly a biography of Angelica, Eliza, and poor almost forgotten Peggy. They do pop up in this Cokie Roberts book, though. Reserve your copy here.
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
Pairing Vowell with Hamilton seems pretty inspired. And Lafayette deserves a little focus, that’s for sure. While I might have wished that Doogan had pulled something on Hercules Mulligan (seriously, who was that guy?) I think this will definitely do in the meantime. Reserve your copy here.
Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves by Henry Wiencek
Oh, Jefferson. A pretty pickle of a founder, that’s for sure. Doogan thought it neat to include two very different biographies of the man. Biographies that disagree vehemently with one another. You’re sure to get two different views of him if you read these. You can place your copy of the first one here.
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
Place your copy on the second one here.
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
Finally, you’ve a lot of Washington biographies to choose from if you want to know more about the General. Chernow’s biography of Hamilton could be credited as starting the musical in the first place. Seems fitting that we end here today with his bio of Washington as well. Reserve your copy here.