Introduction Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: An American Musical and the Early American Republic C AT H E R I N E E . K E L LY By now, we all know the story: In 2008, Lin-Manuel Miranda, a twenty-eight-year-old composer, lyricist, and performer, fresh from his Broadway hit In the Heights, took Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton on vacation to Mexico. The 800-page biography of the first Secretary of the Treasury might have seemed like strange candidate for a beach read. But the sympathetic study, which recounted the personal ´ ´ and political ascent of a West Indian emigre from a nondescript childhood to his death in a duel, resonated. Miranda, himself the child of Puerto Rican immigrants who had achieved professional success in the United States, saw in Chernow's book a distinctly American story, an immigrant striver's story. The following spring at a White House event celebrating poetry and the arts, Miranda performed "My Shot," a song that serves as Hamilton's declaration of intent. By 2015, when Hamilton: An American Musical opened at New York City's Public Theater, "My Shot" had become the opening salvo to a projection of the nation's origins and its identity, set to the
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: May 24, 2017
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