The Alexander Hamilton Universe

I’m giddy at the fact that tomorrow on July 3rd, Disney + is going to premier Hamilton as a live stage production recording with all the original cast. You can view the trailer here. I was lucky enough to see it live in 2018 when it came through Houston. The tickets were crazy expensive. Astronomical, really. If I remember correctly, for Nick and I to go was somewhere around $500. He was eight! BUT, when I asked what he wanted for his birthday, he wanted to see Hamilton. How could I deny? Plus, he needed someone to take him.

Brave girl. Worried dad.

To talk about how great Hamilton is as an artistic work seems dated, like talking about how mind-blowing the Game of Thrones Red Wedding episode was (it was so inevitable, yet so surprising!). Having read Ron Chernow’s Hamilton, I can say that Alexander Hamilton’s flawed nature, as depicted by Chernow beams throughout Lin-Manuel Miranda’s version. Alexander Hamilton was deeply flawed. He clung to his convictions like a ball and chain ready to drag him to the bottom of the ocean. What Chernow does not cover as much in his book, however, is Aaron Burr. So, if you’re looking to expand your Hamilton universe, I recommend Gore Vidal’s Burr.

I think all of Gore Vidal wrote all his novels in the first person. Burr is written from Burr’s perspective. While Vidal’s work is fiction, Vidal painstakingly researched Burr via primary sources in constructing the narrative. While his work doesn’t meet the non-fiction standard (Chernow addresses this specifically in Hamilton), there is enough truth in Burr that makes it a worthwhile read which is both entertaining and enriching to the landscape of the early United States. Just read it. The Weehawken scene where the fateful duel takes place will blow your mind.