What 'Hamilton' forgets about Hamilton

Isaac Kramnick, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government Emeritus and Jason Frank, professor of government, write in their recent New York Times opinion piece that the popular musical “avoids an equally pronounced feature of Hamilton’s beliefs: his deeply ingrained elitism, his disdain for the lower classes and his fear of democratic politics.” 

The musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda won 11 Tony Awards this past weekend, has kept Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill and explores Hamilton’s life as a “resourceful immigrant and talented self-made man,” the two professors write in their piece. However, Frank and Kramnick wonder how successful the musical would be if the audience knew the full story of Alexander Hamilton.

“No founder of this country more clearly envisioned the greatness of a future empire enabled by drastic inequalities of wealth and power. In this sense, too, 'Hamilton' is very much a musical for our times,” they write.

The full article was originally published in The New York Times.

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