content by

Sumana Harihareswara

The Uses Of History in Hamilton: An American Musical

Some of you already know Hamilton: An American Musical, a Broadway musical that premiered this year and which uses varied musical styles and fast, clever lyrics to tell the story of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. I first heard about Hamilton from Liz Gorinsky, Tor and editor, and then several months ago started hearing shouts of delight and praise from other feminist sci-fi fans. Now I’m one of those terrible proselytizing fans, walking along Mercer Street singing along to the cast album and filling my Twitter feed with incomprehensible comparisons (e.g., between Alexander’s son Philip and the Mahabharata‘s Abhimanyu). Speculative fiction fans who sometimes enjoy historical fiction but haven’t considered Hamilton—perhaps because it’s a musical—ought to check it out, especially as an example of some intriguing trends in how we fictionalize history.
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