Hamilton: the Revolution

Have you seen, listened to, read about or have heard of Hamilton?! If no, I don't know where you have been for the last year???? If yes, continue on with this review! In April, the show's creator (who currently plays the titular role on Broadway), Lin-Manuel Miranda, released an annotated libretto (the text of the show) with Jeremy McCarter, who wrote essays to accompany nearly every song and profiled the people who helped make Hamilton. They wrote the chapter titles in the style of 18th-century pamphlet titles, so the full title of the book reads:

being the complete libretto
of the 
Broadway Musical
with a true account of
Its Creation,
and concise remarks on
Hip-Hop, The Power of Stories, and the New America

There is SO much embedded within the book: one, the profiles of all the main players who went into the creation of Hamilton (the director, choreographer, stylist, main actors and actresses, the historian Ron Chernow (who wrote the book Alexander Hamilton that Hamilton is based on, read my thoughts on that here)). Two, thoughts on its emergence and impact. Three, beautiful HQ photographs. And importantly, Lin's annotations of the lyrics. I admit I got swept away and read it all this morning; but its a mix of an essay collection, profiles, a coffee table book, and genius.com style lyrics (website that provides annotations on everything, unpacking references, meanings and influences etc.) There's so much I loved about this, and I know there is so much I missed and I will be re-reading it numerous times. Some things I caught on my initial read: One fun annotation (on Hercules' Mulligans verse in Aaron Burr, Sir) "listen, Mulligan didn't grow up to a be a statesman like Lafayette or Hamilton. But his name is just the best rapper moniker I have ever heard in my life. So he gets the most fun punchlines," and one excerpt from the profile on Daveed Diggs, the rapper who plays Lafayette & Jefferson:
Daveed thinks that seeing a black man play Jefferson or Madison or Washington when he was a kid in Oakland might have changed his life. "A whole lot of things I just never thought were for me would have seemed possible," he says. Even know, the show is changing him, making him feel more American. "I always felt at odds with this country," he says. "You can only get pulled over by the police for no reason so many times before you say 'Fuck this.'" 
Wonderful read, from the casual fan of Hamilton to those who are obsessed. Rating: ★★★★★ (c'mon, it's Hamilton, what do you expect). Some photos of what the book looks like after the break. (And here's a link to a higher-quality peak into the book that isn't me taking photos on my iphone)

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