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Fireside Chats: How to Read Nonfiction

As a history major, one of my required courses was historiography, or the study of historical writing. I didn’t retain very much from the course, mainly because it was taught through the lens of colonial American history, which at the time did not interest me in the slightest (and still doesn’t, unless it’s filtered through Hamilton), but one thing my professor taught us left an indelible mark, and that thing was: how to read a historical monograph.

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A #Hamilton Reading List

I majored in history. At my university, all history majors were required to take a class in historiography, and the sources you studied were based on the professor assigned to teach. Whatever he specialized in was what you were going to be neck-deep in for a semester. I got a professor who specialized in early American history which, at the time, I absolutely despised. I spent the entire semester stubbornly refusing to retain any information about anything at all, convinced that this was one of the most dull historical settings in the history of the world.

Enter Hamilton the Musical. Like many, many people, the musical ignited for me an interest in the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution, topics of which I previously knew little, and cared to know even less. But with the beloved musical in mind, these events took on a new sheen. Suddenly I was absolutely fascinated with the American Revolution! With the Founding Fathers, especially Hamilton and Burr! It was an exciting time! A revolutionary time!

And so here I am, a nerd with a list of books and articles to read about Alexander Hamilton. Though I am unlikely to get to these this November, I still wanted to share them out for Nonfiction November in honor of Hamilton being released for streaming (may all musicals follow suit!).

Continue reading “A #Hamilton Reading List”