Hamilton: An American Musical has taken the world by storm. The music! The lyrics! The acting! The singing! The rapping! The story! The show was so good that I literally left the theater wondering if musicals have been forever ruined for me.
The show is historically accurate (mostly). And, if you are like me, you desperately want more. And, while I can’t offer you more songs, I can offer you more information and background—in the form of Quirk books. Read on to find out “What’d I miss?" Hint: We tell you what Thomas Jefferson was doing while he was “kicking ass as the ambassador to France.”
"I may not live to see our glory / But I will gladly join the fight / And when our children tell our story / They’ll tell the story of tonight." - Alexander Hamilton
While Hamilton didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence, he and his buddies “raise a glass to freedom” as they prepare to join the American Revolution and, ultimately, go on to hold prominent positions in the new United States of America. In the summer of 1776, fifty-six men risked their lives and livelihood to defy King George III and sign the Declaration of Independence. The results weren’t glorious for everyone. Signing Their Lives Away introduces readers to the group that signed this historic document—and the many strange fates that awaited them.
"You say / The price of my love's not a price that you're willing to pay / You cry / In your tea which you hurl in the sea when you see me go by.” - King George III
As the colonies begin their revolt, King George III interjects to squash the insurgence. The Boston Tea Party is among the most famous protests over taxation without representation. But did you know there were others? Ten Tea Parties chronicles nine other similar protests including New York, Philadelphia, and Wilmington. "Da dada da da. Da dadada dayada. Dada da da dayada.”
"Hamilton, at the Constitutional Convention.” - Aaron Burr
"I was chosen for the Constitutional Convention.” - Alexander Hamilton
"There as a New York junior delegate.” - Aaron Burr
"Now what I’m going to say may sound indelicate…” - Alexander Hamilton
In the summer of 1787, thirty-nine men met to put their names on the U.S. Constitution. Alexander Hamilton was one of them. Signing their Rights Away profiles each signer. The book discusses Hamilton being a driving force behind the 1787 Constitutional Convention. And, after being silent for the first few weeks, he gave an impassioned speech about modeling the U.S. government after England—which, obviously, wasn’t a very popular idea. He left the convention, but later returned at George Washington’s request. The entry also discusses his pseudonymous involvement in the Federalist Papers that defend the Constitution. (“Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”)
"Thomas Jefferson’s coming home.” - Company
During the first act, Thomas Jefferson was busy "kicking ass as the ambassador to France." Before Jefferson left, he struck a deal with his 19-year-old slave James Hemings to join him on the trip. While Hemings apprenticed under French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops so that they could recreate it in American agriculture. In exchange for his cooperation, Jefferson would grant Hemings his freedom upon return. Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brûlée details the founding foodie’s trip to France and one of the strangest partnerships in United States history.
Fun Fact: Jefferson used James’s cuisine "in the room where it happens" to put Alexander Hamilton in a mood to compromise regarding the location of the U.S. capital.
"If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on / It outlives me when I’m gone.” - George Washington
As George Washington prepares to step away from the presidency and teaches “them how to say goodbye," he paves the way for his immediate successors: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Secret Lives of U.S. Presidents features profiles of all the men in the White House—complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacky facts.
Fun Fact: The Cabinet Battles in the show seem to be an accurate depiction of history. As president, George Washington often had to play referee between Jefferson and Hamilton during their many heated debates.
“It might be nice, it might be nice / To get Hamilton on your side.” - James Madison
As the song “Election of 1800” details, there were a lot of dirty tricks and back door dealings during this election. Alexander Hamilton was at the middle of it all pushing his agenda and picking sides. Anything for a Vote elaborates on the deal between Jefferson and Hamilton to keep the Bank of the United States intact in exchange for Hamilton’s support. The book provides a detailed analysis of all our presidential elections dating back to George Washington’s first term and is peppered with nuggets about Hamilton’s influence on each of the early elections.
"Who lives? Who dies? Who tells your story?” All of these books are available to expand the story presented in Hamilton: An American Musical. Enjoy!