August 8, 2016 • Politics, Secret Lives, History, American History
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.”
July 26, 2016 • Politics, History, American History
The DNC is here, and with it comes a whole slew of political figures and celebrities and incredible speeches. The woman of the hour? Hillary Rodham Clinton. As luck would have it, Quirk was fortunate enough to get an exclusive with the presidential nominee—in paper doll form. Here’s a recap of Paper Doll Hillary adventuring around Philly.
July 20, 2016 • Politics, History, American History
I'm waiting to see if something outlandish happens before the end of the Republican National Convention. Not violence in the streets—but a political spectacle of the type that used to run the engine of national elections in this country. Because, you see, Virginia, there actually used to be interesting presidential nominating conventions in America, not merely pre-fabricated media opportunities for candidates with canned messages.
Since their inception in the early 1830s, national conventions were intended to be expressions of our collective psyche and temperament. Sure, most candidates were picked in smoky back rooms, but the will of the people was felt as a force to be reckoned with. Back then, up to 90% (in some cases) of eligible voters actually went to the polls.
And conventions were the nexus of their hopes, dreams, fears, and passions.
July 4, 2016 • History
The American Revolution was all about a bunch of freedom-loving guys with names like George, Benjamin, Alexander, and Thomas kicking out the British and declaring independence on July 4. Right?
Not if you ask English poet William Blake (1757–1827). According to Blake the American Revolution was a struggle of universal proportions involving spirits, angels, mythology, and history.
June 27, 2016 • History
Here at Quirk Books we are of the opinion that medieval manuscripts are among the most amazing works of book art there are. We especially like the manuscripts where weird things happen in the margins. And especially when sweet, innocent animals, such as rabbits, turn into lean, mean killing machines. Who knew that Thumper could be so vicious?
April 13, 2016 • Secret Lives, History
Satire inspired by Hamilton/Anything for a Vote
Here are ten quintessential rules for running for election, as told (well, more shown than told, but I’m sure he would’ve told you anyway if he wasn’t dead) by the great Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom.
Our Founding Father was many things—a bibliophile, a scholar, a lover of food, a violinist, a slave holder, and a two-time presidency-winning loquacious son of a gun.
So how did this prominently-born well-dressed son of a Virginian planter, skip the Revolution, knock up a few women, and still go on to win a presidency?
These are Jeff’s Ten Election Commandments.