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Rhetoric, Politics, and Hamilton: An American Musical


Edited By Jeffrey P. Mehltretter Drury and Sara A. Mehltretter Drury

This book approaches Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking cultural production of Hamilton: An American Musical as a rhetorical text with implications for contemporary U.S. politics. The contributors to this volume utilize training in rhetorical criticism and performance studies to analyze the musical in relation to three broad themes: national public memory, social and cultural identity, and democracy and social change. Each chapter offers unique insights on its own accord while the volume as a whole explores multiple facets of the musical, from the theater performance and the soundtrack to the musical’s circulation in public discourse and the Chicago exhibition. The diversity of topics and methods means that the volume is suitable for students of rhetoric and U.S. politics and even the "HamilFans" will learn something new.

"This edited collection offers engaging analyses of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s politically complex and massively popular Hamilton, addressing its contributions to and contestations of public memory about the nation-state, cultural discourses about race and gender, and political rhetoric about social movements and change. Foregrounding the pedagogical value of the musical, this book will itself be a valuable resource for scholars and students of rhetoric, performance, and popular culture. Just as the musical mashes up a variety of musical and historical sensibilities, this collection brings together a diverse range of scholarly perspectives including rhetorical, critical race, and intersectional feminist theories and offers close readings of not only lyrics and music but also of a range of historical intertexts that have shaped and been shaped by Hamilton. The essays are clear and compelling and will appeal to critics and fans of the musical alike."—Claire Sisco King, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University; Editor, Women’s Studies in Communication