So you’re a Hamilton: An American Musical fanatic. You sing the Broadway Theater soundtrack in your dreams, and you check Lin-Manuel Miranda’s twitter feed hourly. But if you’re like many Hamilton fans, you’re still waiting for your chance to see the Tony-Award winning musical.
We can’t help you with that, but we can help you expand your reading horizons with these Hamilton-themed reads! Keep reading for more books on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s reading list guaranteed to satisfy your thirst for adventure.
It’s rare that a presidential biographer gets asked to sign Playbills, but that’s exactly what author Ron Chernow has been doing since he acted as historical advisor to the musical. As many of us superfans already know, Miranda got the idea for Hamilton while reading Chernow’s book on vacation.
Crazy Horse and Custer
Fans won’t be surprised to learn that Miranda is a biography buff. You’ll find the same type of blustering, complex heroes as in Hamilton in this dual biography of Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer as they fight for the fate of the Great Plains. Like Hamilton and Burr, these rivals are both similar and opposite.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Hamilton the Musical isn’t the first work of art to make the world rethink a moment in American history. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee awakened the world to the atrocities committed against American Indian tribes. Given Miranda’s passion for social justice, this is a great addition to your Hamilton-themed reading list.
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
Miranda lists Michael Chabon as one of the writers he admires most. Start with Chabon’s first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, a coming of age story about a recent grad finding his own way during his first summer after college.
Hamilton is a rags to riches story. A poor orphan rises up to become one of the most powerful men in America. California Gold is the same story set in a different time. A poor orphan with a dream rides to California to be a new man, rising up and making his fortune, but fighting his inner demons the whole way.
A Wrinkle in Time
Miranda loved L’Engle as a kid, and this mind-bending tale may have helped shape his creativity. This classic children’s book tells the story of Meg as she travels through time and space to find her missing father.
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream
“I’ve gotten lost in the works of Doris Kearns Goodwin,” Miranda told The New York Times in April. Goodwin, an award-winning author, spent her early career as a member of Johnson’s staff and her intimate relationship with the former President informed her detailed biography. Perhaps Lyndon Johnson will be the next politician to get musical treatment?
Things Fall Apart
Miranda’s favorite book to teach at Hunter College High School, and another great pick to get inside the mind of our new favorite social justice advocate. Things Fall Apart depicts a prideful warrior in a small African village as the forces of change and colonialism destroy their way of life.
According to Miranda himself, Moby Dick was the last book that made him cry. The sweeping classic about revenge and obsession might also make a good musical. Hint, hint, Lin-Manuel.