Does “Hamilton” get Hamilton right?



BAR HARBOR — Historian Ralph Nurnberger will discuss the accuracy of the popular musical “Hamilton” as well as how it deals with past and contemporary issues at College of the Atlantic’s weekly Coffee and Conversations series on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 9 a.m.

“Hamilton” focuses on volatile partisan politics and issues like race, gender, multiculturalism and immigration. The show depicts the concerns of the 18th century in a way that helps theatergoers bridge generational divides, Nurnberger said.

“Remarkably, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s dazzling rap lyrics have led many grandparents to appreciate rap, while their grandchildren have developed an interest in history,” he said.

The musical succeeds, Nurnberger said, because it emphasizes the human side of history, portraying multifaceted characters.

“Although Miranda makes absolutely no claim for this show to be a work of scholarly history, he still wrote that ‘I want historians to take this seriously. I felt an enormous responsibility to be as historically accurate as possible, while still telling the most dramatic story possible.’”

Nurnberger has appeared on radio and television programs as an analyst on political and international issues, and has spoken on a number of international cruises.

He taught at Georgetown University for 38 years. He was named Professor of the Year by the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003 and received another award in 2005 for over 20 years of excellence in teaching. He currently teaches at Florida Atlantic University.

Nurnberger has advised numerous congressional, senatorial and presidential campaigns on foreign policy issues, especially those related to the Middle East.

His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun as well as scholarly journals and magazines.

Nurnberger has worked in Washington on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch of the federal government.

All parking on campus is by permit only for the summer of 2019. Contact Wes Norton at 801-5627 or [email protected] to obtain a permit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.