Tag Archives: public history

I Am Not Throwing Away My Shot

26 Mar

Since Christmas, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack from the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. I realize I’m a little late to the game, as per usual. Historians aren’t in a rush, apparently. My colleagues here at The Twelve have written excellent reflections on Hamilton (see Debra Rienstra’s piece here and Brian Keepers’ piece here) and I heartily agree with their astute observations. As I have been listening and singing along, however, I’ve realized a musical such as Hamilton very much reflects the current cultural climate. Rienstra and others have pointed out that the magic of Hamilton is that it is history told well. History is amazing, if it is told well. But I would also offer that history is amazing if told well to the right audience. It is hard to imagine anything like the Hamilton view of the founders in any other time but right now. Would Hamilton have been a hit 20 years ago? I doubt it. The emphasis on “immigrants…they get the job done,” Hamilton’s poor working class background, hip hop and rap influences, as well as the vision of the founders as non-white strikes a chord for today’s Americans.

So begins my successor’s fine reflections on Hamilton and public history. You may read the rest of her Twelve post here.

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I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.

28 Aug

“Did the slaves here appreciate the care they got from their mistress?” one woman asked, pinchedly.

Read the rest of Margaret Biser’s account of leading tours that taught about slavery on a southern plantation: I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery. – Vox

For all you do-it-yourselfers out there, a bit of history …

10 Aug

From historian and friend John Fea:

Everything has a history.  Even drywall. (I always called it by the brand name Sheetrock). As the son of a general contractor I have spent some time hanging drywall.  Since I am about 6’8R…

Source: The History of Drywall | the way of improvement leads home

The Historyapolis Project

10 Nov

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

The Historyapolis Project at Augsburg College (MN) seeks to deepen and expand the history of Minneapolis. The Midwestern History Association has just awarded the project the Alice Smith Prize in Public History. Take a look at the project web site here: The Historyapolis Project –

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