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NEW YORK (AP) — Ever since the historical musical “Hamilton” began its march to near-universal infatuation, one group has noticeable withheld its applause — historians. Many academics argue the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the star of our $10 bills, is a counterfeit. Now they’re escalating their fight.
Ishmael Reed, who has been nominated twice for a National Book Award, has chosen to fight fire with fire — collecting his critique of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed show into a play.
Reed - Haunting - Lin-Manuel - Miranda - Take-down
Reed’s “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” is an uncompromising take-down of “Hamilton,” reminding viewers of the Founding Father’s complicity in slavery and his war on Native Americans.
“My goal is that this to be a counter-narrative to the text that has been distributed to thousands of students throughout the country,” said Reed, who teaches at the California College of the Arts and the University of California at Berkeley and whose latest novel is “Conjugating Hindi.”
Reed - Play - Reading - New - York
Reed, whose play had a recent reading in New York and who is raising money for a four-week production in May, is part of a wave of “Hamilton” skeptics — often solitary voices of dissent amid a wall of fawning attention — who have written journal articles, newspaper op-eds and a 2018 collection of essays, ”Historians on Hamilton .”
Miranda’s glowing portrayal of a Hamilton who celebrates open borders — “Immigrants, we get the job done!” — and who denounces slavery has incensed everyone from professors at Harvard to the University of Houston to Rutgers .
Miranda - Hamilton - Father - Role - Slave
They argue that Miranda got Hamilton all wrong — the Founding Father wasn’t progressive at all, his actual role as a slave owner has been whitewashed and the pro-immigrant figure onstage hides the fact that he was, in fact, an anti-immigration elitist.
“It’s a fictional rewrite of Hamilton. You can’t pick the history facts that you want,” said...
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