[Marxism] Fwd: [Essay] | The Hamilton Cult, Robert Sullivan | Harper's Magazine

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 14 19:39:35 MST 2016

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical comes at a moment when America 
wants to believe it is (to use a term that made little sense at the 
beginning of the Obama presidency and is even more nonsensical now) 
post-racial. To embrace Hamilton is to embrace a liberal outlook on the 
world that even conservatives can tolerate, and sometimes vice versa. 
Out with welfare cheats, in with bootstrapping immigrants who don’t 
depend on the state for food stamps or health care. “Here’s a story that 
talks about American history and the ideals of American democracy,” a 
Rockefeller Foundation executive told the New York Times last October. 
Here was, she continued, “an immigrant who is impoverished initially and 
shows through perseverance and grit what he can achieve, in a vernacular 
that speaks to young people, written by a product of New York public 

The Rockefeller Foundation went even further, announcing a plan to bring 
20,000 New York City eleventh graders, predominantly from low-income 
families, to see Hamilton. The organization also launched a project with 
the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop “educational 
programming for students and teachers designed around the Hamilton 
experience.” Meanwhile, politicians from every part of the ideological 
spectrum — Bernie Sanders, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Lynne and Dick 
Cheney — are all for the show, having voted in some cases by repeat 
attendance. So are such celebrities as Beyoncé, who liked King George’s 
walk, and Lena Dunham, who lauded the show’s pedagogical firepower. 
“Love to hate things that others adore but Hamilton on Broadway is 
unimpeachably perfect. Wept, laughed, raged,” she tweeted. In a 
subsequent tweet, she added: “If every kid in America could see Hamilton 
they would thirst for historical knowledge and then show up to vote.”

full: http://harpers.org/archive/2016/10/the-hamilton-cult/1/

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