Ron Chernow spoke of his work on ‘Hamilton’ at Purdue

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ron Chernow, whose book “Hamilton” inspired the hit Broadway musical, spoke at Purdue for the Presidential Lecture Series.

Ron Chernow, author of the best-selling biography of Alexander Hamilton and collaborator on the award-winning musical “Hamilton” based on his book, appeared at an evening forum on Nov. 15 at Purdue University.

Brian Lamb, founder and executive chairman of C-SPAN and a Purdue alumnus, interviewed Chernow and moderated a question-and-answer session with the audience as part of the forum, held at Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center from 6-7:15 p.m. Doors opened at 5:30 p.m. A pre-forum reception was from 5-5:45 p.m. in the west lobby outside Loeb.

About his visit, Chernow said, “I would like students to understand that Alexander Hamilton’s feats were monumental, that he was not a second-string Founding Father, and that he had a lasting influence on our government, our economy, and our society – all of which I hope to explore during my visit to Purdue.”

Chernow’s visit was hosted by the students of the Purdue Institute for Civic Communication in partnership with Purdue President Mitch Daniels and the Presidential Lecture Series.

“Ron Chernow’s Hamilton biography, which led to the creation of the Broadway show of the same name, has been magic,” Lamb said. “It has had a fabulous impact on getting the public’s renewed interest in history.”

Carolyn Curiel, founder and executive director of PICC, is instructing a class this semester about the book and the musical for communication and history students. As part of their class work, her students are hosting the forum and will see the musical Hamilton in Chicago.

“Our students, many of whom aspire to work in public service or media, are especially excited to meet Ron Chernow,” Curiel said. “He has helped us to take a closer look at the communication of leadership from the earliest days of our nation, and make comparisons to the kind of communication we receive from leaders today. ”

Chernow’s biography “Washington: A Life” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. His book on Alexander Hamilton, published in 2004, shed new light on one of the founders of the nation. The early American historian Joseph Ellis called “Alexander Hamilton” “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.” The author of the musical play “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, said the book inspired him to write the musical, and he enlisted Chernow as a collaborator. The play has won numerous awards, including the Tony, and the Pulitzer Prize.

For more information on the forum, please call PICC at 765-494-1892.

PICC is a university-wide, nonpartisan initiative for applied and experiential undergraduate learning in the fields of issues, policy, citizenship and communication at Purdue, made possible by the Daniels Fund and a partnership with C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network. Curiel is a former White House speechwriter, U.S. ambassador and journalist. She teaches in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. Students in any major are eligible to participate in the PICC.

The Presidential Lecture Series is a diverse series of lectures on policy, leadership, culture and society. The series will feature prominent experts and practitioners from various fields of interest for both the academics and the community at large. Connected with each public presentation, speakers will be integrated into relevant curricular activities on the West Lafayette campus during their visits.

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