Before it was the most talked-about musical on Broadway, Hamilton was a book. Now, it’s becoming a book again.
Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has said in interviews that the genesis of Hamilton was a performance he gave at the White House in 2009. That performance was a rap based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, American Founding Father and (for now) the face of the $10 bill. Miranda has cited Ron Chernow’s 2005 biography of Hamilton as his inspiration for both that performance and the musical it grew into. Its in-depth look at Hamilton’s life showed Miranda that the first Secretary of the Treasury “embodies hip-hop.” Recent editions of Chernow’s book can be found emblazoned with a “inspiration behind Hamilton” sticker.
In April 2016, the loop will close, as Hamilton itself becomes a book from Grand Central Publishing. Hamilton: The Book will include both the history of Alexander Hamilton and a behind-the-scenes look at the show, with annotated lyrics by Miranda, accoding to a press release from Grand Central Publishing. In the tradition of other Broadway show books like Wicked: The Grimmerie, Hamilton: The Book will be styled to look like an object from its era.
“When I fall in love with a musical, I want to know everything about it. I remember Rent changing my life on my 17th birthday and being so grateful for the Rent book, which so beautifully brought the story behind Jonathan Larson’s musical to life,” Miranda said in the release. “Our goal here is to take you inside Hamilton: not just the timeline of its creation, but the thought process, historical considerations, and artistic decisions that went into my lyrics, from beginning to end. I want you to know everything about it.”