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Longleaf Combined University Press Titles Fall/Winter 2020

Hamilton and the Law
Reading Today's Most Contentious Legal Issues through the Hit Musical
Edited by: Lisa A. Tucker

Edited by :

Lisa A. Tucker


Cornell University Press



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade : Grade (US) 17
Oct 15, 2020
$26.95 CAD


8.9in x 5.9 x 0.9 in | 460 gr

Page Count:

336 pages


4 b&w halftones
Cornell University Press
LAW / Legal History
Legal history|Theatre studies|History of the Americas

Since its Broadway debut, Hamilton: An American Musical has infused itself into the American experience: who shapes it, who owns it, who can rap it best. Lawyers and legal scholars, recognizing the way the musical speaks to some of our most complicated constitutional issues, have embraced Alexander Hamilton as the trendiest historical face in American civics. Hamilton and the Law offers a revealing look into the legal community's response to the musical, which continues to resonate in a country still deeply divided about the reach of the law.

A star-powered cast of legal minds?from two former U.S. solicitors general to leading commentators on culture and society?contribute brief and engaging magazine-style articles to this lively book. Intellectual property scholars share their thoughts on Hamilton's inventive use of other sources, while family law scholars explore domestic violence. Critical race experts consider how Hamilton furthers our understanding of law and race, while authorities on the Second Amendment discuss the language of the Constitution's most contested passage. Legal scholars moonlighting as musicians discuss how the musical lifts history and law out of dusty archives and onto the public stage. This collection of minds, inspired by the phenomenon of the musical and the Constitutional Convention of 1787, urges us to heed Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Founding Fathers and to create something new, daring, and different.

Lisa A. Tucker is Associate Professor of Law at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University and author of the novel Called On, as well as eleven books for children. She has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, People, Time, and NBC Nightly News.

A star-studded lineup of lawyers, legal scholars, and Supreme Court advocates explain how a Broadway rap opera crystallizes elements of American law and politics. Fans of Hamilton will find melody and passion infused into legal subjects, providing an uplifting soundtrack for everyone.

- Steven Mazie, Supreme Court correspondent for The Economist

This ingenious book makes numerous connections between the musical and the high court, proving that Hamilton's impact resonates everywhere.

- Tony Mauro, Supreme Court correspondent

Most of us remember the first time we saw the transformative rap musical Hamilton, which educated and entertained generations. This fun book educates further, bringing back fond musical memories.

- Alan Dershowitz, Harvard University, author of Guilt by Accusation

Anyone who likes Hamilton and has a modicum of curiosity about the subject matter should own this book, and marvel at the incredible list of contributors, too.

- Jeff Kosseff, author of The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet

Hamilton and the Law marries two tracks?one, historical, and the other, musical?into a rollicking good legal education. From the 'The Ten Duel Commandments' to the ultimate participatory, 'Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),' this book will stay with you.

- Michael A. Smerconish, Esq., host of CNN's Smerconish

Hamilton and the Law is a smart, insightful gathering of some of the greatest legal thinkers of our time at the intersection of law, history, culture and the arts. Original and thought-provoking, it will inspire, inform, and entertain readers from all walks of life.

- Pam Jenoff, Rutgers School of Law, author of The Lost Girls of Paris

For lovers of the law and Hamilton, this is an indispensable work from some of the most brilliant legal minds in the country.

- Shon Hopwood, author of Law Man

With Hamilton and the Law, Lisa Tucker harmonizes engaging essays by the nation's brightest legal stars. An entertaining book for all.

- Jennifer Taub, author of Other People's Houses

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton introduced a generation to the tale of the Founding of our country. Now Lisa Tucker's brilliant volume does the same for important social and legal issues through the lens of this award-winning musical. It entertains while it educates.

- Amy Howe, co-founder, SCOTUSblog

Whether or not readers have a strong grounding in the law, they'll be stirred by the connections the book draws among Hamilton, current events, and history.

- Library Journal

Hamilton and the Law shows us a look in the mirror and asks ? can we abandon the founder myths so that we can realize our present-day reality and strive towards substantive equity for all? Hamilton, adored by millions, may be the pop culture medium that helps us heal our inconsistent conceptualizations of America's past, present, and future. Applause to you, Professor Tucker.

- Hedgehogs and Foxes Blog

The collection has the seemingly incongruous effect of simultaneously drawing you into our formative history and the making of "Hamilton: An American Musical," while also contemplating the intractable issues facing us today. In this way, it invites readers to think not only about the relationships between art, law and society, but also the possible narratives one can tell about the America of days gone by and the ways in which those narratives can shape our future.

- Law360

Lisa A. Tucker has succeeded in using the innovation and exuberance of Lin-Manuel Miranda's ground-breaking musical to explore a wide range of legal, social, and historical issues. A smart and original book.

- Los Angeles Review of Books

The book would be good for collections on law and current affairs.

- Choice

Although the musical is not without its historical inaccuracies and criticisms, it is an undeniable reminder of the powers of storytelling, representation, and the arts. Books such as Hamilton and the Law amplify said powers by bringing the material to new audiences and providing scholarly commentaries on a mix of legal, social, political, and cultural topics.

- Criminal Law & Criminal Justice Books Review

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