Andrew Porwancher: The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton (A Temple Beth Israel Event)

Our friends at Temple Beth Israel present a Sunday morning program with Andrew Porwancher, the Wick Cary Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. His new book, The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton, debunks a string of myths about the origins of this founding father to arrive at a startling conclusion: Hamilton, in all likelihood, was born and raised Jewish.  This in-person program is free, but space is limited, Covid protocols will be in place, and registration is required.  For more info, and to reserve your place, click HERE.

About the Book: For more than two centuries, founding father Alexander Hamilton's youth in the Caribbean has remained shrouded in mystery. Hamilton himself wanted it that way, and most biographers have simply assumed he had a Christian boyhood. With a detective's persistence and a historian's rigor, Porwancher upends that assumption and revolutionizes our understanding of an American icon. The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton, a radical reassessment of Hamilton's religious upbringing, gives us a fresh perspective on both his adult years and the country he helped forge. Although he didn't identify as a Jew in America, Hamilton cultivated a relationship with the Jewish community that made him unique among the founders. As a lawyer, he advocated for Jewish citizens in court. As a financial visionary, he invigorated sectors of the economy that gave Jews their greatest opportunities. As an alumnus of Columbia, he made his alma mater more welcoming to Jewish people. And his efforts are all the more striking given the pernicious antisemitism of the era. In a new nation torn between democratic promises and discriminatory practices, Hamilton fought for a republic in which Jew and Gentile would stand as equals. By setting Hamilton in the context of his Jewish world for the first time, this fascinating book challenges us to rethink the life and legend of America's most enigmatic founder.

"Long before Hamilton became a beloved American musical, rumors circulated that its title character had been born a Jew. This remarkable book lends color to those rumors and uncovers Alexander Hamilton's numerous other associations with Jews, as well as his battles against religious prejudice. A major contribution to our understanding both of Hamilton and of Jews in the early American republic." --Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History

About the Author: Andrew Porwancher is the Wick Cary Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. His books include The Devil Himself: A Tale of Honor, Insanity, and the Birth of Modern America. Discover more HERE.



Event date: 

Sunday, September 19, 2021 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Event address: 

Temple Beth Israel
3601 W Dempster
Skokie, IL 60076
The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691211152
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: Princeton University Press - August 17th, 2021

The untold story of the founding father's likely Jewish birth and upbringing--and its revolutionary consequences for understanding him and the nation he fought to create