In 2004, historian Ron Chernow wrote a biography that changed the world — or at least musical theater as we know it.
Since it inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the smash Broadway musical “Hamilton” (with a little help from his friends), Chernow’s “Alexander Hamilton” has won Tonys and a Pulitzer Prize and introduced a generation to the Federalist Papers, the etiquette of dueling and the distinctive rapping style of Hercules Mulligan.
Now Chernow — who was a consultant on the “Hamilton” musical and won a Pulitzer Prize for his pre-Hamilton work “Washington: A Life” — is following up his bestseller with another biography, this time of the 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.
Entitled “Grant,” the book will be released Oct. 17, publisher Penguin told The Associated Press.
AP speculates that the new book could try to rescue the reputation of Grant, who has largely been characterized as a boozer and a bad businessman, a “credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age.”
According to Penguin, Chernow will address Grant’s drinking and other flaws, but within a “grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant’s life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.”