My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Annotated lyrics, collected research materials, topical essays, production stills & other ephemera make up this weighty, in-depth look at the Hamilton musical from creation to performance & beyond. Since there is so much contained in these pages, it is best to know something about the musical before reading. (Which might not be hard since it seems to be everywhere in 2016.) There are two reasons I gave this book 5 stars: first, despite the zeitgeist-y-ness of Hamilton, Miranda is still able to convey a lot of humor & insight about a play he’s probably talked about way too much at this point & his enthusiasm is infectious. Second, the pure idealism behind the production choices & the absolute hope that many of the players express about their craft is moving & deeply inspiring to this reader, especially in growing cynical times. Even though this is essentially a “making-of” book, there is a lot of heart & creative passion here that elevates it to one of my best books of 2016.