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The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton

Andrew Porwancher

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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte

Beschreibung

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

In The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Porwancher 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. For more than two centuries, his 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.

This 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.

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Beth Elohim, Antisemitic canard, Rabbi, Burr (novel), Ron Chernow, Funding Act of 1790, Greenberg, The Federalist Papers, John Avlon, American Jews, Books of Samuel, Mishnah, Jewish identity, Philip Schuyler, Memoir, Sephardi Jews, Tobias Lear, New Nation (United States), The Guianas, Israelites, Jacob Katz, Ashkenazi Jews, Protestantism, Tribe of Levi, Whigs (British political party), Puritans, American Jewish Committee, Jewish history, Jewish prayer, Antisemitism (authors), Gertrude Atherton, Hebrews, Talmud, Hazzan, Daniel Shays, New York Supreme Court, Blue law, Jewish mysticism, Estado Novo (Portugal), Province of New York, Synagogue, Mikveh Israel, Constitution, Jewish education, Republican Party (United States), Christian Identity, Judaism, New-York Historical Society, Kohen, Aaron Burr, Jonathan Sarna, Paganism, Francis Lewis, Townshend Acts, Mr., American Revolution, Hudson River, Talmud Torah, Touro Synagogue, Aaron's rod, American Jewish Historical Society, Jews, Ancient Judaism (book), Conversion to Judaism, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Haym Salomon, Atlantic World, Jewish peoplehood, Charles Edward Russell, Jewish name, Jewish holidays, Deism, Antisemitism, Federalist Party, Mikveh, Jonas Phillips, President of the Continental Congress, Inception, Sampson Simson, Joseph Priestley, Continental Army, Gentile, Province of Pennsylvania, Religious test, Jewish diaspora, On Religion, Quakers, Book of Deuteronomy, Jewish emancipation, Ballot box, Yeshiva University, Josephus, Esquire, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, Antisemitism in the United States, Christianity, Moses Pinheiro