Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton
April 11, 2011
Alexander Hamilton is the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, a Founding Father, an economist, a political philosopher and of course the face on the ten dollar bill. But who is he really? And what made him a great man? Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton , premiering on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 10 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS focuses on Hamilton's character in six chronological segments. The film is not meant to be the definitive chronology of Alexander Hamilton, but rather a look at particular traits in his character, how they were shaped into being and how they played out within the new nation that was being created around him.
Hosted and written by author and journalist Richard Brookhiser, Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton is the second film in the Rediscovering documentary film series. The first film, Rediscovering George Washington, garnered critical acclaim when it aired in 2002. With Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton, director/producer Michael Pack and Brookhiser continue to re-invent the documentary biopic following the style of the first film combining traditional documentary techniques with Brookhiser's exploration of Hamilton's legacy and life in contemporary America.
The film takes the viewer to the Caribbean Islands where Hamilton was born, to Yorktown and Wall Street where he fought and worked, to Harlem and Weehaken, New Jersey, where he lived and died. A Treasury Secretary, Supreme Court Justice, publishers, pornographers, lawyers, warriors, Calypso singers and urban gang members speak about money, rights, news, war, sex and honor – all the themes that shaped Hamilton's life, which led him to his early death resulting in modern capitalist America.
As America's first Treasury Secretary, Hamilton saved a debt-ridden emerging nation, saw the country through a financial panic and foresaw the country's future as a modern mixed economy. As a practicing lawyer and a signer of the Constitution, Hamilton was a pioneer of judicial review. As a lifelong journalist—he reported on a hurricane in the Virgin Islands at fifteen, wrote the op-eds that became the Federalist Papers and founded the New York Post .
Hamilton accomplished it all against great odds. He was an illegitimate orphan; an immigrant and a brilliant Ivy Leaguer who dropped out to spend six years in the Army. He made powerful friends—George Washington—and powerful enemies—Thomas Jefferson. He was passionate and passionately forthright confessing to the nation's first sex scandal, and provoked the Vice President of the United States to challenge him to a duel.
Alexander Hamilton's legacy is modern America, and its symbol is New York, his adopted city—urban, entrepreneurial, open and diverse.