A Film Rides The Hamilton Revival (American Experience/PBS)





Like the stock market, Alexander Hamilton has hit recent highs," the president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, James Basker, told a crowd of history buffs gathered in Trinity Church.

The event was a sneak preview of the "American Experience" film "Alexander Hamilton," which will make its premiere on Monday on PBS. As Mr. Basker noted, the timing of the film is serendipitous: After long being caricatured as an elitist, and compared unfavorably with his political rival, Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton is now enjoying the benefits of historical revision.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute, which co-sponsored the event last Wednesday evening with "American Experience," has played a significant role in the Hamilton revival. Mr. Basker was the projects director of the Alexander Hamilton exhibition that opened at the New-York Historical Society in 2004, and of which smaller versions have been traveling the country since.

The film, which includes dramatizations by prominent actors and interviews with historians, reflects the new attitude toward Hamilton. The film's writer, Ronald Blumer, and the actor playing Hamilton, Brían F. O'Byrne, portray Hamilton sympathetically — as brilliant, devoted to his country, and sincere, if also stubborn and indiscreet....


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