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By Dan DeNeve and Maggie Villalobos

We’re jumping on the Hamilton bandwagon this week.

Maggie Villalobos.

“The plan is to fan this spark into a flame,” goes the song “My Shot” in the musical sensation, Hamilton. We, at least, hope to make you think about Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution in a new light.

One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale tells the story of Nathan Hale’s ancestor, also called Nathan Hale, who was America’s first spy. (Original) Hale is famous for saying, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

In this history book, (author) Hale starts with the college years and finishes with a hanging. Older elementary students will love the gruesome details and comic book style. Middle and high school readers will enjoy the story as well.

Dana Point Library has a copy available for borrowing.

Dan De Neve

Susan Casey examines the lives and actions of 20 women in Women Heroes of the American Revolution. The book is organized into five aspects of heroism: “Resisters, Supporters, and Rescuers,” “Spies,” “Saboteurs,” “Soldiers and Defenders of the Home Front,” and “Legendary Ladies.” Each part focuses on only four women. Readers will be astonished to learn about Deborah Sampson Gannett, who dressed as a man to enlist in the Continental Army and served for three years. Others may already know about Sybil Ludington, who rode her horse twice as far as Paul Revere to help her father gather his troops. This well-researched volume is sure to spark an interest for middle or high school students.

Dana Point Library has a copy available.

With the musical Hamilton gaining in popularity, it is time to review the policies and beliefs of Alexander Hamilton himself. Thomas DiLorenzo does just that in his book, Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s archenemy betrayed the American revolution—and what it means for Americans today.

DiLorenzo makes a strong case that Hamilton is not the paragon of the Revolution that many would think he is with the buzz the musical has created. In fact, DiLorenzo proves that Hamilton was the opposite. Hamilton believed in the British system of mercantilism. Furthermore, he was a proponent of big government and national debt, which were anathema to Jefferson, a strong supporter of states’ rights and no national debt. Furthermore, Hamilton wanted to tax just about anything and everything in order to build a large government and make everyone rely on that same government. Despite defending the constitution in the Federalist Papers, Hamilton later interpreted the Constitution to mean whatever he wanted it to in order to support his views. Besides the musical, what makes this book so timely is that much of what we see in government, right or wrong, can be traced back to Hamilton.  

The Seaside Book Club, meets every fourth Monday of the month from 10:30-11:30 a.m. All are welcome. We will be discussing The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. For a list of future featured titles, call the library at 949.496.5517.

For more information about upcoming events across the Orange County Public Libraries system, visit The site also provides access to online research tools, digital magazines, PDF copies of historical sheet music, ebooks, eaudiobooks, jobseeker resources, and more.

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