Geraldo Cadava teaches in the history department at Northwestern University. He is the author of two books, Standing on Common Ground (2016), about the U.S.-Mexico border since World War II, and The Hispanic Republican (2020) about how the Republican Party developed a remarkably loyal base of Hispanic support since the 1960s. His research and teaching interests are broad and include Latinx, immigration, and borderlands history, and the relationship between the past and the present. At Northwestern, he has taught courses on Watergate, the musical Hamilton, and the history of the 2016 election.
In this lecture, Cadava focuses not on whether the hit musical, Hamilton, gets history right, but, rather, on why Lin Manuel Miranda - Puerto Rican, raised in New York - was drawn to the figure of Alexander Hamilton as a way of explaining how the United States became the country it is today.