“American History for Grownups”
William Hogeland writes and speaks (and sometimes picks banjo) on illuminating connections between early American history and today’s political and cultural struggles, with a focus on insurrections, economic crises, and American visions of democracy, equality, and liberty.
Hogeland began his career as a poet, performance artist, and playwright, with productions of his one-man shows and full-length plays at the Kitchen, the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and elsewhere. He is co-author with Stephen Plumlee of a feature screenplay on the lives of the great country-music duet the Louvin Brothers. Film rights to his unpublished novel The Surrender of Washington Hansen were optioned by Warner Brothers for a script by Joe Carnahan.
Recently, Hogeland is author of the critically acclaimed founding-era narrative histories Declaration and The Whiskey Rebellion (both in Simon & Schuster’s “America Collection”); a collection of essays on public history, Inventing American History (MIT Press/Boston Review Books); and the chapter on insurrections in A Blackwell Companion to American Military History. His latest book is Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosure, Protest, and Crackdown Made Us a Nation, in the University of Texas Press “Discovering America” series, edited by Mark Crispin Miller.
Hogeland’s articles have appeared in “The New York Times,” “The Atlantic,” “American History,” “Boston Review,” “Slate,” Huffington Post,” “Alternet,” “Salon,” and elsewhere. His essay “American Dreamers” was selected by Greil Marcus for Best American Music Writing 2009. He has blogged on founding-era American finance for Next New Deal and Bloomberg View’s “Echoes” and on a variety of history and culture matters at http://www.williamhogeland.com.
An in-demand public speaker for groups, schools, and organizations, Hogeland has told his lively tales of early American history and culture to responsive audiences at the National Archives, the Museum of American Finance History, Historic Philadelphia, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (keynote talk at Aspen), the John Adams National Historic Park, the Kansas City Public Library, Saint Ann’s School, Quincy College, CUNY’s Gotham Center, and elsewhere. He has also appeared on PBS TV “History Detectives,” CBS TV “Good Morning, America,” C-SPAN “Book TV,” PCN “PA Books,” Minnesota Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, Fox News Radio, and many other broadcast, cable, and online shows and channels. William Hogeland lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
“For William Hogeland, thinking about history is an act of moral inquiry and high citizenship. A searching and original voice.”
– Rick Perlstein
– Douglass Rushkoff
“A talented historian with a strong narrative gift … Declaration tells an engrossing story, with insight, verve and an eye for the telling detail. A complex reading of minds and motivations .”
– The Wall Street Journal
“About as good as it gets. … Declaration has political maneuvering of the kind that would make an Obama strategist’s mouth water. … Even though we know the outcome in advance, there is a delicious suspense to this story.
– The Washington Times
“Conjures up a lively post-Revolutionary world.”
– The New York Times Book Review
“The most compelling and dramatically rendered story of the Whiskey Rebellion ever written.”
–Gary Nash, professor of history and director of the National Center for History in the Schools, UCLA
“Hogeland keeps Declaration rolling and focused despite his big cast and themes. His acute angles on America’s dawn … serve as a vital reminder: Like us, the Founders were human beings living in muddied times.”
– American History Magazine
“Makes the great men seem all too human.”
– Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Narrative history writing at its finest. What sets Declaration apart from others is the inclusion of highly complicated, lesser-known men … Reads like fiction, with unexpected twists and turns.”
– Baltimore City Paper
“Hogeland manages to simultaneously offer an even-handed history and an implicit critique of contemporary politics.”
– Boston Globe