author2Born in Virginia and raised in Brooklyn, New York, William Hogeland is the author of the narrative-history trilogy Wild Early Republic  — The Whiskey Rebellion (Simon and Schuster), Declaration (Simon and Schuster), and Autumn of the Black Snake (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) — as well as the expository work Founding Finance (University of Texas Press) and a collection of essays, Inventing American History (Boston Review Books/MIT Press). His next book, on Alexander Hamilton’s national finance plan, is under contract to Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Hogeland’s work in founding American history reflects his interest in blending character-driven drama with critical interpretation. Sharply dissenting from the mode sometimes called “founder chic,” his books unearth stories of founding conflicts that are little discussed, precisely because they’re elemental, sometimes to uncomfortable degrees.

Written in an accessible style for general readers, even while challenging commonly held views of the founding period, the Wild Early Republic trilogy has been embraced by advanced scholars of the period. John Ferling of the University of West Virginia, has called Hogeland “one of the best historians of early America” and described the trilogy as “pulsating and thought-provoking.” Richard Beeman of the University of Pennsylvania calls Hogeland’s work “superb.” Gary Nash of the University of California described the first book in the trilogy as “the most compelling and dramatic rendering of the Whiskey Rebellion ever written” and a “must read”; the late Jesse Lemisch of John Jay College praised the portrait of John Adams in Declaration as “new. . . complex and nuanced”; and Kathleen Duval of the University of North Carolina calls Autumn of the Black Snake both “a rich and important book.”

Hogeland has published essays on history, music, and politics in The Atlantic Monthly, AlterNet, Salon, The New York Times, Boston Review, The Huffington Post, Lapham’s Quarterly, and elsewhere. In 2009, his essay “American Dreamers,” first published in Boston Review, was selected by Greil Marcus for the tenth anniversary edition of Da Capo’s Best Music Writing. Hogeland contributed the chapter on insurrections to A Blackwell Companion to American Military History and the chapter on Ron Chernow to Historians on Hamilton (Rutgers University Press). His next book, on the startling moves Alexander Hamilton made in pursuit of his national finance plan, and Thomas Jefferson’s furious, failed effort to dismantle that plan, is under contract to Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

A busy speaker on founding history — from the startling realities of Alexander Hamilton’s national plan of public finance to the unnamed first war the United States ever fought to the backroom politics that brought about the Declaration of Independence — Hogeland has given talks for many institutions and groups, including the National Archives, the Museum of American Finance History, Citrin Cooperman Accountants and Advisors, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, Historic Philadelphia, the John Adams National Historic Park, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Kansas City Public Library, Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, the World Affairs Council of Dallas, the Society for American Music Annual Conference, the American Historical Association Annual Conference, CUNY’s Gotham Center, the Bostonian Society, and Kings County Distilling. He has served as a history consultant for “The Daily Show” and appeared on PBS TV “History Detectives,” CBS TV “Good Morning, America,” C-SPAN “Book TV,” PCN “PA Books,” “Salon’s Facebook Live,” Minnesota Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, Texas Public Radio, Fox News Radio, and many other broadcast, cable, and online shows and channels.

Hogeland’s first job after his middle- and high-school morning paper route was playing five-string banjo in a restaurant in Long Island, a position he held for three nights before being fired and starting work as a midtown-Manhattan foot messenger. He has worked as a teacher, a drywall and painting contractor, a digital content strategist, and a freelance writer of ad copy, technical manuals, speeches, videos, and ghostwritten books.

Educated at Saint Ann’s and Oberlin, he began his artistic career in the mid-1970’s as a playwright and performer, with one-man shows at such venues as the Kitchen and Franklin Furnace and full-length plays produced and staged-read at the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Harold Clurman Theater, and elsewhere. His first nonfiction was the memoir Come All You Blackface Freaks and Hillwilliams, exploring the folk revival’s origins in the 19th-century minstrel stage and the racism in white immersion in “roots” music. Screen rights to his first novel, The Surrender of Washington Hansen, were optioned by Warner Brothers for a script by Joe Carnahan. He is co-author, with Stephen Plumlee, of “When I Stop Dreaming,” a feature screenplay based on the close, conflicted relationship of the classic country-music duo the Louvin Brothers. Hogeland’s 1980’s play “Last Blue Yodel for the New New Man,” or, “Nineteen Eighty Five,” is available in a recently revised version, with a new preface that serves as a kind of memoir. He is now working on “The Revenge of Queen Margaret,” a radical adaptation of a group of Shakespeare’s early history plays.

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