Born 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 (S&S), 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). All of Hogeland’s books reflect an interest in blending character-driven drama with critical interpretation, dissenting from the mode sometimes called “founder chic,” unearthing stories of founding conflicts that are elemental yet little discussed.
Though written in an accessible style for general readers, and dissenting from some mainstream views of the founding period, the Wild Early Republic trilogy has been embraced by advanced scholars of that period, among them John Ferling of the University of West Virginia, who 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 has called Hogeland’s work both “lively” and “superb.” Gary Nash of the University of California described the first book in the series 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”; Kathleen Duval of the University of North Carolina calls Autumn of the Black Snake both “a page turner” and “a rich and important book.”
Hogeland has also 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. His essay “American Dreamers” appears in Da Capo’s Best Music Writing 2009, edited by Greil Marcus. 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 now under contract to FSG.
William Hogeland is a busy speaker on founding history — from the startling realities of Alexander Hamilton’s national plan of public finance to the unnnamed first war the United States ever fought to the hardball backroom politics that brought about the Declaration of Independence. He 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 also 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.
Educated at Saint Ann’s and Oberlin, Hogeland began his 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 plays produced and staged-read at the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Harold Clurman Theater, and elsewhere. His memoir Come All You Blackface Freaks and Hillwilliams explores the unexpected origins of American roots music in the 19th century minstrel stage. Screen rights to his novel The Surrender of Washington Hansen were optioned by Warner (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 harmony duo the Louvin Brothers. Hogeland is now working on The Revenge of Queen Margaret, a radical adaptation of a group of Shakespeare’s early history plays.
Self-publishing venture: http://www.hogelandpublishing.com.
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/William-Hogeland/108281879206433