William Hogeland

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 (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, and challenging commonly held views of the founding period, the Wild Early Republic trilogy has been embraced by advanced scholars of that 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.

Books in order of publication:

The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty2006
Inventing American History2009
Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 17762010
Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosures, Protests, and Crackdowns Made Us a Nation2012
The Storm of the Century: Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America’s Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 19002015
Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West2017
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