Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Yale University
Website URL
18th and early 19th century US history , political culture, political violence, the culture of Congress, the Founders, Alexander Hamilton, honor culture, dueling, partisanship, party politics, public history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

A professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, Joanne Freeman specializes in early American politics and political culture, with special expertise in political violence and political polarization — dirty, nasty, politics — an interest that has made her work particularly relevant in recent years.

Freeman’s award-winning first book — Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic — explored political combat on the national stage in the Founding era. Her forthcoming book (coming this September!) — The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War — focuses on physically violent clashes in the House and Senate chambers, and how they shaped and savaged the nation.

Co-host of the popular U.S. history podcast BackStory, Freeman is a frequent public speaker, commentator, and historical consultant whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Atlantic Magazine, among others; she has been featured in documentaries on PBS and the History Channel, and been a commentator on CNN and MSNBC. Her Yale online course, The American Revolution, has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people in homes and classrooms around the world.

A leading expert on Alexander Hamilton, Freeman was a lead consultant in the renovation and reinterpretation of Alexander Hamilton’s home in Harlem. Lin-Manuel Miranda used her work in writing Hamilton.

Recent Publications
  • Jeffersonian Republicans in Power, 1800-1824 (University Press of Virginia, forthcoming), co-edited with Johann Neem.
  • The Field of Blood: Congressional Violence and the Road to Civil War (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 2018).
  • The Essential Hamilton: Letters and Other Writings (Library of America, 2017).
  • “Will the Real Alexander Hamilton Please Stand Up?,” Journal of the Early Republic (Summer 2017): 255-62.
  • “Violence against members of Congress has a long and ominous history,” Washington Post, June 15, 2017.
  • “The Bloody History of the U. S. House of Representatives,” The Atlantic, June 27, 2016.
  • “How Hamilton Uses History,” Slate, November 11, 2015.
Media Coverage
On "political idiocy" (CNN)
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
4, 5
Expertise by Topic
American Revolution, American Founding Era, American Presidents, Government, Politics, Public History, Rebellion & Revolution