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
18th century, 19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Revolution, American Founding Era, American Presidents, Government, Politics, Public History, Rebellion & Revolution