Joanne B. Freeman

Joanne B. Freeman

Joanne B. Freeman, Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, specializes in early American politics and political culture. Her interest in political violence and political polarization — dirty, nasty, politics — has made her work particularly relevant in recent years. Freeman’s award-winning first book — Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (Yale University Press, 2001) — explored political combat on the national stage in the Founding era. Her forthcoming book (coming this September from Farrar, Straus and Giroux) — 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. A tale of polarized politics, splintering political parties, clashing visions of American identity, the political complications of new technologies, and the widespread distrust of Americans in national institutions and in each other, The Field of Blood is a tale of the past that speaks to today. Freeman has long been committed to public-minded history. 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 political 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 the lead consultant in the renovation and reinterpretation of Alexander Hamilton’s home in Harlem, The Grange. Lin-Manuel Miranda used her work in writing Hamilton.
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