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A few quick responses to Sarah Wiley: -- Lighten up on the poor program chair. Seems like he was going for regional and topical breadth in that call for papers, a document which people tend to ignore anyway. I can say from experience that the make-up of the SHEAR program is largely determined by what proposals the members submit. Also, while I can't cite a large number of Hamilton-specific papers in recent years off the top of my head, my impression has always been the Federalists were rather popular within SHEAR. -- Hasn't this particular bandwagon already left the station? It seems to me that Hamilton is rapidly reaching the point of being so underrated he's overrated. This Chernow book obviously has a good publicist, but it's something like the fourth major book published on this theme (along with numerous magazine articles) since the beginning of the Bush administration. Moreover, the trope (or is it a meme?) of the Underappreciated Founding Father (and its evil twin, the Overappreciated Bloodthirsty Racist Hypocrite Founding Father) has racked up a huge number of titles going back to even before 2001. One might see the current round of Hamilton publicity as just another stage in the cycle, and a rather late and unoriginal one at that. -- Does SHEAR really want to worry about being on journalistic bandwagons in the first place? We should all be grateful that SHEAR is largely not in the business of conducting the "World's Sexiest Founder" competition that substitutes for historical analysis of our period in the media & in the popular histories the media tends to publicize these days. SHEAR members' interests are broader and more serious than this largely trivial sidelight on what is justly only a subfield (Founder history) at SHEAR among many other areas of social, cultural, and political history. If we choose, we can admire David McCullough and Ron Chernow for bringing our favorite characters and our period to a mass audience (and making a lot of money), but we should not be taking our scholarly cues from them. -- I'm glad that the CFP did not make a big deal out of the Burr-Hamilton Bicentennial. The 1804 duel is easily the most overexposed and overrated major political event of the period. It's a great story of two declining politicians with messy personal lives who let an old feud boil over. But there were no particular political or ideological stakes in the duel other the ruin of Burr himself. I have read a few attempts to depict the duel as a great turning point on which the "future of America" depended, but never anything very convincing or specific. (It was big turning point the history of dueling, of course, but SHEAR is not yet SHEAD despite how it sometimes seems.) The duel has long been most effectively deployed as dramatic coloring or a tableau of political culture rather than a truly critical event. Now if Burr had killed Jefferson, or Hamilton 20 years earlier, that would have been a thing. Jeff Pasley University of Missouri