SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Dr. Stephen Knott, a professor of national security at the United States Naval War College and an expert on Alexander Hamilton, will deliver Wofford College’s annual Constitution Day Lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Knott, author of a book on Hamilton’s controversial image in the American mind, “Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth,” will talk on “The Legacy of Alexander Hamilton.”
“Thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular musical ‘Hamilton: An American Musical,’ Hamilton has enjoyed a resurgence of interest among students of American history and politics,” Dr. David Alvis, associate professor of government and international affairs at Wofford, says. “Dr. Knott’s lecture will focus on Hamilton’s intellectual legacy in American political life and particularly his devotion to freedom.”
While Hamilton often is noted for his institutional contributions to the Constitution of the United States, he also was a vigorous spokesman for republican virtue and democratic freedom. In his legal defense of Harry Croswell, who was accused of defaming the then-sitting president Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton argued for sacred importance of the freedom of speech. “The liberty of publishing truth, with good motives and justifiable ends, even though it reflect on government, magistrates, or private persons,” Hamilton said.
Knott also published “Secret and Sanctioned: Covert Operations and the American Presidency,” an examination of the use of covert operations by early American presidents. He is a co-author of “The Reagan Years” and “At Reagan’s Side: Insiders’ Recollections from Sacramento to the White House.” His most recent book is “Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics.”