Partner, Verdad Advisers
Thesis Title: Violent Visions: Slaves, Sugar, and the 1811 German Coast Uprising
What Now: Partner, Verdad Advisers
What Next: Continuing to grow my business and working on writing projects in addition.
I spent my final two years in History & Literature working in one-on-one tutorials and independent studies focusing on a slave uprising in New Orleans in 1811–the largest but least well documented slave revolt in American history. I perused archives in New Orleans, Washington, DC, and at Harvard, finding forgotten letters, obscure newspaper articles, and old slave ledgers. Using methods of literary analysis developed in sophomore tutorial, I tore into the untruths and silences of the historical record and attempted to piece together the true story of what happened on the plantations turned killing fields of Louisiana’s German Coast. After graduating, I spent my nights, weekends, and vacations working on turning my senior thesis into a book, American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt, which was published by HarperCollins in 2011.
But I am not a full-time writer, and the lessons I learned in History & Literature extend well beyond the practice of actually writing history. During college, I worked at a quantitative hedge fund, and, after graduating, took a job at a private equity firm. I went to business school at Stanford and launched my own hedge fund, Verdad Advisers, upon graduation. My business today requires separating truth from narrative and using evidence to falsify or confirm different investment theories. For the last few years, I have hired interns from the History & Literature program, because I find their worldviews and skillsets ideally suited for financial analysis.
• www.danrasmussen.net (author website)
• www.verdadcap.com (business website)