In a boldy original and immensely vivid narrative, a leading historian explores the blaze of radical ideas and agendas that fired Americans to rise up and throw off the British yoke.
In 1775, war broke out between the British and the American colonists. By 1776 the colonists had declared themselves independent and in 1783, following a long and bloody conflict, Britain was forced to recognise the independence of the United States. Writing with the benefit of hindsight in 1818, John Adams, one of the central figures in the Revolution, recalled that Americans were committed to independence in their hearts long before the outbreak of hostilities. This remarkable new book not only tells the story of the Revolutionary war - the longest and most disruptive upheaval in American history - but also explores the truth of Adams's claim.
The Founding Fathers - those men who signed the Declaration of Independence against Britain - may have led the charge, but the energy to raise a revolt emerged from all classes and races of American society. The Unknown American Revolution
plunges us into the swirl of ideology, grievance, outrage and hope that animated the Revolutionary decades. It tells of the efforts of a wide variety of men and women who stepped forward amidst a discouraging, debilitating, but ultimately successful war to inscribe on the clean slate their ideas for the kind of America they hoped would emerge from the blood-soaked eight-year conflict.
Their goal was to set a new course for the new country, one free of entrenched class hostilities, religious bigotry and racism. The people so vividly portrayed in this book did not all agree or succeed, but during the exhilarating and messy years of the country's birth, they laid down ideas that have become a crucial and fundamental part of America's inheritance.
Gary B. Nash is a professor of history and director of the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA. A former president of the Organization of American Historians, he has written and edited more than twenty books. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Society of American Historians and the American Antiquarian Society. From 1992 to 1996, he co-chaired the National History Standards Project. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.
This complex, subtle work leaves room for admiration.,Insightful, challenging...Tightly though densely written, this expertly researched tome shakes the "stainless steel" history of the American Revolution to its core.,Nash is a fluent writer... he is particularly good at describing the colonial context for the American Revolution: a brutal society of rapid growth, radical religious movements, bitter class antagonism.,Nash paints a much bloodier and more brutal portrait of America's liberation from the British than patriotic US stereotypes normally allow.,Engaging... Nash has the 'reigning master narrative' of the War of Independence firmly in his sights... Building on recent research - generously acknowledged - Nash introduces us to a colourful ensemble of agrarian protesters, city mobs, opinionated slaves, itinerant preachers, outspoken women, and thoughtful tribal chiefs... addictive.,The creation of the USA was a pivotal event. Gary Nash has done well to remind us with this excellent, scholarly book that its birth was long, slow, messy and painful. And that it was the ordinary folk, Patriot and Tory, who did most of the dying.,Fascinating... the canonical record has thrown out all sense of the genuine intellectual and political ferment which made this a real and important revolution.