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The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America

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The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We commonly think of the American Revolution as simply the war for independence from British colonial rule. But, of course, that independence actually applied to only a portion of the American population—African Americans would still be bound in slavery for nearly another century. Alan Gilbert asks us to rethink what we know about the Revolutionary War, to realize that while white Americans were fighting for their freedom, many black Americans were joining the British imperial forces to gain theirs. Further, a movement led by sailors—both black and white—pushed strongly for emancipation on the American side. There were actually two wars being waged at once: a political revolution for independence from Britain and a social revolution for emancipation and equality.

Gilbert presents persuasive evidence that slavery could have been abolished during the Revolution itself if either side had fully pursued the military advantage of freeing slaves and pressing them into combat, and his extensive research also reveals that free blacks on both sides played a crucial and underappreciated role in the actual fighting. Black Patriots and Loyalists contends that the struggle for emancipation was not only basic to the Revolution itself, but was a rousing force that would inspire freedom movements like the abolition societies of the North and the black loyalist pilgrimages for freedom in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone.

Review:

"The history of the American Revolution that most of us have absorbed is but 'a fable,' writes UCLA historian Nash. In this insightful, challenging 'antidote to historical amnesia,' Nash (Race and Revolution) deftly illustrates that while the Revolution has been implanted in our collective memory as the idealized 'Glorious Cause,' in reality it was more a chaotic and bloody civil war, replete with fragile alliances, a multitude of fronts and clashing cultures. He especially succeeds in detailing the crucial role and often overlooked plight of Native Americans, adding the obscure names of men such as Cornplanter, Dragging Canoe and Mohawk chief Joseph Brant, who allied the Iroquois nation with the British, to the pantheon of the Revolution's players. By 1789 Washington was forced to commit a third of his army to destroying the Iroquois, explicitly ordering that their villages 'not be merely overrun but destroyed.' Of course, Native Americans who remained neutral or fought alongside the Americans fared no better later at the hands of settlers. Tightly though densely written, this expertly researched tome shakes the 'stainless steel' history of the American Revolution to its core. (June 27)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Nash (history, U. of California at Los Angeles) explains that the majority of colonists were outside the relatively respectable milieu of the founding fathers, and many came to America or stayed because it afforded room for their decidedly radical views. Revolutionary ferment began decades before a shot was fired, and in fact the Revolution was a civil war as well as a war of independence. He traces the influences of proponents of various ways of thought, including feminism, abolition, and forms of democracy debated in the streets more than in the salons.
Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

In this brilliant reexamination of the swirl of ideology, grievance, outrage, and hope that animated the revolutionary decades, Nash demonstrates that though the Founding Fathers led the charge, the energy to raise a revolt emerged from all classes and races of American society.

Synopsis:

In this audacious recasting of the American Revolution, distinguished historian Gary Nash offers a profound new way of thinking about the struggle to create this country, introducing readers to a coalition of patriots from all classes and races of American society. From millennialist preachers to enslaved Africans, disgruntled women to aggrieved Indians, the people so vividly portrayed in this book did not all agree or succeed, but during the exhilarating and messy years of this country's birth, they laid down ideas that have become part of our inheritance and ideals toward which we still strive today.

Synopsis:

In the rows of august marble busts that commemorate the American Revolution, we have lost sight of the true radical spirit of the longest and most disruptive upheaval in our history, argues distinguished American historian Gary B. Nash. In this brilliant reexamination of the swirl of ideology, grievance, outrage, and hope that animated the revolutionary decades, Nash demonstrates that though the Founding Fathers led the charge, the energy to raise a revolt emerged from all classes and races of American society. Millennialist preachers and enslaved Africans, frontier mystics and dockside tars, disgruntled women and aggrieved Indians—all had their own fierce vision of what an independent America could and should be. According to Nash, the American Revolution was truly a peopl‛s revolution, a civil war at home as well as an armed insurrection against colonial control.

In this ideal companion volume to Howard Zin‛s classic A Peopl‛s History of the United States, Nash re-creates the heady and often-violent excitement that convulsed American lives during the last three decades of the eighteenth century and presents a unique look at the struggle to create a new country.

About the Author

You will never think about the Revolution in the same way. (Alfred F. Young, author of Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations   XIII

Introduction   XV

1. Roots of Radicalism

Jailbreaks at Newark   2

Christ's Poor   8

Little Carpenter's Dilemma   12

"The Mobbish Turn" in Boston   18

"Cum Multis Aegis" in Philadelphia   25

"Fondness for Freedom"   32

Heralds of Abolition   39

2. Years of Insurgence, 1761-1766

The Crowd Finds Its Own Mind   45

Restive Slaves   59

Stricken Conscience   62

The Great Indian Awakening   66

Insurgent Farmers   72

3. Building Momentum, 1766-1774

"The Rising Spirit of the People"   91

Backcountry Crises   103

"The Natural Rights of Africans"   114

Indian Hating on the Middle Ground   128

Out of the Shadows   133

Radical Religion   146

4. Reaching the Climax, 1776-1778

Abolitionism Under War Clouds   151

"Liberty to Slaves"   157

Logan's Lament   166

Plowmen and Leather Aprons   178

Breaking the Logjam   189

The Genie Unbottled   199

5. The Dual Revolution, 1776-1780

Unalienable Rights for Whom?   210

The Myth of the Minuteman   216

Fighting to Be Free   223

Rioting to Eat   232

Radical Loyalism   238

Choosing Sides   247

6. Writing on the Clean Slate, 1776-1780

First Attempts   266

A Militiaman's Constitution   268

The Frightened Response   277

Vermont and Maryland   280

E Pluribus Unum?   288

Betrayal in Massachussetts   290

7. Radicalism at Floodtide, 1778-1781

Blood in the Streets   307

New Choices for African Americans   320

Defending Virginia   339

Native American Agonies   345

Radical Mutineers   357

8. Taming the Revolution, 1780-1785

"Band of Brotherhood"   369

Peace Without Peace   376

Southern Fissures   387

Northern Struggles for Equity   395

Leaving America   402

Finding Freedom   407

Women of the Republic   417

Epilogue: Sparks from the Altar of '76

The Dream Deferred   426

The Last Best Chance   429

The Indispensible Enemy   435

The Veterans' Cheat   441

Small-Producer Persistence   443

Passing the Torch   450

Acknowledgements   457

Notes   459

Index   495

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670034208
Subtitle:
Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence
Author:
Nash, Gary B
Author:
Nash, Gary B.
Author:
Gilbert, Alan
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20130918
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w illustrations throughout
Pages:
392
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.1 in
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era

The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 392 pages Viking Books - English 9780670034208 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The history of the American Revolution that most of us have absorbed is but 'a fable,' writes UCLA historian Nash. In this insightful, challenging 'antidote to historical amnesia,' Nash (Race and Revolution) deftly illustrates that while the Revolution has been implanted in our collective memory as the idealized 'Glorious Cause,' in reality it was more a chaotic and bloody civil war, replete with fragile alliances, a multitude of fronts and clashing cultures. He especially succeeds in detailing the crucial role and often overlooked plight of Native Americans, adding the obscure names of men such as Cornplanter, Dragging Canoe and Mohawk chief Joseph Brant, who allied the Iroquois nation with the British, to the pantheon of the Revolution's players. By 1789 Washington was forced to commit a third of his army to destroying the Iroquois, explicitly ordering that their villages 'not be merely overrun but destroyed.' Of course, Native Americans who remained neutral or fought alongside the Americans fared no better later at the hands of settlers. Tightly though densely written, this expertly researched tome shakes the 'stainless steel' history of the American Revolution to its core. (June 27)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In this brilliant reexamination of the swirl of ideology, grievance, outrage, and hope that animated the revolutionary decades, Nash demonstrates that though the Founding Fathers led the charge, the energy to raise a revolt emerged from all classes and races of American society.
"Synopsis" by ,

In this audacious recasting of the American Revolution, distinguished historian Gary Nash offers a profound new way of thinking about the struggle to create this country, introducing readers to a coalition of patriots from all classes and races of American society. From millennialist preachers to enslaved Africans, disgruntled women to aggrieved Indians, the people so vividly portrayed in this book did not all agree or succeed, but during the exhilarating and messy years of this country's birth, they laid down ideas that have become part of our inheritance and ideals toward which we still strive today.

"Synopsis" by , In the rows of august marble busts that commemorate the American Revolution, we have lost sight of the true radical spirit of the longest and most disruptive upheaval in our history, argues distinguished American historian Gary B. Nash. In this brilliant reexamination of the swirl of ideology, grievance, outrage, and hope that animated the revolutionary decades, Nash demonstrates that though the Founding Fathers led the charge, the energy to raise a revolt emerged from all classes and races of American society. Millennialist preachers and enslaved Africans, frontier mystics and dockside tars, disgruntled women and aggrieved Indians—all had their own fierce vision of what an independent America could and should be. According to Nash, the American Revolution was truly a peopl‛s revolution, a civil war at home as well as an armed insurrection against colonial control.

In this ideal companion volume to Howard Zin‛s classic A Peopl‛s History of the United States, Nash re-creates the heady and often-violent excitement that convulsed American lives during the last three decades of the eighteenth century and presents a unique look at the struggle to create a new country.

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