Synopses & Reviews
Historian Howard Zinn demonstrated that there are compelling, alternative histories that are both scholarly and valuable. Now, Thaddeus Russell provides a challenging new way of reading history that will turn convention on its head and is sure to elicit as much controversy as it does support.
Russell shows that drunkards, laggards, prostitutes, and pirates were the real heroes of the American Revolution. Slaves worked less and had more fun than free men. Prostitutes, not feminists, won women's liberation. White people lost their rhythm when they became good Americans. Without organized crime, we might not have Hollywood, Las Vegas, labor unions, legal alcohol, birth control, or gay rights. Zoot-suiters and rock-and-rollers, not Ronald Reagan or the peace movement, brought down the Soviet Union. And Britney Spears will win the war on terror.
It was not the elitists who created real revolution in America nor the political radicals whom Zinn credits, but the people on the fringes of society who laid the foundation for change and were responsible for many of the freedoms we cherish today. American history was driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires—the "respectable" versus the "degenerate," the moral versus the immoral, "good citizens" versus the "bad." The more that "bad" people existed, resisted, and won, the greater was our common good.
In A Renegade History of the United States, Russell introduces us to the origins of our nation's identity as we have never known them before.
"Russell writes with force and scathing humor. Narrator Paul Boehmer accurately delivers his tone.... It's hard to put this down. Renegade, indeed!" ---AudioFile
Historian Thaddeus Russell presents a study of the real revolutionaries who infused America with the identity it has today.
About the Author
Thaddeus Russell teaches history and cultural studies at Occidental College and has taught at Columbia University, Barnard College, Eugene Lang College, and the New School for Social Research. He received a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. He is the author of Out of the Jungle, and he has published opinion articles in the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Salon, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Thaddeus has also appeared on the History Channel and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife and son. Paul Boehmer appeared for two seasons at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California, where he played Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Lucius in Titus Andronicus. He also appeared in The Constant Wife, played Banquo in Macbeth, and was Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors in the 2005 Summer Rep Season at the Globe. He has appeared in Sir Peter Halls's acclaimed Broadway production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, Off-Broadway in the New York premiere of Miss Evers' Boys, and Off-Off-Broadway in New Yorrick, New Yorrick and End of the Day. He has appeared regionally at the Pioneer Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Seattle Rep, Huntington Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Theatre Works Palo Alto. His film and television appearances include The Good German, The Thomas Crown Affair, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Frasier, Judging Amy, Guiding Light, and All My Children. Paul is most proud of his award-winning unabridged recording of Moby Dick. He holds a BFA in acting from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in acting from the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware.