The Unknown American Revolution

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

4.05 (480 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 29mm | 476g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 014303720X
  • 9780143037200
  • 512,290

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
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Review quote

Tightly though densely written, this expertly researched tome shakes the stainless steel history of the American Revolution to its core. --Publishers Weekly

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

What Nash does in The Unknown American Revolution is dislodge the founding fathers to give the dynamism of urban craftsmen, slaves, 'dockside tars, ' and 'club-wielding farmers' a more prominent place in the history of the movement. --The Boston Globe
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About Professor of History Gary B Nash

Gary B. Nash is professor of history at UCLA and director of the National Center for History in the Schools. He is the former president of the Organization of American Historians, co-chair of the National History Standards Project, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Rating details

480 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 38% (182)
4 36% (172)
3 21% (99)
2 5% (22)
1 1% (5)
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