The Unknown American Revolution

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

4.05 (505 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 | 544 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 28mm | 493g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 014303720X
  • 9780143037200
  • 483,311

Table of contents

List of Illustrations XIII
Introduction XV1. 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 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

505 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 38% (191)
4 36% (182)
3 20% (103)
2 5% (24)
1 1% (5)
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