The Unknown American Revolution : The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America
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.
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) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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May 29, 2006
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