The Real Revolution: The Global Story of American Independence

Overview

This extensively researched and groundbreaking account by Sibert medalist Marc Aronson centers on events in the mid-18th century that enabled Americans to give up their loyalty to England and form their own nation. Shedding new light on familiar aspects of American history, such as the Boston Tea Party, and ending with the aftermath of the American Revolution, Aronson approaches the events that shaped our country from a fresh angle and connects them to issues that still exist in modern times. Also developed ...

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Overview

This extensively researched and groundbreaking account by Sibert medalist Marc Aronson centers on events in the mid-18th century that enabled Americans to give up their loyalty to England and form their own nation. Shedding new light on familiar aspects of American history, such as the Boston Tea Party, and ending with the aftermath of the American Revolution, Aronson approaches the events that shaped our country from a fresh angle and connects them to issues that still exist in modern times. Also developed throughout is the pioneering idea that the struggle for American independence was actually part of a larger conflict that spanned the globe, reaching across Europe to India.

Packed with dramatic events, battles, and memorable figures such as George Washington and Tom Paine in America and Robert Clive in India, this insightful narrative provides a multi-layered portrait of how our nation came to be, while discovering anew the themes, images, and fascinating personalities that run through our entire history. Cast of characters, maps, endnotes and bibliography, Internet resources, timeline, index.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Superb...a strong choice for history classrooms and a must for all libraries." KIRKUS, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"fascinating, insightful...startling global connections...This outstanding work is highly compelling reading and belongs in every library." SLJ, starred School Library Journal, Starred

"Aronson offers a timely and relevant interpretation of this chapter of history, its contradictions, and its compromises." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Publishers Weekly

"For serious students curious about who and what we are as a nation." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

"Unquestionably significant...Readers gain a better understanding of [events]...that spurred the colonies toward independence." BCCB Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Engaging history...lively prose...[Readers] will come away with a better idea...of events in our history." HORN BOOK Horn Book

"An account that will strike not only children but most adults as in many ways original." NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW The New York Times Book Review

"Refreshing...provides provocative fodder for classroom discussion...History was never so much fun." -VOYA VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

"This engaging history...[concludes] Aronson's dramatic and thought-provoking trilogy" HORN BOOK GUIDE, Pointer Horn Book Guide, Pointer

Publishers Weekly
Aronson's opening author's note explains that this title, together with two of his previous books (about John Winthrop and Oliver Cromwell, and about Sir Walter Ralegh) comprise "three acts in the unfolding saga of the period between the first English explorations of the New World and the birth of the United States." In what he calls a "transnational" approach to history, he frames the events of the American Revolution in the context of global economic and intellectual developments. Aronson then zeroes in on the Boston Tea Party ("why tea?") in a kind of microcosm of the forces at work, weaving together the history of the East India Company leading up to its financial crisis, the roles of Empire and colony and changing ideas of liberty. Aronson skillfully brings the personalities at the drama's center to life, most notably the well-born but cash-poor Robert Clive, who parlayed a minor job with the East India Company into a fortune and helped solidify an empire, but the narrative also offers new insight into George Washington. Aronson excels at making the material accessible, whether defining "mercantilism" or what it meant to become an American. Even the illustrations' captions are clever (e.g., one describing the unusual circumstances surrounding Samuel Adams and his portraitist). Unfortunately, the institutional design does little to serve the narrative. While the ending (connecting these events to Gandhi and the Civil Rights Movement) might feel a bit rushed, Aronson offers a timely and relevant interpretation of this chapter of history, its contradictions and its compromises. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
The more things change, the more they stay the same. While relishing the sheer physical beauty of Aronson's refreshing take on the American Revolution, one cannot help but be cognizant of the similarities to the global shenanigans of the twenty-first century. Aronson broadens the conventional view of the stirrings of revolt by the colonists with his carefully researched "transnational" theory of history. Treachery against the Native Americans, wrangling in India over control of the East India Company, the reality of slaveholders chafing at the increasingly tight reins of England, wealthy men on the verge of financial ruin who try to cut their losses at the expense of their stockholders, civil disobedience that escalates as the colonists realize independence is not a choice, but a necessity-Aronson brings it all into rich colorful play here. This book provides provocative fodder for classroom discussion, from the notion that the Founding Fathers were able to imagine a free America because their slaves gave them the freedom of time for extended contemplation to the dozens of intricate political cartoons, loaded with symbolism that Aronson explains in detail to the pure, clean, razor-sharp logic of Thomas Paine's timeless document, Common Sense. History was never so much fun. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Clarion, 238p.; Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology., $21. Ages 11 to 18.
—Beth E. Andersen
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-In this fascinating, insightful volume, Aronson investigates the origins of the American Revolution and discovers some startling global connections. The colonies' quest for independence is tied to such seemingly unrelated incidents as Robert Clive's triumph over the French in India in 1750 and John Wilkes's accusations against the king in his newspaper, The North Briton, in the 1760s. In his introduction, the author explains how remarks by John Adams helped him define the scope of his book: "`What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the Revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775.'" Employing a new approach called "transnational" history, Aronson demonstrates the evolution of the colonists from English subjects to an entirely new breed-Americans-and points out such ironies as the fact that slavery made it possible for wealthy Virginia squires to have the leisure to ponder the concept of freedom. The numerous illustrations include portraits, engravings, maps, reproductions of documents, and period political cartoons, which are explained for modern readers. Extensive endnotes, a lengthy bibliography, a list of Web sites, and a time line will encourage readers to explore history on their own. This outstanding work is highly compelling reading and belongs in every library.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Charging war elephants, bank failures in Scotland and Daniel Boone all play a part in this "transnational" study of the American Revolution, the final installment in a trilogy, which, with Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado (2000) and John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell, and the Land of Promise (2004), covers early English explorations of the New World through the American Revolution. Aronson here offers a new way to look at the subject, supplying the global context often neglected in textbooks and demonstrating how the lessons of the Revolution are relevant today. Robert Clive and the East India Company, George Washington and James Wolfe are the major players here in the history as theater format used in the three volumes. The handsome text is fully illustrated with excellent archival prints, portraits, engravings and maps (not seen in the uncorrected proofs), and the bibliography is superb, including works for adults and younger readers. Web sites are included and extensive source notes are informative. A strong choice for history classrooms and a must for all libraries. (cast of characters, timeline) (Nonfiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618181797
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,478,559
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1180L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Aronson is the award-winning author of a wide variety of nonfiction works for younger readers, including Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado, which received the first Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award. He edits and publishes young adult fiction in a special arrangement with Candlewick and lives with his wife and two sons in Maplewood, New Jersey. For more information visit www.marcaronson.com.

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