The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create Americaby Gary B. Nash
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.
"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
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
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- 3 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
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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For someone who doesn't know very much about the American Revolution in the first place, this book was a bit overpowering, but gave me an inside scoop and deeper look at what went on. This is a sort of 'Behind the scenes' showing of what really occurred during the American Revolution. Nash talks not only about the battles that were fought but also touches on issues including women's roles, surprising slave owners, and feuds between the politicians. One of the topics that I most enjoyed was ¿Unalienable Rights For Whom?¿ This was of interest to me because it wasn¿t all about a happy go-lucky view of how the real American¿s felt about what was going on in their country. Another topic that was of great interest to me was the vast amount of information that Nash covered on the women¿s roles during the revolution he illustrated their great importance during this time period. At times I felt overwhelmed by the length and amount of information I was given. Being a novice at learning all about the revolution, I believe there were certain topics that I had never been taught before. The gamut of subjects that Nash included in the book, help to give an in-depth perspective. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to see the behind closed doors look at the revolution and learn about the little known facts.
The first 200 pages were great. The last 200 pages felt like a thesis paper.
There's no doubt the amount of work and research that went into this but I felt at times that there was a reason it is called the 'Unknown American...'
Probably a better book to read through certain chapters and keep on the shelf for fact checking.
But it can be interesting if you stick through it, and again, the topic is a nice change from the 4 million books on Hamilton.
Combining his own research with a broad survey of current research, Nash presents a history of the American Revolution that combines familiar landmarks (the Declaration of Independence, the surrender at Yorktown) with lesser-known, but important stories of the era as experienced by slaves, the working classes, women from all levels of society, the foot soldier, the loyalists, and the Native American. Many of the details in this book could be found in more specific texts, but Nash deftly weaves all the stories together into a single narrative. This is not some ideological effort to taint the achievements of the founding fathers or some exercise in historical mud-slinging. Though many of the details may undermine certain well-cherished legends, Nash introduces them to show that people from all different classes and cultures influenced the Revolution, and the modern shape of the nation owes something to all of their hopes, fears, and efforts. Many regrettable things happened during the tempestuous years, but it is impossible to read this an not be amazed at Americans' seemingly innate thirst for freedom and the sacrifices that people on all sides of the conflict were willing to make in order to secure a future they believed in. NB: I did find this book assumes a high degree of familiarity with the Revolution and the events of that era. I do not feel it is a book for beginners.