A sweeping narrative of the wartime experience, A People's History of the American Revolution is the first book to view the revolution through the eyes of common folk. Their stories have long been overlooked in the mythic telling of America's founding, but are crucial to a comprehensive understanding of the fight for independence. Now, the experiences of farmers, laborers, rank and file soldiers, women, Native Americans, and African Americans -- found in diaries, letters, memoirs and other long-ignored primary sources -- create a gritty account of rebellion, filled with ideals and outrage, loss, sacrifice, and sometimes scurrilous acts...but always ringing with truth.
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Ray Raphael is the author of numerous books, including An Everyday History of Somewhere, The Men from the Boys: Rites of Passage in Male America, and Tree Talk: The People and Politics of Timber. He lives in northern California.From Publishers Weekly:
California-based writer Raphael (An Everyday History of Somewhere; etc.) offers an accessible study of the American Revolution, as part of a series edited by Howard Zinn, and in the tradition of his A People's History of the United States. Most books on the Revolution focus on generals and kings, although scholars have, in the last two decades, turned some of their attention to the lives of ordinary people. Raphael transforms the best insights of that scholarship into a lively, readable narrative. Yes, kings and generals were important, but it was the people at large who brought about American independence. Even before the war started, ordinary people were involved in protesting British abuses, refusing to consume tea and other British luxury items. Women supported the Revolution by spinning their own cloth (rather than buying it from Britain) and working the farms their husbands left behind when the militia called them to the front. Young men eager to "git" their rights uncomplainingly subsisted on moldy bread while they camped out in the snow, waiting to encounter Redcoats. White colonists weren't the only Americans affected by the war. Abenaki Indians, for example, were paid to fight alongside the rebels. Raphael also shows how many slaves, infected with the freedom-fighting spirit, bid unsuccessfully for their own independence via insurrections, escape and reasoning. Both English and American armies wanted the slaves' loyalties, and the slaves, in turn, believed that if they served the winning side, they would gain freedom. Moving from broad overviews to stories of small groups or individuals, Raphael's study is impressive in both its sweep and its attention to the particular. The book will delight, educate and entertain all Revolution buffs. (Apr.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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