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"A Renegade History of the United States takes us on a tour of backstreet America, introducing us to the rebels and prostitutes, the hipsters and hippies. The book tells good stories, all in the cause of illuminating larger historical struggles between social control and freedom, repression and letting go. Author Thaddeus Russell gives us a new pantheon of American heroes, and argues that those who expanded the realm of desire-for sex, for drugs, for illicit experiences-were the very ones who created our liberties. This is a controversial book, but certainly not a dull one." -Elliott Gorn, Brown University, Department of History "Howard Zinn wrote the 'People's History' of the United States. But Thaddeus Russell has written the history of the American People Whom Historians Would Rather Forget: the whores, delinquents, roustabouts-the so-called bums and immoral minority who did more for our civil rights and personal freedoms than anyone could count-until now. There is no understanding of American feminism, sexual liberation, civil rights, or dancing in the streets without this careful analysis that Russell has put before us." -Susie Bright, syndicated columnist, author of The Sexual State of the Union, and series editor, Best American Erotica "Thaddeus Russell has broken free of the ideological prisons of Left and Right to give us a real, flesh-and-blood history of America, filled with untold stories and unlikely heroes. No waving incense before the sacred personages of Washington, D.C. here. This wonderful book follows the best American traditions of iconoclasm and-what is the same thing-truth-telling." - Thomas E. Woods, Jr., author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History "Thaddeus Russell is a trouble-maker for sure. Whether you call his book courageous or outrageous, his helter-skelter tour through the American past will make you gasp and make you question-as he does-the writing of 'history as usual.'" - Nancy Cott, Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University, and author of Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation and The Grounding of Modern Feminism "This lively, contrarian work [is] ... A sharp, lucid, entertaining view of the 'bad' American past." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Raucous, profane, and thrillingly original, Thaddeus Russell's A Renegade History of the United States turns the myths of the "American character" on their heads with a rare mix of wit, scholarship, and storytelling flair." - Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for You "Thaddeus Russell's A Renegade History of The United States is a work of history like no other-a bold, controversial, original view of American history that will amuse, inspire, outrage, and, most of all, instruct readers. Russell strips away conventional wisdom and explodes many myths. In the process, he sheds new light on ideas, institutions, and people." - Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, and author of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century and American History: A Survey 'A bracing read; equal parts revelation and provocation' Phil Harrison, Book of the Week, Time Out 23/9 'The first sign that Thaddeus Russell is self-consciously spoiling for a fight is his chosen title, implicitly opposed to Howard Zinn's famous pageantry of American working-class resistance. Russell throws down a gauntlet, claiming liberal movements for social change contributed less to US history than the exploits of various heroic criminals and outlaws whose refusal to obey the rules embodied the true American ethos of liberty. There is something offputtingly shallow about this thesis. After a compelling introduction making the case for a history of those so far ignored, he squanders his momentum with tiresome goading -- slaves had a great life, jazz would be nothing without the Mafia, Martin Luther King was a killjoy. The thrust is all too compatible with the 'liberty or death' posturing of the yee-haw American right and a lot less challenging than Russell presumably thinks it is.' Metro, October 2010Reseña del editor:
In this groundbreaking book, noted historian Thaddeus Russell tells a new and surprising story about the origins of American freedom. Rather than crediting the standard textbook icons, Russell demonstrates that it was those on the fringes of society whose subversive lifestyles helped legitimize the taboo and made America the land of the free. In vivid portraits of renegades and their 'respectable' adversaries, Russell shows that the nation's history has been driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires - insiders versus outsiders, good citizens versus bad. The more these accidental revolutionaries existed, resisted, and persevered, the more receptive society became to change. Russell brilliantly and vibrantly argues that it was history's iconoclasts who established many of our most cherished liberties. Russell finds these pioneers of personal freedom in the places that usually go unexamined - saloons and speakeasies, brothels and gambling halls, and even behind the Iron Curtain. He introduces a fascinating array of antiheroes: drunken workers who created the weekend; prostitutes who set the precedent for women's liberation; criminals who pioneered racial integration and brazen homosexuals who broke open America's sexual culture. This is not history that can be found in textbooks - it is a highly original and provocative portrayal of the American past as it has never been written before.
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Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2011. Paperback. Condición: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. del artículo: P111847398642