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American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804
American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 | Alan Taylor
7 posts | 5 read | 3 to read
The American Revolution is often portrayed as a high-minded, orderly event whose capstone, the Constitution, provided the ideal framework for a democratic, prosperous nation. Alan Taylor, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, gives us a different creation story in this magisterial history of the nation s founding.Rising out of the continental rivalries of European empires and their native allies, Taylor s Revolution builds like a ground fire overspreading Britain s mainland colonies, fueled by local conditions, destructive, hard to quell. Conflict ignited on the frontier, where settlers clamored to push west into Indian lands against British restrictions, and in the seaboard cities, where commercial elites mobilized riots and boycotts to resist British tax policies. When war erupted, Patriot crowds harassed Loyalists and nonpartisans into compliance with their cause. Brutal guerrilla violence flared all along the frontier from New York to the Carolinas, fed by internal divisions as well as the clash with Britain. Taylor skillfully draws France, Spain, and native powers into a comprehensive narrative of the war that delivers the major battles, generals, and common soldiers with insight and power.With discord smoldering in the fragile new nation through the 1780s, nationalist leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton sought to restrain unruly state democracies and consolidate power in a Federal Constitution. Assuming the mantle of We the People, the advocates of national power ratified the new frame of government. But their opponents prevailed in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, whose vision of a western empire of liberty aligned with the long-standing, expansive ambitions of frontier settlers. White settlement and black slavery spread west, setting the stage for a civil war that nearly destroyed the union created by the founders."
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breadnroses
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Even though this book‘s length can be daunting, Alan Taylor writes with extreme clarity and a strong narrative flow. He subverts the classic nationalist mythology of the Revolution and presents instead an international framework: one that identifies the Revolution as a civil war in British America, and is part of greater imperial rivalry between Britain, France and Spain for control in the Americas. Essential reading on US history for sure!

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ssravp
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Pickpick

A history class in a book! I love these kinds of books on audiobook. 🇺🇸

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Sararl77
Pickpick

Great read for insight on American origins. But now I am really truly absolutely taking a break from serious reading.

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Sararl77
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Hobbinol
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#readingbuddies : my spouse is the one reading American Revolutions and our cat is the one contemplating what we're reading (I just finished reading a poem in The Paris Review).

CherylDeFranceschi ❤️❤️❤️ 6y
Megabooks 💕💕💕 6y
vivastory @hobbinol Hopefully a good poem? 6y
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Hobbinol Yes! I liked Michael Robbins' poem very much. I'm not familiar with his work. The book of Chinese poetry you just read looks more interesting to me though, @vivastory . 6y
LeahBergen Oh, I love this pic! 💗 6y
vivastory @Hobbinol I've read "Alien Vs. Predator." There were a few good lines. The discussion of high culture Vs low culture is a little more of a recent topic in poetry world, especially with groups like Flarf. 6y
Hobbinol @vivastory I read only enough poetry to keep me honest. Maybe my new subscription to the Paris Review will keep me more up-to-date. (I'm embarrassed to say I had to look up Flarf and was very enthused. It seems every time I learn about a movement, something else is already en vogue.) It always takes me longer to finish a book of poetry than a novel, because I spend so much time examining how a phrase is chiseled or how a word is faceted.🙂 6y
vivastory @hobbinol I spent about ten years reading almost only poetry before returning to my first love-fiction. Poetry is such an engaging art form and so demanding. I return to it now every few weeks, it is almost a spiritual hunger for the compressed meaning and metaphors unfettered from that it can fulfill. narrative 6y
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shawnmooney
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I see just now that @Hobbinol blurbed about this a few days ago: it was the New York Times review that caught my eye a few minutes before that – this revisionist history sounds amazing and long overdue! Do you think Trump might be reading it as we speak…?

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/11/books/review/alan-taylor-american-revolutions....

Hobbinol Ha! 6y
sherrip Interesting look at the Revolutionary war and its effect on others. 6y
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Hobbinol
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The Pulitzer winner Alan Taylor at #bookmarksfestival . Having used 18th & 19th century letters extensively in his research, he confessed, "Some of my happiest moments are reading other people's mail!" He closed by musing how difficult future historians might find researching this electronic generation without old letters from which to work. "Unless they archive everyone's Facebooks, there might not be a lot to go on." He was completely charming.