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- 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
“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
“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
“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
“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, Professor of American Civilization and History, Brown University, and author of Dillinger's Wild Ride: The Year That Made America's Public Enemy Number One
"This lively, contrarian work [is]... A sharp, lucid, entertaining view of the “bad” American past." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
This is a fun read that makes a serious point. Even drunkards, whores, black pleasure-seekers, gangsters, and drag queens have contributed to American culture, and sometimes in surprising ways. --W. J. Rorabaugh, professor of history, University of Washington and author of The Alcoholic Republic
"It's always fascinating spending time with a devil's advocate, and Russell is one of the best. You'll shout at this book endlessly, but you won't be able to put it down, for it's chock full of startling, upsetting, and entertaining anecdotes" --The Scotsman
"[A] rollicking and sure-to-be-controversial history of our great nation..." --Metro-Boston
I found this book in the "used" section of Barns&Nobel and started reading it because it looked interesting. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Righterzpen
I read social media posts by the author, trying to denigrate Jews, arguing that Jews in the 1800's called one another "N-last name". Read morePublished 15 days ago by M. Olenick
I'm pretty sure the writer did his research....which is why the book is fascinating. Let's you realize how and why this country operates on this rich vs poor, black vs white,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by JDub81
Even when I can't agree with the conclusions Russell draws, this book challenged my basic presumptions about society in so many ways. Must-read for intellectual stretching!Published 1 month ago by Gnome33
I heard this guy(Thaddeus Russell) when he was on the daily show with john Stewart, and I was so impressed with what he had to say that I bought his book and mine was I glad that I... Read morePublished 3 months ago by snakeriverhombre
Do you like the fact that nowadays public disapproval of homosexuality is softly and suddenly vanishing away? Then you should be grateful to New York gangsters. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Arnold E. Bjorn
Thaddeus Russell tries to prove his point that "renegades" (alcoholics, outcasts, unconventional people) have shaped history and serve to be the foundations of what America... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Aaron Zhu