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Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America Paperback – October 25, 2011
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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"--Michael Kenney "The Boston Globe "
"A thoughtful, balanced corrective to partisan treatments of the Boston Tea Party."--;i>Guardian
"--Maya Jasanoff "Guardian "
"Assiduously researched."--;i>The New Yorker
"--Caleb Crain "The New Yorker "
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Top Customer Reviews
What I like most about Defiance of Patriots is the well-rounded education I'm receiving in the East India Company, Boston city life, Thomas Hutchinson, colonial politics and culture, tea, 18th century economics, international relations, etc. J. L. Bell of the Boston 1775 blog puts it best, "For folks interested in the real story of the Tea Party, Defiance of the Patriots is the most thorough and wide-ranging account out there."
There were many aspects of the Tea Party that I did not appreciate until reading this book:
- The American colonists' opinions were influenced by events occurring halfway around the world. During a famine in Bengal a few years before, the East India Company (a monopoly trading arm of the British government) withheld grain and continued taxation while more than one million Indians starved. The Americans worried that they might be next.
- The Tea Act included both a tea price cut and a new tax on tea. The net cost of tea was actually going to go down (!), not up. The colonists objected because: it would cut local merchants out of the importation business; the tax was not enacted by or for the colonists; and, the tax would fund the salary of the Governor and other officers, making them less accountable to the colonists. Less high-mindedly, prominent traders like the Hancock family realized that a drop in the price of tea would reduce profits from their tea smuggling activities.
- Boston had lagged behind Philadelphia and New York in the effort to resist the Tea Act, but they redeemed themselves with the Boston Tea Party.
- The Tea Party was not a spontaneous event. The participants only took action at the very last minute, after weeks of speeches, meetings, and newspaper articles failed to accomplish anything.
- The Tea Party was a big job.Read more ›
"An exasperated people, who feel that they possess power, are not easily restrained within limits strictly regular." Thomas Jefferson, 1773 (pg 118)
"Is it Lawful for a weary traveler to refresh himself with a Dish of Tea provided it has been honestly smuggled, or paid no Duties?" - John Adams, 1774 (pg 178)
As an American History enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoyed this particular accounting of the Boston Tea party and the events leading up to it. Not only does it give another, very interesting and well-written historical accounting, it also delves into the origins of the tea trade - the monopolies, the wealth, the incredibly lucrative opportunity to levy tax on it, and why it became so important to the Colonists in the first place. There's a lot more to the tale of tea than just a cup and saucer. And it provided the perfect excuse for a group of people struggling to be free of monarchies, "taxation without representation" and a "governing body" half a world away - to separate themselves once for all and seek a government "for the people, by the people"; an idea that seemed destined to take flight under the wings of such public rousers as James Otis, John and Samuel Adams, and the invisible, though determined, non-public actions of those known only as the "Sons of Liberty."
The entire background of the tea trade was fascinating - from the East India Company and it's stranglehold over the trade issue, (not only of tea, but of spices, silk, gold and (yes) Opium!) to the catalyst of Tea itself that ultimately was responsible for the Separation that established America; fascinating that something so simple could become such a controversy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had to read this book for a class on the American Revolution, but I found myself recommending it to all my friends. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Nick B.
An easy to read book, full of detail about before, during, and after the Boston Tea Party.Published 2 months ago by Sherie Ann Peterson
I thought the picture shown would be what I was sent considering I ordered a paperback. But in the mail I get a hardback. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Meghan
Worth the time to read and get a few more details of the time.Published 13 months ago by David Dellinger
Defiance of the Patriots explores the background, event, and legacy of what, fifty years after the fact, came to be known as the Boston Tea Party. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Frank Bellizzi
This book goes into some new details about Americas most well known act of civil disobedience. The patriots didnt just pick up guns right away, they protested, filed grievances and... Read morePublished 22 months ago by AL
What a treat to read about an important potion of American history that is often talked about but seldom explored in detail. Read morePublished 23 months ago by derrick
This book is a disgrace, as it was largely plagiarized from Benjamin Labaree's 1964 "The Boston Tea Party. Read morePublished on November 7, 2013 by Ellen Pugleasa
As thoroughly laid out in a critical review by UC-Berkeley historian Mark Peterson in the MIT Press Journal, a substantial section of this book is lifted, without citation, from a... Read morePublished on August 8, 2013 by Joseph Kellner