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Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America Paperback – October 25, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300178123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300178128
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"'A sterling account.' (Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe) 'A thoughtful, balanced corrective to partisan treatments of the Boston Tea Party.' (Maya Jasanoff, Guardian) 'Carp is an historian with a talent for people and place.' (David Aaronovitch, The Times) 'Carp's book will tell you everything you could possibly want to know about the Boston Tea Party. His research is meticulous.' (Raymond Seitz, Literary Review) 'An illuminating account of a singular moment in history.' (Siobhan Murphy, Metro)"

About the Author

Benjamin L. Carp is associate professor of history at Tufts University.

More About the Author

Benjamin L. Carp is an associate professor of early American history at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. He has written about firefighters and the American Revolution, nationalism in Revolutionary America and the Civil War South, cities and the American Revolution, and the Boston Tea Party. He grew up in Woodmere, New York.

Photo credit Meredith M. Carlson

Customer Reviews

Carp masterfully tells the whole story of the Boston Tea Party.
Robert F. Barry
I learned a lot from this well written, well researched and enjoyable read.
Jim Redleaf
Carp presents his well-researched material with an engaging writing style.
Avid Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Marcus on October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book for anyone interested in the makings of the American Revolution. What really impressed me was the broad scope the author took in explaining the the colonies break with England. He gives us a world view and then zeros in on Colonial Boston and the Tea Party. While I have read countless accounts of that event I haven't come across such a rich telling,which is in part due to the author's extensive research and keen eye for interesting details. I made the mistake of reading sections aloud to my husband, who has taken the book off of my nightstand twice now, causing me to have to wrestle it out of his hands! In our house that makes it a keeper....
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rag Linen on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've been anxiously awaiting this book and its in-depth analysis of the Boston Tea Party since April, so I was thrilled to receive it the mail yesterday. I've only read the first four chapters (of 10) so far, but I already place Defiance of the Patriots by Benjamin L. Carp safely among my favorite history books. In fact, its shaping up to be top 10 material. On my top 10 list, which favors 18th century history, Carp will be in good company with David Hackett Fischer (Paul Revere's Ride), David McCullough (John Adams, 1776) and Eric Burns (Infamous Scribblers).

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."
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Robert F. Barry on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Carp masterfully tells the whole story of the Boston Tea Party. It was not just about "taxation without representation" and part of the linear progression from the French and Indian War to the Revolution. The tea in the harbor was a cog in the global empire's system of taxation and trade directed from London. The East India Company spanned the globe in its pursuit of profits- a veritable 18th century vampire squid. The sale of the tea would enhance their monopoly and the custom duties would pay the salary of the despised Governor of the Massachusetts colony. Interestingly, patriots in Philadelphia, New York and other cities had similar plans. But the always anxious Bostonians beat them to the punch. A great yarn.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Carp's richly textured account of the events before, during, and after the Boston Tea Party is far more interesting than the usual version taught in grade school. Carp presents his well-researched material with an engaging writing style.

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 ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Kellner on August 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
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 previous work on the subject by Benjamin Woods Labaree. Professor Carp did not dispute this review when given the opportunity. Any reader of this book should be aware of this.

A sample from Peterson's review: "when Carp describes the resistance of the merchant Francis Rotch to pressure from Boston's committee of correspondence to send the Dartmouth back to England, he writes: "Rotch had sought legal advice from John Adams and another attorney, Sampson Salter Blowers, who probably told him that his vessel would be liable to seizure if it tried to leave the harbor without a clearance" (p. 114). Regarding the same event, Labaree had previously written the following: "He [Rotch] had sought the advice of the best legal counsel--no less than John Adams and Sampson Salter Blowers, in fact. Perhaps the lawyers told him that, if he ordered the ship to depart without a clearance, his vessel would be liable for seizure" (p. 136). Although here Carp and Labaree cite different documents as sources for these passages, Carp's description is nevertheless nearly identical to Labaree's, right down to their common conjecture about what these lawyers might have said to their client. These few examples suggest the nature of the problem but can only hint at its pervasiveness. Over a stretch of roughly forty pages, not just the wording and the choice of details but the design of many of Carp's paragraphs follow closely in the path of Benjamin Labaree, with very few citations to the prior author."
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