From Publishers Weekly
Political journalist and historian Barone (Hard America, Soft America
) elucidates the template for America's independence movement in this well-written history of its forerunner: England's Glorious Revolution of 1688. The author describes the origins of the revolution, a mostly bloodless change of government, as a mixture of religious, political and diplomatic factors. King James II's Roman Catholicism, hostility to Parliament, and French sympathies alienated an increasing number of his powerful subjects including John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough, who invited Dutch Stadtholder William of Orange and his wife, Mary, James's sister, to intervene. Among the revolution's consequences was a Bill of Rights that limited the monarch's powers and strengthened representative government. A Toleration Act encouraged variant forms of Protestant worship. The creation of a funded national debt and the foundation of the Bank of England laid the groundwork for financial development. Involvement in the long series of wars with France moved England from a country standing apart from Europe to one that took responsibility for maintaining a continental balance of power. It was a Glorious Revolution indeed that laid the political groundwork for the world in which we now live, and Barone's lucid work honors its heritage. (May 8)
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Barone, the high-profile sage on American elections (The Almanac of American Politics, 2006
), here turns to England's Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. To this well-studied topic--the author draws extensively on biographers of its leading figures--Barone productively contributes his scholarly trademark: analysis of elections. Several parliamentary canvasses were conducted during the Stuart Restoration, whose elements of procedure, franchise, and electoral arithmetic Barone breaks down over the major issue in play, which was rife with the possibilities of civil war: the rights to be accorded to Catholics and, specifically, converted Catholic James II. Barone proves a dramatic narrator of this question's volatile course in the 1680s, from Parliament's attempt to exclude James from the succession to Charles II, to the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion of 1685, to the settlement of the crisis in the invasion by William of Orange and Parliament's elevation of him to the throne. Applying a readable historical contingency to these complex events and their ramifications for America, Barone's account will be welcomed by avid history readers. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved