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Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 19, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307271102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307271105
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best essays are small gems of exposition, providing both the context and detail necessary to enable readers to recognize the important contributions of these previously unappreciated and largely unknown individuals. . . . In short, Revolutionary Founders is one step, but only one, toward a comprehensive account of the nation’s origins." —Mary Beth Norton, The New York Times Book Review

“In these 22 provocative essays, leading historians highlight Revolutionary-era people and movements that textbooks and standard accounts skip. . . . Revolutionary Founders aims to test the parameters of what we think we know with new and reinterpreted data and fresh theories. . . . [T]hey offer challenging, surprising perspectives on the turbulent crosscurrents that shaped our nation's birth.” —American History

"[A] uniformly strong collection, [by] an impressive array of historians—among them, T.H. Breen, Eric Foner, Jill Lepore and Alan Taylor. . . . Editors Young, Nash, and Raphael have solicited wisely, with each contributor adding an important dimension to the controlling theme: ‘We cannot have too much liberty.’ Adds immeasurably to our understanding of the Revolution’s full meaning." –Kirkus Reviews

"
Fast-paced and readable, this remarkable book captures an American Revolution that has long been hiding in plain sight.  I emerged with a new set of heroes, a fresh appreciation for complex stories, and a new sense of our own connection to a revolutionary past." –Linda K. Kerber, author of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies:  Women and the Obligations of Citizenship

"
Revolutionary Founders brilliantly restores the struggle for social equality to the central place in the history of American Revolution, and explains how the ‘spirit of leveling’ shaped the making of the new American Republic. For anyone interested in the sources of popular democracy in the United States, Revolutionary Founders is required reading." –Ira Berlin, author of The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations

"
Revolutions free the imagination, making many things seem possible that once were deemed wild visions. Revolutionary Founders introduces into the pantheon of the American Revolution those rebels, radicals, and reformers who passionately committed themselves to act on the conviction that ‘all men are created equal.’" –Joyce Appleby, author of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism

About the Author

Alfred F. Young is professor emeritus of history at Northern Illinois University and was a senior research fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Gary B. Nash is professor of history emeritus and director of the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.

Ray Raphael is the author of A People’s History of the American Revolution, Founding Myths, and several other books on the nation’s founding. He lives in northern California.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By hmf22 on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of twenty-two short essays, many by very prominent seniors scholars, on men and women who pushed the envelope on the meaning of the American Revolution, who stretched the concept of independence farther than most of Revolutionary leaders meant for it to go. Some of the essays are outstanding, not just in their content but also in their lively style; three that impressed me are those on Abigail Adams (by Woody Holton), Phillis Wheatley (by David Waldstreicher), and Thomas Paine (by Jill Lepore). Several essays address the experiences of African Americans (insightfully, with good connections to the flowering of African American community life in the early 19th century) and Native Americans (meticulously but less successfully--this topic just didn't seem to fit well with the other contents of the volume). About half of the essays focus on white men who led small-town protests of various sorts, political, religious, and journalistic. Gregory Nobles and Terry Bouton effectively integrate Shays' Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion into the larger history of "the Regulation" that began in the Carolinas in the 1760s, and their depiction of such regulations as a well-established, ongoing aspect of eighteenth-century political life is one of the most important ideas I took away from this volume. Highly recommended for readers who have a serious interest in the American Revolution; less knowledgeable readers will like some of the essays, especially those on well-known figures, but may find others too historiographically driven or simply too obscure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fanofhistory on July 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is great social history of the war. Anyone who really wants to understand how the Revolution played out need to read this alongside the classic narratives. It really brings to life the experiences of the ordinary, forgotten people who lived and died during this period.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gloine36 on March 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The editors have compiled an outstanding collection of essays concerning the lesser known, but just as real and in many cases individuals who had just as much to do if not more in American history than the more well known figures such as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The American Revolution was not just a struggle for the nation's independence. It was far more than that. The men and women in these pages were struggling to change the world they lived in and in many cases were opposed to the order the Founders desired after the Revolution. The lesson in this book is that the Revolution did not end in 1783, but continued for years afterwards. In fact, I personally think it has not ended as of yet. We today are still carrying the struggle for equality onward that these men and women began.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I took a Atlantic Revolutions class with one of the authors of this book. A interesting little gem that tells stories of history from a alternative perspective. I learned a lot about how I was taught a very "fairytale" version of the American Revolutions in public school. A must read for History buffs!
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More About the Author

Ray Raphael is a Senior Research Fellow at Humboldt State University, California. His seventeen books include Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past, A People's History of the American Revolution, Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive, and most recently Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get It Right.

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