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Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution Paperback – April 12, 2016
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“[An] astonishing story . . . Paint yourself a mental picture of the American War of Independence. If all you see are British redcoats battling minutemen and Continentals, Kathleen DuVal’s Independence Lost will knock your socks off. . . . To read [this book] is to see the task of recovering the entire American Revolution has barely begun.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[DuVal] has produced a richly documented and compelling account . . . to form a layered history of connected, sometimes shared, experiences.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A remarkable, necessary—and entirely new—book about the American Revolution. DuVal’s history reminds us that if we celebrate a more inclusive vision of the United States this Fourth of July, one that seems ascendant these days, it is not the one the founding generation had in mind.”—The Daily Beast
“Declaring that the American Revolution was fought in the name of empire almost seems blasphemous. However, DuVal excellently details how the event was actually a war for empire along the Gulf Coast of the United States. . . . Highly recommended for students and scholars of the revolution, American South, borderlands, and forgotten theaters of war; along with those looking for a solid read in history.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“With deep research and lively writing, Kathleen DuVal musters a compelling cast to recover the dramatic story of the American Revolution in borderlands uneasily shared by rival empires, enslaved people, and defiant natives. She deftly reveals powerful but long-hidden dimensions of a revolution rich with many possible alternatives to the triumph of the United States.”—Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Internal Enemy
“In a completely new take on the American Revolution and a riveting contribution to history, Kathleen DuVal explains how an unexpected cast of Gulf Coast characters fought for their own version of self-determination. The story is gripping, rife with pathos, double-dealing, and intrigue. The outcome is compelling, reverberating through American history to the present.”—Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Encounters at the Heart of the World
“Independence Lost is an extraordinary achievement. Rooting compelling personal stories in deep original research, Kathleen DuVal brings to life a war for American independence that will be utterly new to most readers.”—Daniel K. Richter, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Before the Revolution
“Kathleen DuVal has found an exciting and accessible way to convey this history without sacrificing the richness and intricacy of a part of North America where multiple Indian nations—as well as Britain, France, Spain, and the emerging United States—competed with one another for power.”—Andrés Reséndez, author of A Land So Strange
“A superb example of how the familiar becomes unfamiliar when viewed from a fresh angle, Independence Lost is a work of stunning scholarship with which anyone interested in the origins of the United States will have to contend.”—Andrew Cayton, co-author of The Dominion of War
“With stirring prose and through inventive, indefatigable research, Kathleen DuVal recovers a place in time and a cast of compelling characters that seldom feature in our accounts of the wars that created the United States. The result is an important, original, and entirely unforgettable book.”—Jane Kamensky, author of The Exchange Artist
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Kathleen DuVal teaches Early American history and American Indian history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her previous books include The Native Ground: Indians and Colonists in the Heart of the Continent, winner of the J. G. Ragsdale Book Award from the Arkansas Historical Association. She is also co-editor of Interpreting a Continent: Voices from Colonial America.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
This book is a fascinating look at what was and important – but largely ignored – part of the birth of the United States. Every school child learns about Philadelphia, Boston, Bunker Hill, New York, Valley Forge and York Town, but they probably hear little about New Orleans and Pensacola.
The American Revolution was also fought west of the Appalachians, east of the Mississippi and along the Gulf Coast. Two of Brittan’s other American Colonies were East and West Florida. The rebellious 13 colonies invited West Florida to be number 14, but – like Canada – West Florida was loyalist country.
Spain, like France, sided with our rebellious founders and took West Florida from King George. The Indian nations acted in what they perceived to be their own best interest. For them, the issue was which of the European super power – Britton, France or Spain – would keep the colonist from intruding on Indian land.
In taking West Florida, Spain relied on militia and regulars. The militia included Arcadians – who had been deported by Brittan from Canada after the Seven-Year war – as well as Africans both free and slave. The story is told through the experiences of some of the people who lived through the Revolution – but along the Gulf Coast rather than along the Atlantic Seaboard.
The author probably exaggerates the importance of the Gulf Coast in the overall picture, and is quick to criticize the new American governments, but this is still a fine book.