- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (January 17, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393308251
- ISBN-13: 978-0393308259
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776 Reprint Edition
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“Written gracefully and clearly, From Resistance to Revolution fills a significant need for professional historians and general readers alike. Its fresh interpretation of American radicals in the crucible of revolution, based on substantial research and subtle reasoning, transcends its immediate subject and illuminates the meaning of radicalism, violence, and rebellion in American history.”
- Michael Kammen
About the Author
Pauline Maier is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of History at MIT.
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I always get a kick out of reading books written by Maier's generation of scholars. The lens of "radicalism" was so real, so up close and personal to adults and students living through the Sixties and Seventies that the Revolution intuitively made sense.
In my own research related to 18th century Delaware Valley history, I have often thought that the Irish Quakers and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians pouring into 18th century Philadelphia brought their hostilities and animosities against each other and against England with them. I was very pleased to find that Maier's book confirmed my observations.
This is a good and carefully researched book but it is a little dry. An excellent resource for a PhD candidate or political scientist, this is definitely not a book for the casual Revolutionary War buff.
I am sure this is a worthy academic book, but it is not fun to read and would be barely of interest for for non-academic lovers of popular history. I skimmed it, and wondered why, since I am not an undergraduate, I was doing so. OK, it is a good review of the events, the interpretation is definitely of merit, and I feel like turning to other sources for a better narrative account (i.e. it did not kill my interest). But it conveys little feeling and it certainly never fascinated me. If I had know it was so academic, I would never have bought it.
This having been said, Maier's "Ratification" (2010), is spectacularly good: I have given it five stars.
I think that Beard, Bailyn and Maier all made the same omission: They chose to interpret the American Revolution through the prism of 18th Century English political theory where one was either some kind of Whig or some kind of Tory. They all ignore the strong political "republican" and religious "independent" strain in English politics that had been present since at least the 14th Century. In the 17th Century these "republican independents" were called "Levellers" or "Roundheads" and they shaped the events of the English Civil Wars of 1640-50. My impression is that the Levellers and Roundheads lost their struggle with the gentry and Parliament, then called the "Grandees" - and who later became Whigs; and with the Monarchy, then called Cavilers - and who later became Torys, in 1648. However, an awful lot of them did migrate to the American colonies between 1630 and 1688, chiefly to New England, where they were essentially self-governing under old royal charters until the 1760s, when a Tory dominated Parliament attempted to revoke the old charters and assert direct control over the governance of the American colonies.
In my opinion, any careful consideration of the events that led up to the American Revolution that ignores the republican and religious independent strain in English and American politics after 1600 is defective on its face. In "Ratification" Maier fully considered the republican strain present in the "anti-Federalist" opposition to the Constitution of 1789. I would be happy if Pauline Maier should decide to make another pass at the period from 1750 to 1776.