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The Concept of Liberty in the Age of the American Revolution by John Phillip Reid Book Resume:
"Liberty was the most cherished right possessed by English-speaking people in the eighteenth century. It was both an ideal for the guidance of governors and a standard with which to measure the constitutionality of government; both a cause of the American Revolution and a purpose for drafting the United States Constitution; both an inheritance from Great Britain and a reason republican common lawyers continued to study the law of England." As John Philip Reid goes on to make clear, "liberty" did not mean to the eighteenth-century mind what it means today. In the twentieth century, we take for granted certain rights—such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press—with which the state is forbidden to interfere. To the revolutionary generation, liberty was preserved by curbing its excesses. The concept of liberty taught not what the individual was free to do but what the rule of law permitted. Ultimately, liberty was law—the rule of law and the legalism of custom. The British constitution was the charter of liberty because it provided for the rule of law. Drawing on an impressive command of the original materials, Reid traces the eighteenth-century notion of liberty to its source in the English common law. He goes on to show how previously problematic arguments involving the related concepts of licentiousness, slavery, arbitrary power, and property can also be fit into the common-law tradition. Throughout, he focuses on what liberty meant to the people who commented on and attempted to influence public affairs on both sides of the Atlantic. He shows the depth of pride in liberty—English liberty—that pervaded the age, and he also shows the extent—unmatched in any other era or among any other people—to which liberty both guided and motivated political and constitutional action.
Liberty! The American Revolution by Thomas Fleming Book Resume:
Liberty! brings to life one of the most important and compelling stories in America's history: the struggle for independence and the birth of the nation. New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming's gripping narrative captures the high drama of the revolutionary war years and the unyielding courage and political genius of the men and women who imagined a new set of political possibilities for humankind - laying the foundation for the identity and character of the American people in the process. The companion volume to the PBS television series of the same name, Liberty! traces the evolution of the ideals that inspired a generation of Americans to struggle against Britain - then the most powerful country in the world - to establish the free society and democratic system that is so inherently and uniquely American.
Culture and Liberty in the Age of the American Revolution by Michal Jan Rozbicki Book Resume:
In his new book, Michal Jan Rozbicki undertakes to bridge the gap between the political and the cultural histories of the American Revolution. Through a careful examination of liberty as both the ideological axis and the central metaphor of the age, he is able to offer a fresh model for interpreting the Revolution. By establishing systemic linkages between the histories of the free and the unfree, and between the factual and the symbolic, this framework points to a fundamental reassessment of the ways we think about the American Founding. Rozbicki moves beyond the two dominant interpretations of Revolutionary liberty—one assuming the Founders invested it with a modern meaning that has in essence continued to the present day, the other highlighting its apparent betrayal by their commitment to inequality. Through a consistent focus on the interplay between culture and power, Rozbicki demonstrates that liberty existed as an intricate fusion of political practices and symbolic forms. His deeply historicized reconstruction of its contemporary meanings makes it clear that liberty was still understood as a set of privileges distributed according to social rank rather than a universal right. In fact, it was because the Founders considered this assumption self-evident that they felt confident in publicizing a highly liberal, symbolic narrative of equal liberty to represent the Revolutionary endeavor. The uncontainable success of this narrative went far beyond the circumstances that gave birth to it because it put new cultural capital—a conceptual arsenal of rights and freedoms—at the disposal of ordinary people as well as political factions competing for their support, providing priceless legitimacy to all those who would insist that its nominal inclusiveness include them in fact.
Revolutionary Backlash by Rosemarie Zagarri Book Resume:
The Seneca Falls Convention is typically seen as the beginning of the first women's rights movement in the United States. Revolutionary Backlash argues otherwise. According to Rosemarie Zagarri, the debate over women's rights began not in the decades prior to 1848 but during the American Revolution itself. Integrating the approaches of women's historians and political historians, this book explores changes in women's status that occurred from the time of the American Revolution until the election of Andrew Jackson. Although the period after the Revolution produced no collective movement for women's rights, women built on precedents established during the Revolution and gained an informal foothold in party politics and male electoral activities. Federalists and Jeffersonians vied for women's allegiance and sought their support in times of national crisis. Women, in turn, attended rallies, organized political activities, and voiced their opinions on the issues of the day. After the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a widespread debate about the nature of women's rights ensued. The state of New Jersey attempted a bold experiment: for a brief time, women there voted on the same terms as men. Yet as Rosemarie Zagarri argues in Revolutionary Backlash, this opening for women soon closed. By 1828, women's politicization was seen more as a liability than as a strength, contributing to a divisive political climate that repeatedly brought the country to the brink of civil war. The increasing sophistication of party organizations and triumph of universal suffrage for white males marginalized those who could not vote, especially women. Yet all was not lost. Women had already begun to participate in charitable movements, benevolent societies, and social reform organizations. Through these organizations, women found another way to practice politics.
Liberty's Exiles by Maya Jasanoff Book Resume:
A global history of the post-Revolutionary War exodus of 60,000 Americans loyal to the British Empire to such regions as Canada, India and Sierra Leone traces the experiences of specific individuals while challenging popular conceptions about the founding of the United States. Reprint.
The Colonists' American Revolution by Guy Chet Book Resume:
A Dissenting Companion to the U.S. History Textbook Most U.S. History textbooks track the origins and evolution of American identity. They therefore present the American Revolution as the product of a gradual cultural change in English colonists. Over time, this process of Americanization differentiated and alienated the settlers from their compatriots and their government in Britain. This widely-taught narrative encourages students to view American independence as a reflection of emerging American nationhood. The Colonists' American Revolution introduces readers to a competing narrative which presents the Revolution as a product of the colonists’ English identity and of English politics. This volume helps students recognize that the traditional narrative of the Revolution is an argument, not a just-the-facts account of this period in U.S. history. Written to make history interesting and relevant to students, this textbook provides a dissenting interpretation of America’s founding—the Revolution was not the result of an incremental process of Americanization, but rather an immediate reaction to sudden policy changes in London. It exposes students to dueling historical narratives of the American Revolution, encouraging them to debate and evaluate both narratives on the strength of evidence. This stimulating volume: Offers an account of the Revolution’s chronology, causes, ends, and accomplishments not commonly addressed in traditional textbooks Challenges the conventional narrative of Americanization with one of Anglicization Presents the Atlantic as a bridge, rather than a barrier, between England and its colonies Discusses the American Revolution as one in a series of British rebellions Uses a dual-perspective approach to spark discussions on what it means to study history Exposing students to two different ways of studying history, The Colonists' American Revolution: Preserving English Liberty, 1607-1783 is a thought-provoking resource for undergraduate and graduate students of early-American history, as well as historians and interested general readers.
Liberty Tree by Alfred F. Young Book Resume:
With the publication of Liberty Tree, acclaimed historian Alfred F. Young presents a selection of his seminal writing as well as two provocative, never-before-published essays. Together, they take the reader on a journey through the American Revolution, exploring the role played by ordinary women and men (called, at the time, people out of doors) in shaping events during and after the Revolution, their impact on the Founding generation of the new American nation, and finally how this populist side of the Revolution has fared in public memory. Drawing on a wide range of sources, which include not only written documents but also material items like powder horns, and public rituals like parades and tarring and featherings, Young places ordinary Americans at the center of the Revolution. For example, in one essay he views the Constitution of 1787 as the result of an intentional accommodation by elites with non-elites, while another piece explores the process of ongoing negotiations would-be rulers conducted with the middling sort; women, enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans. Moreover, questions of history and modern memory are engaged by a compelling examination of icons of the Revolution, such as the pamphleteer Thomas Paine and Boston's Freedom Trail. For over forty years, history lovers, students, and scholars alike have been able to hear the voices and see the actions of ordinary people during the Revolutionary Era, thanks to Young's path-breaking work, which seamlessly blends sophisticated analysis with compelling and accessible prose. From his award-winning work on mechanics, or artisans, in the seaboard cities of the Northeast to the all but forgotten liberty tree, a major popular icon of the Revolution explored in depth for the first time, Young continues to astound readers as he forges new directions in the history of the American Revolution.
Captives of Liberty by T. Cole Jones Book Resume:
Contrary to popular belief, the American Revolutionary War was not a limited and restrained struggle for political self-determination. From the onset of hostilities, British authorities viewed their American foes as traitors to be punished, and British abuse of American prisoners, both tacitly condoned and at times officially sanctioned, proliferated. Meanwhile, more than seventeen thousand British and allied soldiers fell into American hands during the Revolution. For a fledgling nation that could barely afford to keep an army in the field, the issue of how to manage prisoners of war was daunting. Captives of Liberty examines how America's founding generation grappled with the problems posed by prisoners of war, and how this influenced the wider social and political legacies of the Revolution. When the struggle began, according to T. Cole Jones, revolutionary leadership strove to conduct the war according to the prevailing European customs of military conduct, which emphasized restricting violence to the battlefield and treating prisoners humanely. However, this vision of restrained war did not last long. As the British denied customary protections to their American captives, the revolutionary leadership wasted no time in capitalizing on the prisoners' ordeals for propagandistic purposes. Enraged, ordinary Americans began to demand vengeance, and they viewed British soldiers and their German and Native American auxiliaries as appropriate targets. This cycle of violence spiraled out of control, transforming the struggle for colonial independence into a revolutionary war. In illuminating this history, Jones contends that the violence of the Revolutionary War had a profound impact on the character and consequences of the American Revolution. Captives of Liberty not only provides the first comprehensive analysis of revolutionary American treatment of enemy prisoners but also reveals the relationship between America's political revolution and the war waged to secure it.
Liberty's Call by Donnell Rubay Book Resume:
"Thirty-seven years before Scarlett O'Hara and Gone with the Wind, Janice Merdith juggled suitors, struggled to survive and watched a sweeping war transform America. Her story was the subject of a best-selling novel in 1899, and the most expensive movie made to date, in 1924. Now, Liberty's Call gives Janice's story to modern readers.
The American Counter-Revolution in Favor of Liberty by Ivan Jankovic Book Resume:
This book presents the case that the origins of American liberty should not be sought in the constitutional-reformist feats of its “statesmen” during the 1780s, but rather in the political and social resistance to their efforts. There were two revolutions occurring in the late 18th century America: the modern European revolution “in favour of government,” pursuing national unity, “energetic” government and centralization of power (what scholars usually dub “American founding”); and a conservative, reactionary counter-revolution “in favour of liberty,” defending local rights and liberal individualism against the encroaching political authority. This is a book about this liberal counter-revolution and its ideological, political and cultural sources and central protagonists. The central analytical argument of the book is that America before the Revolution was a stateless, spontaneous political order that evolved culturally, politically and economically in isolation from the modern European trends of state-building and centralization of power. The book argues, then, that a better model for understanding America is a “decoupled modernization” hypothesis, in which social modernity is divested from the politics of modern state and tied with the pre-modern social institutions.
Enjoy the Same Liberty by Edward Countryman Book Resume:
A narrative exploration of the American Revolution in the context of the African-American experience analyzes questions about what freedom and democracy mean for black Americans, covering such topics as the tasks faced by freedom-seeking slaves, the revolutionary nature of abolitionist sentiments and how slaves remembered the Revolution.
Sweet Land of Liberty by Francis S. Fox Book Resume:
It is often said that the American Revolution was a conservative revolution, but in many parts of the British colonies the Revolution was anything but conservative. This book follows the Revolution in Pennsylvania's backcountry through the experiences of eighteen men and women who lived in Northampton County during these years of turmoil. Fox's account will startle many readers for whom the Revolution symbolizes the high-minded pursuit of liberty. In 1774, Northampton County was the second largest of Pennsylvania's eleven counties, comprising more than 2,500 square miles, three towns (Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton), and some 15,000 people. When the Revolution broke out, militias took control. Frontier justice replaced the rule of law as zealous patriots preoccupied themselves not with fighting the British but with seizing local political power and persecuting their pacifist neighbors. Sweet Land of Liberty reawakens the Revolution in Northampton County with sketches of men and women caught up in it. Seldom is this story told from the vantage point of common folks, let alone those in the backcountry. In Fox's hands, we see in these individuals an altogether more disturbing Revolution than we have ever reckoned with before.
Liberty or Death by Betsy Maestro Book Resume:
It began in Boston, with angry colonists objecting to the tyranny of a king who ruled from an ocean away. It was voiced by patriots such as Sam Adams and Patrick Henry and echoed by citizens from New England all the way to the Carolinas. It was fought by many -- colonists and patriots, Loyalists and slaves, Frontiersmen and Indians, British and French soldiers. Over more than ten years, sides were taken, guns drawn, lives lost. But through it all, one man -- a general from Virginia named George Washington -- held the young colonies together and led them to victory, beating almost impossible odds. History lovers Betsy and Giulio Maestro tell this true story of extraordinary times, incredible drama, and the birth of a new nation.
7 Leadership Lessons of the American Revolution by John Antal Book Resume:
“A leadership book written by a real leader! . . . eminently useful for those ‘in command’ of organizations of any kind. A stimulating five-star work” (Ralph Peters, New York Times–bestselling author). This book tells the dramatic story of seven defining leadership moments from the American Revolution, as well as providing case studies that can improve your leadership at home, business, in your community, in the military, or in government. Leadership is not about position, it is about influence. You can be a leader no matter what your rank or position. It is not about power, it is about selflessness. You cannot be a good leader unless you can also be a good follower. Good leaders don’t shine, they reflect. Lessons like these are the core of this book. The stories in this book are about leaders who were challenged at all corners, adapted, improvised and overcame. The tales of leaders like Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Henry Knox, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, to name a few, are stories you will want to know and tell. These leaders knew how to push teams to succeed under the toughest conditions. These stories will come alive on the pages of this book to fuel your leadership fire and make you a better leader in any endeavor. Learn how they secured our liberty so you can transform today into a better tomorrow. “John Antal has captured seven timeless stories that will raise your leadership awareness and make you a better leader in peace or war, at home, at work or in your community.” —Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of 36 Righteous Men