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1775 : A Good Year for Revolution
by Kevin Phillips


Overview - The contrarian historian and analyst upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution In "1775," iconoclastic historian and bestselling author Kevin Phillips punctures the myth that 1776 was the watershed year of the American Revolution.  Read more...

 
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Overview

The contrarian historian and analyst upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution In "1775," iconoclastic historian and bestselling author Kevin Phillips punctures the myth that 1776 was the watershed year of the American Revolution. He suggests that the great events and confrontations of 1775--Congress's belligerent economic ultimatums to Britain, New England's "rage militaire," the exodus of British troops and expulsion of royal governors up and down the seaboard, and the new provincial congresses and hundreds of local committees that quickly reconstituted local authority in Patriot hands---achieved a sweeping Patriot control of territory and local government that Britain was never able to overcome. These each added to the Revolution's essential momentum so when the British finally attacked in great strength the following year, they could not regain the control they had lost in 1775. Analyzing the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations, as well as the roles of ethnicity, religion, and class, Phillips tackles the eighteenth century with the same skill and insights he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. The result is a dramatic narrative brimming with original insights. "1775" revolutionizes our understanding of America's origins.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780670025121
  • ISBN-10: 0670025127
  • Publisher: Viking Books
  • Publish Date: November 2012
  • Page Count: 656

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-09-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

The year 1776 is overrated, writes political commentator-turned-historian Phillips (The Cousins’ Wars), who makes a convincing case in this long, detailed, but entirely enthralling account. The July 4, 1776, Declaration of Independence, he states, was merely the last of a series of “practical” declarations—opening ports to non-British ships, the formation of the Continental Congress, a “de facto government”—and was immediately followed by months of discouraging military defeats. Luckily, says Phillips, the die had been cast in 1775, when exasperation over Britain’s clumsy attempts to re-exert control over its quasi-independent colonies culminated in a widespread “rage militaire.” Militias organized and drilled, royal governors were forced into exile. Besides the 1775 New England battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, dozens of lesser-known clashes and naval skirmishes occurred that year. More important and almost unnoticed by scholars, Phillips writes, the rebels acquired scarce arms and gunpowder through raids, smuggling, and purchases. By December 1775, the British had left or been expelled everywhere except in besieged Boston. Encyclopedic in exploring the political, economic, religious, ethnic, geographic, and military background of the Revolution, this is a richly satisfying, lucid history from the bestselling author. (Nov.)

 
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