American Insurgents tells a story of the American Revolution about which few readers are familiar. Historian T. H. Breen focuses specifically on the tens of thousands of ordinary Americans on the ground in the early days of the revolution, from roughly the summer of 1774 to the signing of the declaration in 1776. He explores the motivation and means of everyday Americans; the structure of regional committees of observation, which played a key role in monitoring local opinion; the importance of religion and newspapers in the revolution; and how or why the American revolution did not result in some of the ugliness that has accompanied other revolutions in recent history. This is the story of the rebellion before the revolution, and the insurgents who, with success, have become history's patriots.
Of this new book, Edmund Morgan (Emeritus Professor of History, Yale) says “Breen has uncovered the grass roots of the American Revolution in the unheralded acts of ordinary people.”
T. H. Breen is an award-winning scholar and professor of history at Northwestern University.
This event is co-sponsored by the Newberry Library's A.C. McClurg Bookstore.
Recorded Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at The Newberry Library.