Declaration by William Hogeland
The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 1776

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Synopsis

This is the rambunctious story of how America came to declare independence in Philadelphia in 1776. As late as that May, the Continental Congress had no plans to break away from England. Troops under General George Washington had been fighting the British for nearly a year—yet in Philadelphia a mighty bloc known as "reconciliationists," led by the influential Pennsylvanian John Dickinson, strove to keep America part of the British Empire.

But a cadre of activists—led by the mysterious Samuel Adams of Massachusetts and assisted by his nervous cousin John—plotted to bring about American independence. Their audacious secret plan proposed overturning the reconciliationist government of Pennsylvania and replacing it with pro-independence leaders. Remarkably, the adventure succeeded. The Adams coalition set in motion a startling chain of events in the Philadelphia streets, in the Continental Congress, and throughout the country that culminated in the Declaration of Independence on July 4.

In Declaration William Hogeland brings to vibrant life both the day-to-day excitement and the profound importance of those nine fast-paced weeks essential to the American founding yet little known today. He depicts the strange-bedfellow alliance the Adamses formed with scruffy Philadelphia outsiders and elegant Virginia planters to demand liberty. He paints intimate portraits of key figures: John Dickinson, a patriot who found himself outmaneuvered on the losing side of history; Benjamin Franklin, the most famous man in America, engaged in and perplexed by his city’s upheavals; Samuel Adams, implacable in changing the direction of Congress; his cousin John, anxious about the democratic aspirations of their rabble-rousing Philadelphia allies; and those democratic radical organizers themselves, essential to bringing about independence, all but forgotten until now.

As the patriots’ adventure gathers toward the world-changing climax of the Declaration, conflicts and ironies arise, with trenchant relevance for the most important issues confronting Americans today. Declaration offers a fresh, gripping, and vivid portrait of the passionate men and thrilling events that gave our country birth.
 

About William Hogeland

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William Hogeland has published in numerous print and online periodicals, including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and Slate. He lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published May 8, 2010 by Simon & Schuster. 300 pages
Genres: History, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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In Hogeland’s account, the political and cultural differences among these groups often appear far greater than the differences between any one group and England, and it is therefore all the more miraculous that the desire to be free of English rule was so strong as to be able to unify an otherwis...

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Publishers Weekly

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British troops landed on Staten Island on July 3, and a British fleet was in New York Bay, but independence had in fact been declared by July 2 (though it would become unanimous only on July 19 with New York State's vote).

Apr 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Declaration: The Nine Tumultu...

BC Books

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"Nine weeks after voters defeated American independence, in the nearest thing to a referendum on the issue that the country ever had, America declared independence anyway." — William Hogeland...

Jun 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Declaration: The Nine Tumultu...

BC Books

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On May 1, 1776, voters turned out and in the nearest thing to a referendum on independence, voted it down.

Jun 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Declaration: The Nine Tumultu...

The Wall Street Journal

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Recalling the fractious days of 1776 when a handful of rebels demanded freedom

Jul 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Declaration: The Nine Tumultu...

The Washington Times

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History writer William Hogeland here offers us the feel of being inside the bare-knuckled struggle that took place in Philadelphia in the supercharged nine weeks that led up to the issuance of the Declaration of Independence 234 years ago this month.

Jul 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Declaration: The Nine Tumultu...

Bookmarks Magazine

The Adams coalition set in motion a startling chain of events in the Philadelphia streets, in the Continental Congress, and throughout the country that culminated in the Declaration of Independence on July 4.

Jul 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Declaration: The Nine Tumultu...

The New American

A reader unfamiliar with the history of the complex admixture of conflict, compromises, condescension, and coercion that led to the “shot heard ‘round the world” would be forgiven if after reading William Hogeland’s new book, Declaration: Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, he ...

Aug 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Declaration: The Nine Tumultu...

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