Revolutionary Founders by Alfred F. Young

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Synopsis

In twenty-two original essays, leading historians reveal the radical impulses at the founding of the American Republic. Here is a fresh new reading of the American Revolution that gives voice and recognition to a generation of radical thinkers and doers whose revolutionary ideals outstripped those of the Founding Fathers.

While the Founding Fathers advocated a break from Britain and espoused ideals of republican government, none proposed significant changes to the fabric of colonial society. As privileged and propertied white males, they did not seek a revolution in the modern sense; instead, they tried to maintain the underlying social structure and political system that enabled men of wealth to rule. They firmly opposed social equality and feared popular democracy as a form of “levelling.”

Yet during this “revolutionary” period some people did believe that “liberty” meant “liberty for all” and that “equality” should be applied to political, economic, and religious spheres. Here are the stories of individuals and groups who exemplified the radical ideals of the American Revolution more in keeping with our own values today. This volume helps us to understand the social conflicts unleashed by the struggle for independence, the Revolution’s achievements, and the unfinished agenda it left for future generations to confront.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Alfred F. Young

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Alfred F. Young is professor emeritus of history at Northern Illinois University and was a senior research fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.Gary B. Nash is professor of history emeritus and director of the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.Ray Raphael is the author of A People's History of the American Revolution, Founding Myths, and several other books on the nation's founding. He lives in northern California.
 
Published April 19, 2011 by Vintage. 466 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Three distinguished scholars commission 22 essays about historical characters for whom the American Revolution was insufficiently revolutionary.

Apr 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolutionary Founders

The New York Times

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Holt insists that Husband still “deserves to be remembered in the first rank of the heroes of American democracy.” But a democracy that excludes a majority of the population hardly seems to qualify as an exemplar of the “fundamental” American values to which the editors refer in their initial sta...

May 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolutionary Founders

Bookmarks Magazine

Here is a fresh new reading of the American Revolution that gives voice and recognition to a generation of radical thinkers and doers whose revolutionary ideals outstripped those of the Founding Fathers.

While the Founding Fathers advocated a break from Britain and espoused ideals of repub...

May 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolutionary Founders

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