"In this major new work, iconoclastic historian and political chronicler Kevin Phillips upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution by debunking the myth that 1776 was the struggle's watershed year. Focusing on the great battles and events of 1775, Phillips surveys the political climate, economic structures, and military ...
"In this major new work, iconoclastic historian and political chronicler Kevin Phillips upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution by debunking the myth that 1776 was the struggle's watershed year. Focusing on the great battles and events of 1775, Phillips surveys the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations of the crucial year that was the harbinger of revolution, tackling the eighteenth century with the same skill and perception he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. The result is a dramatic account brimming with original insights about the country we eventually became"--
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-09-17 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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