Books: Non-Fiction

A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence

Book — Non-fiction. By Ray Raphael. Series editor: Howard Zinn. 2002. 528 pages.
Using hundreds of primary sources, this book tells the more accurate, populist, complicated, and interesting story of the American Revolution.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 1765
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements

peopleshistoryofamrevA sweeping narrative of the wartime experience, A People’s History of the American Revolution is the first book to view the revolution through the eyes of common folk. Their stories have long been overlooked in the mythic telling of America’s founding, but are crucial to a comprehensive understanding of the fight for independence. Now, the experiences of farmers, laborers, rank and file soldiers, women, Native Americans, and African Americans — found in diaries, letters, memoirs and other long-ignored primary sources — create a gritty account of rebellion, filled with ideals and outrage, loss, sacrifice, and sometimes scurrilous acts. . . but always ringing with truth.  [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9780060004408 | Harper Perennial

“I have found [Raphael’s] book extraordinary, indeed the best single volume history of the Revolution I have seen.” Howard Zinn

“Ray Raphael shows that, like the Civil Rights Movement, the American Revolution was the product of local people, not just Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.” James Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me

“Raphael transforms the best insights of that scholarship into a lively, readable narrative. . . . Raphael’s study is impressive in both its sweep and its attention to the particular. The book will delight, educate and entertain all Revolution buffs.” Publishers Weekly

“Raphael rounds out his narrative with fresh voices and well-researched primary sources.” The Boston Globe

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