Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review: A People's History of the American Revolution by Ray Raphael (People's History Series by Howard Zinn)

Synopsis: A 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. (from the back of the book)

Review: Written in easy-to-understand prose, with moderate vocabulary and captivating historic vignettes, this is a the perfect book for an introduction to the how the American Revolution affected the common people. This includes the more marginalized groups, like Women, Native Americans and African Americans. An excellent starting point for delving deeper into the struggles of the masses during the war. The book includes a plethora of quotes from first and secondary sources, and facts abound. Sometimes, the prose gets bogged down in those facts and quotes, but they help assure the reader of the through research Raphael did for this work. It is important to remember that even this is, again, only part of the story. Granted it is a side not often told, and that alone makes it worth reading, but often the choices made by those in charge make no sense to those following order. This doesn't excuse the out-come, but it behooves us to remember to read and study all sides while forming an opinion. That being said, this book is an excellent addition to a library about the American Revolution.  

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-06-000440-1
Year Published: 2001
Date Finished: 7-21-2016
Pages: 506

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