1775 : a good year for revolution /
Kevin Phillips.
New York : Viking, c2012.
xxvi, 628 p.
0670025127 (hbk.), 9780670025121 (hbk.)
More Details
New York : Viking, c2012.
0670025127 (hbk.)
9780670025121 (hbk.)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [593]-604) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 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.
Appeared in Library Journal on 2012-12-01:
Noted political analyst Phillips (Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism) objects to the oversimplifications concerning the Revolutionary War made by professional historians and laity who mischaracterize its spirit and causes. With painstaking detail and extensive documentation, he convincingly demonstrates that rebelliousness, resentment, and confrontation had been increasing for decades before 1776; colonials had been organizing, networking, arming, and training since 1774; and Lexington-Concord was no surprise. He argues that 1775, not 1776 (misused shorthand for the birth of independence), is the pivotal year for the clash. Phillips focuses on religious and ethnic animosities, commercial frustrations, emerging American nationalism and expansionism, political ideology, and anger over deliberate, threatening English restrictions as the complex causes for war. As he did in The Cousins' Wars (1999), he particularly emphasizes the role of religion in the conflict, arguing that Calvinism provided impetus to insurgency, and continues his characterization of the Revolution as a civil war. -VERDICT Phillips relies primarily on numerous secondary sources, analyzing over 200 years of the historiography of the Revolution to present the complete picture. The exhaustive detail will lose some casual readers, but the steadfast popular or academic Revolutionary-era enthusiast will be enlightened.-Margaret Kappanadze, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, September 2012
Booklist, October 2012
Kirkus Reviews, November 2012
Library Journal, December 2012
New York Times Book Review, December 2012
New York Times Full Text Review, December 2012
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Description for Library
Phillips, Pulitzer finalist for The Cousins Wars, makes a case for 1775 (not 1776) as the revolutions make-or-break year. That was when Congress delivered a bunch of sharp ultimatums to Britain, British troops and royal governors were sent packing, and local patriots grabbed the reins of government. Great for argumentative nonfiction book groups.
Main Description
The contrarian historian and analyst upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution In 1775, iconoclastic historian and bestselling author Kevin Phillips punctures the myth that 1776 was the watershed year of the American Revolution. He suggests that the great events and confrontations of 1775-Congress's belligerent economic ultimatums to Britain, New England's rage militaire, the exodus of British troops and expulsion of royal governors up and down the seaboard, and the new provincial congresses and hundreds of local committees that quickly reconstituted local authority in Patriot handsĀ­-achieved a sweeping Patriot control of territory and local government that Britain was never able to overcome. These each added to the Revolution's essential momentum so when the British finally attacked in great strength the following year, they could not regain the control they had lost in 1775. Analyzing the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations, as well as the roles of ethnicity, religion, and class, Phillips tackles the eighteenth century with the same skill and insights he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. The result is a dramatic narrative brimming with original insights. 1775revolutionizes our understanding of America's origins.

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