The American Revolution conjures a series of iconographic images in the contemporary American imagination. In these imagined scenes, defiant Patriots fight against British Redcoats for freedom and democracy, while a unified citizenry rallies behind them and the American cause. But the lived experience of the Revolution was a more complex matter, filled with uncertainty, fear, and discord. In The American Revolution Reborn, editors Patrick Spero and Michael Zuckerman compile essays from a new generation of multidisciplinary scholars that render the American Revolution as a time of intense ambiguity and frightening contingency. The American Revolution Reborn parts company with the Revolution of our popular imagination and diverges from the work done by historians of the era from the past half-century. In the first section, "Civil Wars," contributors rethink the heroic terms of Revolutionary-era allegiance and refute the idea of patriotic consensus. In the following section, "Wider Horizons," essayists destabilize the historiographical inevitability of America as a nation. The studies gathered in the third section, "New Directions," present new possibilities for scholarship on the American Revolution. And the last section, titled "Legacies," collects essays that deal with the long afterlife of the Revolution and its effects on immigration, geography, and international politics. With an introduction by Spero and a conclusion by Zuckerman, this volume heralds a substantial and revelatory rebirth in the study of the American Revolution. Contributors: Zara Anishanslin, Mark Boonshoft, Denver Brunsman, Katherine Carté Engel, Aaron Spencer Fogleman, Travis Glasson, Edward G. Gray, David C. Hsiung, Ned C. Landsman, Michael A. McDonnell, Kimberly Nath, Bryan Rosenblithe, David S. Shields, Patrick Spero, Matthew Spooner, Aaron Sullivan, Michael Zuckerman.
PART I. CIVIL WARS: CHALLENGING THE PATRIOTIC NARRATIVE
Chapter 1. War Stories: Remembering and Forgetting the American Revolution
—Michael A. McDonnell
Chapter 2. The Intimacies of Occupation: Loyalties, Compromise, and Betrayal in Revolutionary-Era Newport
Chapter 3. Uncommon Cause: The Challenges of Disaffection in Revolutionary Pennsylvania
Chapter 4. Loyalism, Citizenship, American Identity: The Shoemaker Family
Chapter 5. "Executioners of Their Friends and Brethren": Naval Impressment as an Atlantic Civil War
PART II. WIDER HORIZONS: DECENTERING THE NATIONALISTIC NARRATIVE
Chapter 6. British Union and American Revolution: Imperial Authoritye and the Multinational State
—Ned C. Landsman
Chapter 7. Revisiting the Bishop Controversy
—Katherine Carté Engel
Chapter 8. Empire's Vital Extremities: British Africa and the Coming of the American Revolution
Chapter 9. The Great Awakening, Presbyterian Education, and the Mobilization of Power in the Revolutionary Mid- Atlantic
PART III. NEW DIRECTIONS
Chapter 10. "This Is the Skin of a Whit[e] Man": Material Memories of Violence in Sullivan's Campaign
Chapter 11. Environmental History and the War of Independence: Saltpeter and the Continental Army's Shortage of Gunpowder
—David C. Hsiung
Chapter 12. The Problem of Order and the Transfer of Slave Property in the Revolutionary South
PART IV. LEGACIES: THE AFTERLIFE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Chapter 13. The United States and the Transformation of Transatlantic Migration During the Age of Revolution and Emancipation
—Aaron Spencer Fogleman
Chapter 14. First Partition: The Troubled Origins of the Mason-Dixon Line
—Edward G. Gray
Chapter 15. The Power to Be Reborn
—David S. Shields
Conclusion. Beyond the Rebirth of the Revolution: Coming to Terms with Coming of Age
List of Contributors
"The American Revolution Reborn is a mess. This is no criticism! In fact, by the lights of co-editor Patrick Spero, this is actually the volume's central aim. Rather than attempting to conjure up a fresh, grand narrative of revolutionary America, this group of fifteen contributors provides what Spero calls a 'messy' view of the revolution that deconstructs longstanding historiographical pieties. In doing so, the collection brings the lived experiences of individuals to the fore. Readers will discover an eclectic cast of characters who ordinarily exist on the periphery of revolutionary narratives."
~English Historical Review
"This is the most ambitious state-of-the-field collection published since the American Revolution's bicentennial. Let's hope it is successful in charting new directions and arousing fruitful debates."
~Thomas P. Slaughter, author of Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution
"The American Revolution appears in a fresh new light in this lively and wide-ranging collection of essays. The authors deftly explore a diverse and contested revolution rich in ironies and importance."
~Alan Taylor, author of American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804
"The American Revolution Reborn is a state-of-the-field collection. Its essays rank among the best Revolutionary scholarship to emerge since the collapse of the republican synthesis. The authors reject heroic narratives, repudiate nationalist analyses, and blur the edges of allegiance, identity, and indifference."
~Benjamin H. Irvin, University of Arizona
"The essays in this volume are careful, thought-provoking, and highly effective, and the conclusion issues a challenging and pungent demand that we abandon our comfortable assumptions."
~Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University-Camden