Re-Writing the American Revolution: Kathleen DuVal’s Independence Lost

Kathleen Duval, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (New York: Random House, 2015).

9781400068951When most people think about the American Revolution and its cast of characters, names like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington spring to mind. On the British side, people might think of John André, Benedict Arnold, John Burgoyne, and, sometimes, Lord Dunmore. Though some of these people appear in Kathleen DuVal’s latest book, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution, most of DuVal’s narrative centers around people who seldom feature in books or articles on the American Revolution. It is not the American Revolution that most people know. Indeed, “The American Revolution on the Gulf Coast,” DuVal writes, “is a story without minutemen, without founding fathers, without rebels. It reveals a different war with unexpected participants, forgotten outcomes, and surprising winners and losers.” Continue reading

The Week in Early American History

TWEAHIn time for Memorial Day, we have several stories about time, memory, and narrative in general, as well as links to stories of early America.

First, two new book reviews: Mike Jay’s review of Suzanne Corkin’s Permanent Present Tense, on memory and personal identity, and James Gleick’s review of Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn, on the nature of time itself.

Then, has wider access to information done anything in recent years to restrain the “paranoid style in American politics”? Maggie Koerth-Baker says no.

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