Review: Angry Mobs and Founding Fathers

This review was originally posted on Amazon on February 14, 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction, American History, American Revolution

A Fresh Look at the American Revolution

So much is written of the Founding Fathers it's easy to believe that the American
Amazon link
Revolution was fought by a total of fifty-six men. (Give or take a few, depending on your perspective.) I have been looking for something that gave me more insights into the views of the average rabble-rousing colonial or even those caught in the middle. As with my fiction reviews, it makes sense to focus on the two main characters in the story.

The Angry Mobs: For the most part, these "mobs" remain the nameless, faceless masses of colonials they are in almost every history book. There is some mention of names, especially with mob action that was associated with a specific person, e.g., Shay's Rebellion. However, even with a discussion on the motivation of the mobs, I came away with the feeling that one mob was much like another. Yet, I have to wonder if they weren't as different from each other, not just in their ideologies but also in their approach, as the Occupy Wall Streeters are from the Tea Party.

The Founding Fathers: On this side of the equation I got more than I hoped for. Unlike many historians, Mr. Newton has a background in economics and was able to add a layer of detail that is lacking in accounts of the Revolution and the years that followed. If you've ever wondered how the United States went from a country struggling with war debt and under constant threat of war between the states to one of the most prosperous nations on Earth within a few decades, Newton lays it all out for you in details that even the non-economist can appreciate. Hint: He spends a fair amount of time on Alexander Hamilton's role.

I'm giving this one four stars mostly because I felt it could have been two books: one that did the title justice and focused more on the mobs, and a second that focused on the economics of the Revolution and the nation-building years.

No comments:

Post a Comment