Scandal Civility

Author: Marcus Daniel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199764816
Format: PDF, Docs
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A new breed of journalists came to the fore in post-revolutionary America--fiercely partisan, highly ideological, and possessed of a bold sense of vocation and purpose as they entered the fray of political debate. Often condemned by latter-day historians and widely seen in their own time as a threat to public and personal civility, these colorful figures emerge in this provocative new book as the era's most important agents of political democracy. Through incisive portraits of the most influential journalists of the 1790s--William Cobbett, Benjamin Franklin Bache, Philip Freneau, Noah Webster, John Fenno, and William Duane--Scandal and Civility moves beyond the usual cast of "revolutionary brothers" and "founding fathers" to offer a fresh perspective on a seemingly familiar story. Marcus Daniel demonstrates how partisan journalists, both Federalist and Democratic-Republican, were instrumental in igniting and expanding vital debates over the character of political leaders, the nature of representative government, and, ultimately, the role of the free press itself. Their rejection of civility and self-restraint--not even icons like George Washington were spared their satirical skewerings--earned these men the label "peddlers of scurrility." Yet, as Daniel shows, by breaking with earlier conceptions of "impartial" journalism, they challenged the elite dominance of political discourse and helped fuel the enormous political creativity of the early republic. Daniel's nuanced and penetrating narrative captures this key period of American history in all its contentious complexity. And in today's climate, when many decry media "excesses" and the relentlessly partisan and personal character of political debate, his book is a timely reminder that discord and difference were essential to the very creation of our political culture.

The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution

Author: Edward G. Gray
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199324034
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution draws on a wealth of new scholarship to create a vibrant dialogue among varied approaches to the revolution that made the United States. In thirty-three essays written by authorities on the period, the Handbook brings to life the diverse multitudes of colonial North America and their extraordinary struggles before, during, and after the eight-year-long civil war that secured the independence of thirteen rebel colonies from their erstwhile colonial parent. The chapters explore battles and diplomacy, economics and finance, law and culture, politics and society, gender, race, and religion. Its diverse cast of characters includes ordinary farmers and artisans, free and enslaved African Americans, Indians, and British and American statesmen and military leaders. In addition to expanding the Revolution's who, the Handbook broadens its where, portraying an event that far transcended the boundaries of what was to become the United States. It offers readers an American Revolution whose impact ranged far beyond the thirteen colonies. The Handbook's range of interpretive and methodological approaches captures the full scope of current revolutionary-era scholarship. Its authors, British and American scholars spanning several generations, include social, cultural, military, and imperial historians, as well as those who study politics, diplomacy, literature, gender, and sexuality. Together and separately, these essays demonstrate that the American Revolution remains a vibrant and inviting a subject of inquiry. Nothing comparable has been published in decades.

The Weight of Vengeance

Author: Troy Bickham
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199942625
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In early 1815, Secretary of State James Monroe reviewed the treaty with Britain that would end the War of 1812. The United States Navy was blockaded in port; much of the army had not been paid for nearly a year; the capital had been burned. The treaty offered an unexpected escape from disaster. Yet it incensed Monroe, for the name of Great Britain and its negotiators consistently appeared before those of the United States. "The United States have acquired a certain rank amongst nations, which is due to their population and political importance," he brazenly scolded the British diplomat who conveyed the treaty, "and they do not stand in the same situation as at former periods." Monroe had a point, writes Troy Bickham. In The Weight of Vengeance, Bickham provides a provocative new account of America's forgotten war, underscoring its significance for both sides by placing it in global context. The Napoleonic Wars profoundly disrupted the global order, from India to Haiti to New Orleans. Spain's power slipped, allowing the United States to target the Floridas; the Haitian slave revolt contributed to the Louisiana Purchase; fears that Britain would ally with Tecumseh and disrupt the American northwest led to a pre-emptive strike on his people in 1811. This shifting balance of power provided the United States with the opportunity to challenge Britain's dominance of the Atlantic world. And it was an important conflict for Britain as well. Powerful elements in the British Empire so feared the rise of its former colonies that the British government sought to use the War of 1812 to curtail America's increasing maritime power and its aggressive territorial expansion. And by late 1814, Britain had more men under arms in North America than it had in the Peninsular War against Napoleon, with the war with America costing about as much as its huge subsidies to European allies. Troy Bickham has given us an authoritative, lucidly written global account that transforms our understanding of this pivotal war.

Propaganda 1776

Author: Russ Castronovo
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199354928
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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1776 symbolizes a moment, both historical and mythic, of democracy in action. That year witnessed the release of a document, which Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations and spin, would later label as a masterstroke of propaganda. Although the Declaration of Independence relies heavily on the empiricism of self-evident truths, Bernays, who had authored the influential manifesto Propaganda in 1928, suggested that what made this iconic document so effective was not its sober rationalism but its inspiring message that ensured its dissemination throughout the American colonies. Propaganda 1776 reframes the culture of the U.S. Revolution and early Republic, revealing it to be rooted in a vast network of propaganda. Drawing on a wide-range of resources, Russ Castronovo considers how the dispersal and circulation-indeed, the propagation-of information and opinion across the various media of the eighteenth century helped speed the flow of revolution. This book challenges conventional wisdom about propaganda as manipulation or lies by examining how popular consent and public opinion in early America relied on the spirited dissemination of rumor, forgery, and invective. While declarations about self-evident truths were important to liberty, the path toward American independence required above all else the spread of unreliable intelligence that travelled at such a pace that it could be neither confirmed nor refuted. By tracking the movements of stolen documents and leaked confidential letters, this book argues that media dissemination created a vital but seldom acknowledged connection between propaganda and democracy. The spread of revolutionary material in the form of newspapers, pamphlets, broadsides, letters, songs, and poems across British North America created multiple networks that spawned new and often radical ideas about political communication. Communication itself became revolutionary in ways that revealed circulation to be propaganda's most vital content. By examining the kinetic aspects of print culture, Propaganda 1776 shows how the mobility of letters, pamphlets, and other texts amounts to political activity par excellence. With original examinations of Ben Franklin, Mercy Otis Warren, Tom Paine, and Philip Freneau among a crowd of other notorious propagandists, this book examines how colonial men and women popularized and spread the patriot cause across America.

My American Revolution

Author: Robert Sullivan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429945850
Format: PDF, Docs
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Americans tend to think of the Revolution as a Massachusetts-based event orchestrated by Virginians, but in fact the war took place mostly in the Middle Colonies—in New York and New Jersey and the parts of Pennsylvania that on a clear day you can almost see from the Empire State Building. In My American Revolution, Robert Sullivan delves into this first Middle America, digging for a glorious, heroic part of the past in the urban, suburban, and sometimes even rural landscape of today. And there are great adventures along the way: Sullivan investigates the true history of the crossing of the Delaware, its down-home reenactment each year for the past half a century, and—toward the end of a personal odyssey that involves camping in New Jersey backyards, hiking through lost "mountains," and eventually some physical therapy—he evacuates illegally from Brooklyn to Manhattan by handmade boat. He recounts a Brooklyn historian's failed attempt to memorialize a colonial Maryland regiment; a tattoo artist's more successful use of a colonial submarine, which resulted in his 2007 arrest by the New York City police and the FBI; and the life of Philip Freneau, the first (and not great) poet of American independence, who died in a swamp in the snow. Last but not least, along New York harbor, Sullivan re-creates an ancient signal beacon. Like an almanac, My American Revolution moves through the calendar of American independence, considering the weather and the tides, the harbor and the estuary and the yearly return of the stars as salient factors in the war for independence. In this fiercely individual and often hilarious journey to make our revolution his, he shows us how alive our own history is, right under our noses.

Infamous Scribblers

Author: Eric Burns
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586484281
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Discusses the raucous journalism of the Revolutionary era, showing how it helped build a nation that endured and offering new perspectives on today's media wars.

Men of Letters in the Early Republic

Author: Catherine O'Donnell Kaplan
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807838802
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, after decades of intense upheaval and debate, the role of the citizen was seen as largely political. But as Catherine O'Donnell Kaplan reveals, some Americans saw a need for a realm of public men outside politics. They believed that neither the nation nor they themselves could achieve virtue and happiness through politics alone. Imagining a different kind of citizenship, they founded periodicals, circulated manuscripts, and conversed about poetry, art, and the nature of man. They pondered William Godwin and Edmund Burke more carefully than they did candidates for local elections and insisted other Americans should do so as well. Kaplan looks at three groups in particular: the Friendly Club in New York City, which revolved around Elihu Hubbard Smith, with collaborators such as William Dunlap and Charles Brockden Brown; the circle around Joseph Dennie, editor of two highly successful periodicals; and the Anthologists of the Boston Athenaeum. Through these groups, Kaplan demonstrates, an enduring and influential model of the man of letters emerged in the first decade of the nineteenth century.

Discovering The News

Author: Michael Schudson
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780786723089
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This instructive and entertaining social history of American newspapers shows that the very idea of impartial, objective “news” was the social product of the democratization of political, economic, and social life in the nineteenth century. Professor Schudson analyzes the shifts in reportorial style over the years and explains why the belief among journalists and readers alike that newspapers must be objective still lives on.