Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence” as Want to Read:
The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  264 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The Marketplace of Revolution offers a boldly innovative interpretation of the mobilization of ordinary Americans on the eve of independence. Breen explores how colonists who came from very different ethnic and religious backgrounds managed to overcome difference and create a common cause capable of galvanizing resistance. In a richly interdisciplinary narrative that weave ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published February 26th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Marketplace of Revolution, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Marketplace of Revolution

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 488)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mike Hankins
Breen has an interesting thesis here -- that consumerism helped encourage the American revolution. Essentially, being able to buy mass produced items in various colonies gave the colonists a more united sense of identity, and the fact that luxury goods were so cheap meant that almost anyone could partake in this and feel like part of the same colonial family. Colonists embraced market forces and enjoyed abundance -- and when the coersive acts appeared, it threatened that abundance by making thin ...more
Dan Gorman
Pretty solid work of new social history. Breen doesn't buy into teleology and inevitable descriptions of the American Revolution (e.g., Gordon Wood, Jack Greene), yet Breen does a good job showing that the mercantilist system unfairly benefitted Great Britain at the colonials' expense. He does a laudable job reconstructing the colonial economy and shows how the colonists grew more empowered through capitalist choices. Breen is also to be commended for making women such a major part of his narrat ...more
Quinn Wright
very good argument and an enlightening topic, but there is no need for 300+ pages to make an argument that can be made (and is) in the first chapter
Mirosław Aleksander
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret Sankey
As he did with tobacco, Breen examines how consumer behavior, this time across the whole spectrum of American colonists, moved them towards solidarity and protest (albeit quickly forgotten or papered over in a blaze of republican self-sufficiency and simplicity) as they convinced themselves that the British, having seen all their stuff during the War, now were motivated to tax it in an attempt to keep Americans poor and marginalized, when they deserved those shoe buckles, damn it!
Brandon Nelson
I enjoyed this book because it was a very original interpretation of the causes of the American Revolution. Breen argued that consumerism created unity among revolutionaries from all 13 colonies because it gave them a common language through which they could identify with one another. Breen's explanations of the construction of a consumer culture revolving around British goods gives powerful new meaning to the colonists' reaction to the Stamp Act and the subsequent British duties on imported goo ...more
Anna
I would say this book was one of the most influential books for me, in terms of changing how i look at history. Whatever the weaknesses of his argument, Breen presents an intriguing new way to look at the history of America. His thesis and arguments that the American revolution was caused through the marketplace really fascinated me. I had NEVER thought of the marketplace or consumerism as influential in political happenings. How could the market possibly influence such a great political event s ...more
Tristan
This book examines the dilemma of the revolutionary period. How did 13 colonies of various backgrounds and cultures unite against the British? Breen argues that they united over their common consumption of British goods, and that resistance came in the form of boycotts. Really well researched and even funny at times. Though the length really overstays its welcome.
Caitlin Walker
Surprisingly interesting book about american revolution. Claims colonists united under a consumer identity.
Laura
I enjoyed Breen's premise well-enough. This book provided a fascinating and interesting take on the build-up to American independence. However, the dense language and lengthy examples, I feel, bogged the reader down. His thesis was certainly clear enough, if not overstated, to the point that I felt as if I had been beaten over the head with it by the time I finished the book. Nonetheless, still it remains a refreshing interpretaion of American consumer politics and the dawn of the revolution.
Lisa
This was a really different book about the American Revolution focusing on the economics and trade that affected colonials towards revolution. It was a different take on the whole deal and one that I really enjoyed learning more about. It was really interesting to see just how much our economic marketplace really effects the bigger issues and connects us worldwide.
Mike
Feb 20, 2013 Mike marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I got to see T.H. Breen's presentation to another Teaching American History group, and was fascinated by his take on the origins of the American Revolution- consumer goods and market behavior were hugely important, but not just in a materialist sense... I'm looking forward to this alongside Truxes' "Defying Empire."
Jen
An interesting thesis although after I discussed this book in class I realized it's a little vague in it's claims. It's basically claiming that the way colonists were able to unite in the lead up to the American revolution is that they found similarities in their consumer culture and a choice of goods.
Tiffany Blue thompson
meh. the pursuit of happiness = spend money how ever one pleases to be comfortable and pleasured. Not really a new idea, though he claims to be the first to see the importance in the relationship between comsumer spending and the unification of the colonists.
Marsha
This is an excellent source of information on the economic forces at work in the colonial era, but it is a part of the story, not the entire story.
Meredith
It was ok. Interesting argument about the role of consumer goods in the shaping of political mobilization and trust building among colonists. Very repetitive.
Jonah
I wrote a review essay for Revolutionary History on this book. Pretty fascinating economic/social history of early consumer politics.
Craig J.
The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence by T. H. Breen (2005)
Becky
Interesting point of view of how the colonists fully united for independence, but very disorganized writing.
Amy
Dec 17, 2007 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students/Harrington
It's really weird, but I like how this book is written. It's easy to follow... But complex.
John Beeler
I loved that Breen was inspired by a teacup to write this book. Brilliantly charted.
Soxfan3376
A very thought provoking take in the origin of te American revolution.
Joshua
American revolution as consumer movement? NICE!
Linda Frantz
Linda Frantz marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2015
Alberto
Alberto is currently reading it
Jun 29, 2015
Haley
Haley marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2015
Brian Neumann
Brian Neumann marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
RevWar Revolution...: Progress 2 7 Oct 02, 2011 08:46PM  
  • Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves & the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia
  • Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America
  • The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America
  • The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787
  • The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution
  • Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800
  • From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain 1765-76
  • The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
  • The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America (Pivotal Moments in American History)
  • The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities
  • The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity
  • American Slavery, American Freedom
  • The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War
  • Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia
  • Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850
  • City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860
  • The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800
  • Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America
T.H. Breen is the William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern University. He is also the founding director of the Kaplan Humanities Center and the Nicholas D. Chabraja Center for Historical Studies at Northwestern. Breen is a specialist on the American Revolution; he studies the history of early America with a special interest in political thought, material culture, and cultu ...more
More about T.H. Breen...
Myne Owne Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676 American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People Tobacco Culture: The Mentality of the Great Tidewater Planters on the Eve of Revolution Colonial America in an Atlantic World Imagining the Past: East Hampton Histories

Share This Book