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A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Draper's startlingly original account of the causes and nature of the American Revolution is an acute dissection of the process that led to the final break with England and to the armed revolt in 1775. He lucidly examines the logic of dissolution, and the manifold ways in which trade and commerce resulted in an inexorably unfolding revolutionary process.
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published December 26th 1995 by Crown (first published 1995)
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Steve Bernich
Aug 10, 2015 Steve Bernich rated it liked it
Full disclosure. I didn't finish this book. Had to put it down. Here it is, in the good, the bad, the ugly.

The Good. Well documented account of how the American Revolution was likely inevitable in one way or another. Based on the independent spirit of British colonists in America, British laws being naturally "loose", economic policies that allowed colonies very rich in resources to have the potential to eclipse their mother country (eventually), and a British governing system that allowed the c
David Mclaughlin
Nov 21, 2014 David Mclaughlin rated it it was amazing
I decided to read this book after listening to an old interview with the late Christopher Hitchens in which he recommended Mr Draper's book as a excellent read for those who wished to better understand the germinal factors that led up to and caused the American Revolution to occur how and when it did.

I am very glad that I took Mr Hitchens advice as I found Mr. Draper's book both fascinating as well as immensely readable. This work should please both those who are well versed in the subject matte
Jul 12, 2015 Zach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It did not surprise me to find in the last chapter of this book a quote from Thucydides, the famous Athenian historian who interpreted history through the most basic of human impulses: the will to power. “While the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.” As the title suggests, A Struggle for Power is Draper’s interpretation of the American Revolution, and the events leading up to it, through the lens of power. Many historians have covered the American Revolution from ideologica ...more
Scott Ford
Feb 02, 2010 Scott Ford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The American Revolution as inevitability. Viewing the development of conflict from the perspective that the British had been predicting the conflict for nearly a century opens new perspectives on familiar history.
Dec 17, 2011 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The New York Times
January 31, 1996
BOOKS OF THE TIMES;A Revolution More About Power Than Principle

A STRUGGLE FOR POWER The American Revolution By Theodore Draper 544 pages. Times Books. $35.

The French and Indian War, as any schoolchild knows, saw the British fighting alongside their American colonists to conquer Canada for the Mother Country. What fewer of us know, as Theodore Draper reminds us in his lengthy and learned new interpretation of the origins of t
Matt Champagne
Feb 16, 2014 Matt Champagne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thick and well-researched. Big points I remember: The colonists did not think they were apart from England; thy very much thought they were of it; British politicians were quite divided on what the fate of the colonies should be; and how fast rises in population made the colonies quite prosperous quite quickly. Dry, but informative.
Mar 24, 2014 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This was slow going for me. I prefer micro-histories, focusing more on the individual. This is a great summary of the forces leading to the revolution and in particular has lots of primary sources, letters diaries and pamphlets which give both an insight into the mindsets on both sides of the conflict and a flavor of the times.
Oct 24, 2015 Kiel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charles Kristofek
Jan 02, 2013 Charles Kristofek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics
Fantastic read. Great insights to the lead up to the revolution. Surprised how young Hamilton and Jefferson were when they started publishing their thoughts (mid 20s). The revolution was unavoidable and recognized as so by the British much earlier (early 1700s) that it would eventually come about due to America's incredible growth in population and wealth. Credit to the British for allowing America the freedom of the press regardless of how revolutionary.
Jan 20, 2010 Seligne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more than perhaps you ever wanted to know about how the British government viewed and administered their colonies.
Dec 05, 2011 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absorbing, informative, and well-documented. Makes one re-evaluate his or her position on the American revolution.
Aug 28, 2010 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A through and insightful treatise on the causes and motivations of the American Revolution.
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Theodore H. "Ted" Draper was an American historian and political writer. Draper is best known for the 14 books he completed during his life, including work regarded as seminal on the formative period of the American Communist Party, the Cuban Revolution, and the Iran-Contra Affair. Draper was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the 1990 recipient of the Herbert Feis Award for ...more
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