Chris's Reviews > Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World

Liberty's Exiles by Maya Jasanoff
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's review
Mar 10, 11

bookshelves: hist-misc
Read from March 02 to 09, 2011

If you're into non-traditional histories this will be your cup of tea. Absolutely fascinating and very different perspective of the Revolutionary War and the first generation afterwards. Reminded me of Bush's dictum "you are either for us or against us." The takeaway from this book is that the Revolutionary War really was our first civil war. It doesn't quite trumpet that directly but it's an easy inference. Some amazing personal stories of endurance, perseverance, and flexibility. The diaspora of the loyalists was quite unique and filled with paradox or irony. The loyalists had a reputation within some of the elites of the Empire as being complainers and rebel rousers just like their American contemporaries who had "seceded." Yet they were the ones loyal to the crown. Diversity is a strength in this narrative too: we hear not just the stories of whites but also blacks and indians. Some truly fascinating and eccentric men and women who made the best of a bad situation. Last 100 pages got a little tedious.
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Reading Progress

03/02/2011 page 23
5.0% "Absolutely fascinating. An academic who writes like a journalist too. From page 14, "this book recovers the stories of ordinary people whose lives were overturned by extraordinary events.""
03/04/2011 page 87
18.0% "Wow, what a different perspective. No one could be neutral. They (patriots) made you choose. Sounds like Missouri/Kansas during the Civil War."
03/07/2011 page 235
49.0% "Some unbelievable stories of survival and thriving in adversity here."

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