Biblio Jungle (Dana)'s Reviews > Ten Tea Parties: Patriotic Protests That History Forgot

Ten Tea Parties by Joseph Cummins
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's review
Jan 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 21st-century, non-fiction
Read from January 17 to 18, 2012 Tea Party. Whether you associate it with a fiery political movement or a featured moment mentioned in your high school history class, most Americans (and many others across the globe) have come to terms with this phrase one way or another. When we think about the historical “party,” often there is little debate over what is believed to be the recounts of that fateful event on December 16, 1773. It took place in Boston, a group of colonists were infuriated over the oppressive nature the British government had imposed over their colonies, and those colonists took matters into their own hands by dumping cases of tea into the Boston Harbor as a symbol of their rejection over taxed tea (and other goods). To the dismay of history buffs, the other nine tea parties that occurred during this same time have been often times misplaced in the history textbooks- in other words, we forgot about them.

Joseph Cummins has written a historical account of the Tea Party + 9 for readers searching for more context behind the start of the American Revolution. He of course begins with the most well-known tea party in Boston and then proceeds to enlighten/inform/remind - call it what you will - his readers of the other nine most memorable tea parties that occurred in the colonies. Why do I say most memorable? Cummins’s Appendix in the book includes even more tea parties of course. From what I gather, I guess, is that The Boston Tea Party wasn’t that unique after all. Sorry Massachusetts.

Ten Tea Parties: Patriotic Protests That History Forgot is a beautiful little book. The details put into the dust jacket, book sleeve, and even pages are both appropriate and interesting to look at or even place somewhere for display. I especially loved the extra detail of placing a tax stamp on the dust jacket as a little reference to The Stamp Act.

Apart from the wonderful work that went into the design of the book, the reading was effortless. This book should not be looked as another boring, slow historical read that often many find to be the case when they parooz the non-fiction section of their local bookstore. It is one of those great books you can bring with you on a train ride, read in between appointments, or, if you’re like me, knock the sucker out in one sitting.

Cummins includes not only the usual characters you’d find in a history textbook when he describes the makings of the tea parties. He includes unlikely characters, including wealthy women who once used the tea as a social tool.

I could have gone without the Tea Party political movement reference in his Epilogue but that’s just because 1) it’s an element of the political stage that has been covered exceedingly too much and 2) I felt like it was a bit rushed and left almost unfinished. However, it is a new movement, with very little to go one for an indepth analysis, so I’ll catch Cummins some slack.

Overall, the book was great. I’d recommend it to anyone who is a history buff, someone who prefers to learn more than what was fed to them in history class, or someone who just needs something different from their usual reading pile.

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Quotes Biblio Jungle Liked

Joseph Cummins
“They scorned neighbors who drank tea and concocted an entirely fictitious sickness narrative around the beverage; they claimed tea stunted growth, turned men into pygmies, and transformed women into…’God knows what.’ They claimed tea was stomped into chests by Chinese men with dirty feet, that it was infested with bugs.”
Joseph Cummins, Ten Tea Parties: Patriotic Protests That History Forgot

Joseph Cummins
“If you touch one grain of this accursed tea, you are undone. America is threatened with worse than Egyptian slavery.”
Joseph Cummins, Ten Tea Parties: Patriotic Protests That History Forgot

Reading Progress

01/17/2012 page 115

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