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Faces of Revolution: Personalities & Themes in the Struggle for American Independence

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  80 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Bernard Bailyn brings us a book that combines portraits of American revolutionaries with a deft exploration of the ideas that moved them and still shape our society today.

In this elegant collection of essays, he combines lively portraits of participants in the American Revolution with deft explorations of the ideas that moved them, the circums
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Vintage (first published 1990)
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Michael Hattem
Jul 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-america
This is a fascinating collection of essays by America's preeminent Revolutionary era historian. No other historian looms as large ove the historiography of the period as Bailyn and he does not fail to live up to his usual standards here. Most of these essays, if not all, have been previously published in some form or other but to have them in one accessible volume surely justifies its publication. There are profiles of Adams, Jefferson, Hutchinson, and a New Englander named Harbottle Dorr who ke ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I almost put this book down - which considering how much I love this subject, says a lot about this treatment. This random selection of academic screeds on Revolutionary history suffers from a lack of theme and narrative. There were some portions that I did enjoy - but everything was so random, it was difficult to settle into an understanding. I think the author would've been better in transforming this collection into an actual book. There is also a lot of talk about the collections of document ...more
Lauren Albert
A mixed bag of essays. I found most interesting his biographies of obscure patriots. For instance--Harbottle Dorr (for real) a shopkeeper who, starting in 1765, spent 12 years collecting, annotating and indexing newspapers and pamphlets. Then there is a Connecticut minister named Stephen Johnson, otherwise unknown, who in 1765 published both 5 newspaper articles and a pamphlet. Bailyn sees these as anticipating many of the arguments to come in the next decade.

One of Bailyn's main arguments is t
Estelle Champlain
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book for those already familiar with the basics of the Revolution and it's key figures. This book fleshes out the bios of key figures and their struggles to bring the reader closer to understanding the world those figures lived in more accurately- a world comprised of intense uncertainty.
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bailyn is a phenomenal writer, and though I found the biographical sketches in the first part of the book a little thin, the Thematic section gets right to the heart of the intellectual, religious, and social context of the era. Bailyn's done impressive work, and has inspired me to read more of his work, and much more about the period.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
terrific set of essays on the revolutionary era.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: us-history
Bios of John Adams, Jefferson, and others. Liked chapter 6 on religionists. Last chapters present Revolution from a neo-whig view. Read all bio chapters but not all of section two stuff.
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Bernard Bailyn is an American historian, author, and professor specializing in U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary-era History. He has been a professor at Harvard since 1953. Bailyn has won the Pulitzer Prize for History twice (in 1968 and 1987). In 1998 the National Endowment for the Humanities selected him for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the ...more
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