This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Brian Deming, author of the book Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.
Bio – Brian Deming
Brian Deming grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has a master’s degree in American history from Northwestern University. He was a newspaper reporter in Brighton and Jackson, Michigan, and in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He also worked as a magazine editor and freelance journalist in Munich, Prague, Tokyo, Manila, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as Watertown, Massachusetts, and taught American history at the University of New York in Prague. His other books are Jackson, An Illustrated History; Hitler and Munich (with Ted Iliff); and Wind Time, Wolf Time (a novel about the Thirty Years War). He and his wife live in Toronto, where he works as a freelance editor.
You can learn more about Brian Deming at his website, Boston Dawn.
In 1760, no one could imagine the American colonies revolting against Great Britain. The colonists were not hungry peasants groaning under the whip of a brute. They lived well. Land was cheap, wages were good, opportunities abounded. While many colonists had been in the New World for generations, they identified with Britain, and England was still “home.” Yet in the space of just fifteen years these sturdy bonds snapped. Boston—a town of just 16,000—lit the fire for American Independence. Brian Deming explains how and why in his lucid, lively, and deeply researched Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.
To dodge British taxes, Boston merchants for as long as anyone could remember had routinely smuggled in molasses from French and Spanish possessions in the Caribbean. Boston distillers transformed this sweet cargo into rum, the liquid gold traded around the world. But British authorities cracked down on smuggling and imposed the Sugar Act to help pay for the debts incurred during their wars against France. Then came the hated Stamp Act, a tax on documents, newspapers, and printed materials of all kinds. In courtrooms, in the press, and in the streets, Bostonians rallied in protest against taxation without representation. As anger swept America, Boston was at the center of the storm, which burst forth with the infamous massacre and the Boston Tea Party. By 1775, open warfare erupted at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Boston and the Dawn of American Independence ties these scenes together with the people of the time, including John and Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere, as well as Thomas Hutchinson, the beleaguered Massachusetts royal governor, and James Otis, the bombastic, unstable early patriot. Readers hear their voices, but also those of many amazing, colorful, and memorable personalities— feisty mob leaders, defiant Tories, terrified townspeople. Deming illuminates this epic story with views of everyday life inside taverns, outside newspaper offices, and along the wharves, and the political dramas in London and Philadelphia that shaped the destiny of an empire and gave rise to the world’s first modern democracy.
Publisher: Westholme Publishing (2013)
Hardcover; 508 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos and illustrations.
Boston and the Dawn of American Independence is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.
In this interview Brian and I talk about the characters involved in politics at the start of the American Revolution such as Thomas Hutchinson, James Otis Jr., Sam Adams, John Hancock and many more. We also talked about the women of the Revolutionary era in Boston such as Jane Mecom, Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams. Since the book was quite a detailed undertaking we talked about Brian’s process for writing and footnoting all the information. At the very end we get into a brief discussion about journalism and all the places his career has taken him over the years.
The winner is: :
- Rich Sandler of Oregon
Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Westholme Publishing for their generosity in donating the book!
Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!
The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/american-independence-brian-deming/
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