The American Revolution

Edward Countryman

Hill and Wang



Trade Paperback

304 Pages



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First published in 1985, The American Revolution was praised for its use of the new social history to present a balanced view of that supremely political event. Countryman offered an original synthesis of the Revolution and its scholarship, showing how the Revolution was made by a variety of groups—ordinary farmers as well as lawyers, women as well as men, blacks as well as whites—who transformed the character of American life and culture.

In this revised edition, Countryman stresses the painful destruction of British identity and the construction of a new American one. He expands his examination of the geographical scope of the Revolution to include Europe, Africa, and areas west of the Alleghenies, and he draws fresh links between the politics and culture of the independence period and the creation of a new and dynamic capitalist economy. This innovative interpretation of the American Revolution creates an even richer, more comprehensive portrait of a critical period in America's history.


Praise for The American Revolution

"A balanced view of how the Revolution was made by a variety of social groups—and how, in turn, these groups were transformed by the Revolutionary experience."—Gary B. Nash, University of California at Los Angeles

"Fine, concise history . . . Better than any comparable treatment."—Sean Wilentz, In These Times

"As a synthesis of modern scholarship on the Revolution, this important book has no rival."—Pauline Maier, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Countryman's fine text touches all the bases . . . It uses the stories of particular individuals and incidents to make its scholarly points. The author treats the important themes of the Revolution, but he also keeps the chronological narrative jogging along."—William Breitenbach, The History Teacher

"No other comparable work depicts the period as well . . . Makes it possible for college students or anyone with little knowledge but some interest in the American Revolution to acquire a clear and correct understanding of it."—Donna Spindel, Best Sellers

"Describes the revolution through the perspective of ordinary men and women . . . A valuable contribution to American history."—Wichita Falls Times

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Edward Countryman

  • Edward Countryman, professor of history at Southern Methodist University, is the author of Americans (Hill and Wang, 1996) and A People in Revolution: Political Society in New York, 1760-1790, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize in 1982. He lives in Dallas.

  • Edward Countryman