The Minutemen and Their World

Robert A. Gross; Foreword by Alan M. Taylor; Epilogue by Robert A. Gross

Hill and Wang

Winner of the Bancroft Prize

The Minutemen and Their World, first published in 1976, is reissued now in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition with a new Foreword by Alan Taylor and a new Afterword by the author.

On April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. The "shot heard round the world" catapulted this sleepy New England town into the midst of revolutionary fervor, and Concord went on to become the intellectual capital of the new republic. The town--future home to Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne--soon came to symbolize devotion to liberty, intellectual freedom, and the stubborn integrity of rural life. In The Minutemen and Their World, Robert Gross has written a remarkably subtle and detailed reconstruction of the lives and community of this special place, and a compelling interpretation of the American Revolution as a social movement.


Read an Excerpt

  The Minutemen and Their World
1“Do Not Be Divided for So Small Matters”CONCORD arrived at its strategic position in 1775 only after a good deal of foot-dragging. While Bostonians fulminated against British policies in the 1760s and early 1770s, the yeomen of Concord were squabbling among themselves in a series of increasingly bitter quarrels that threatened ultimately to divide the town into two warring parties. The local contentions had no relation to the colonial dispute with Britain; that subject came before the town only occasionally until 1774 and elicited only a mild


Praise for The Minutemen and Their World

"In this eloquent book, Robert Gross gives us a Concord that we have not encountered before, a surprising place that turns out to be not the quaint community of myth and legend, but a lively society, deeply engaged in the great issues of its revolutionary time--with all the tensions, anxieties, and aspirations that human being share."--Linda K. Kerber

"The Minutemen and Their World makes the American Revolution live--a vivid, compelling book that dramatizes the political consciousness and armed conflict in the very birthplace of the Revolutionary War. Few books have so brilliantly stood the test of time."--Jon Butler

"For historians, The Minutemen and Their World was a shot heard round the world. It taught us that fine history combines good scholarlship with good writing. Its reverberations are still being heard."--Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

"The Minutemen and Their World is a classic in--well, the classic sense of the world: a book of such enduring elegance and interest that it will find a readership in every generation."--Joyce Appleby

"A richly detailed picture of social life and social divisions in Concord, and a lively narrative of the coming of the Revolution there."--Edmund S. Morgan, The New York Review of Books

"This lovely little book captures, intimately and authentically, the life of an eighteenth century New England town . . . gloriously good."--Michael Zuckerman, University of Pennsylvania

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Robert A. Gross; Foreword by Alan M. Taylor; Epilogue by Robert A. Gross

  • Robert A. Gross is the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Professor of Early American History at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of Books and Libraries in Thoreau's Concord (1988) and editor of In Debt to Shays: The Bicentennial of an Agrian Rebellion (1993).





    Available Formats and Book Details

    The Minutemen and Their World

    Robert A. Gross; Foreword by Alan M. Taylor; Epilogue by Robert A. Gross