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Thu May 1, 2014, 11:40 AM

Historian Gerald Horne:“The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the USA

The critically acclaimed author taught at UC Santa Barbara from 1988 to 1996

Sonia Fernandez
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gerald Horne, a University of Houston professor whose research focuses on excavating untold histories relating to race and racism, will deliver UC Santa Barbara’s Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture on Thursday, May 8, at 4 p.m. in the campus’s MultiCultural Center Theater. Horne’s lecture is presented by UCSB’s Center for Black Studies Research.

In the lecture, Horne will discuss his newest book, “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America,” released in April 2014. This book revises the foundational myths of the U.S. by arguing that the American Revolution of 1776 was in part a reaction against the rising tide of abolitionism in Britain and its colonies. As Africans in the American colonies increasingly supported the British, slaveholders pushed for revolution in order to avoid an abolition decree from London and prevent insurrection at home. For the founders of the United States, therefore, “freedom” meant the freedom to keep others enslaved. This definition of liberty, Horne argues, inscribed racism deeply into the country’s politics, with consequences continuing into the present.

Critics have hailed the book as a groundbreaking and valuable corrective to common understandings of U.S. history. David Waldstreicher at Temple University called it “utterly original . . . A remarkable and important contribution to our understanding of the creation of the United States.” The book received similar praise in the magazine Kirkus Reviews: “Horne returns with insights about the American Revolution that fracture even more some comforting myths about the Founding Fathers. The author does not tiptoe through history’s grassy fields; he swings a scythe. .. . Clear and sometimes-passionate prose shows us the persistent nastiness underlying our founding narrative.”


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- See more at: http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2014/014126/author-and-historian-gerald-horne-deliver-ucsb%E2%80%99s-shirley-kennedy-memorial-lecture#sthash.n2yApIPH.dpuf

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Reply Historian Gerald Horne:“The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the USA (Original post)
Jefferson23 May 2014 OP
eShirl May 2014 #1
Jefferson23 May 2014 #2
eShirl May 2014 #3
bemildred May 2014 #4
Jefferson23 May 2014 #5
Blue_Tires May 2014 #6
yurbud May 2014 #7
DavidDvorkin May 2014 #8
Jefferson23 May 2014 #13
DavidDvorkin May 2014 #14
Jefferson23 May 2014 #15
AverageJoe90 May 2014 #9
Jefferson23 May 2014 #10
AverageJoe90 May 2014 #11
Jefferson23 May 2014 #12
AverageJoe90 May 2014 #16
Jefferson23 May 2014 #17
RainDog May 2014 #18

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:54 AM

1. this book has a good rave review on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/The-Counter-Revolution-1776-Resistance-Origins-ebook/product-reviews/B00J8DOMIG/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Generally I don't review a book till I have read every last word. I make an exception only when I find work so excellent that I am convinced that if the book ended right where I am, right now (about 75 percent through, and of course I checked the sources), it would still be worth the full cover price. I will read the rest, but you need to know about this book RIGHT NOW.

Reading this galley, courtesy of the publisher, New York University, made me feel as if the American history I studied as an undergraduate and then taught for twenty years in the public school system was so incomplete as to be incorrect. If you care about American history; if you have ever wondered why Black anger still runs so deep, especially in certain parts of the USA; if you scratched your head over parts of American history as it has been presented and the ways it did not make sense, then you must read this book.

The fact is that America's early Black population, as well as that of Blacks in the Caribbean, behaved with much more courage and savvy than they are given credit for in standard history texts. The role of Spain that Horne explains here, as well as that of the Catholic Church, and of the Cherokee people, is startling news.

And the fact is, what I read here makes me ask questions about all sorts of other events, such as the Louisiana Purchase (the significance of having included Florida in the deal is a monster once this new information is merged with what we knew before), to the Trail of Tears and banishment of the Cherokee Nation from Georgia, to the question I was never able to adequately answer for my own bright students: "Where did the free Blacks come from?" It's here. It's all here. America's students have been robbed, up to this point. If you are a teacher, you have to get this book, even if it means buying it out of your own pocket. You can't tell the truth without this book!

...

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Response to eShirl (Reply #1)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:01 PM

2. Thank you. It is not too often a book on this subject is considered

as extraordinary in its insights as this one evidently is....we can all learn more about our
past so we can hopefully better transform our future.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #2)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:04 PM

3. this book is next on my "non-free" list to get!

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:10 PM

4. That should cause a reaction.

But yeah, I never thought of it that way, but it fits right in.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #4)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:20 PM

5. I wish I lived close enough to attend the event...he will leave a mark with this important book.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:38 PM

6. bookmarked for later

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 08:08 PM

7. I saw something about blacks fighting on British side in Revolution

a few years back for the promise of their freedom.

This connects that dot a little further.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 09:19 PM

8. I found an earlier book which seems to have the same thesis

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #8)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:35 PM

13. Have you read this book? I have not. I took a quick look at the author:

Alfred W. Blumrosen
Thomas A. Cowan Professor of Law Emeritus

Professor Blumrosen taught at Rutgers Law School from 1955 to 2002, specializing in labor and employment law. He served as Acting Dean in 1974-75.
http://law.newark.rutgers.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/alfred-w-blumrosen

*In 2005, he and his late wife Ruth published Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies and Sparked the American Revolution, Sourcebooks.


I was not able to find any reviews from academics, interesting though..thanks.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #13)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:44 PM

14. No, I haven't read it

I saw a reference to it somewhere and was interested in the similarity.

The Amazon reviews are good, FWIW.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #14)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:48 PM

15. Yes, they were, I was just curious about not finding any academic reviews and

that he self published it.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 09:48 PM

9. I'm sorry, but all you need to do is look at the summary to realize.....

 

That this book definitely has some real issues with revisionist history.

Firstly, if anything at all, the good majority of the pro-slavery Southerners were originally rather pro-British, and some only defected to the Patriots when they realized that this was the only way to save their asses. Not to mention that, sadly, the British government were, at least on some occasions, being a bit cynical on the occasions they *did* allow African-Americans to fight with them; it wasn't out of a genuine concern for them.....unfortunately, in some cases, the Freemen were only convenient cannon fodder to their commanders and not much else.(although this was sometimes true for the Patriots, too, don't get me wrong)

Even during the Civil War, 90 years later, Abe Lincoln admitted that, as much as he did genuinely hate slavery, freeing the slaves was originally a secondary cause to saving the Union. And there were many more genuine abolitionists in the Northern U.S. in the 1850s, than there were in the whole British Empire in the 1770s; the truth is, abolitionism was only *just* starting to become a thing in the 1770s and would not become all that prominent, in either nation, until well after the Revolution had ended.

And in fact, had the British won, there is no guarantee that slavery would have ended in 1833, as it was for our world's British Empire, or even circa 1865 as with our world's U.S.; it is, sadly, possible that it could have lasted up until the end of the 19th century.....maybe even just a little longer. If anything, it can be argued that Britain's humilation in the Revolutionary War may have actually notably contributed to the take-off of abolitionism and the end of slavery in the 1830s, amongst other things as well.

That's not to say, btw, that all the Patriots were super-moral or that all the Loyalists were nasty hypocrites. But neither is the opposite true.


Perhaps I may have been a little too bothered by this, but I've done a fair bit of studying of history in general in my spare time. And although I'm sure this is well-intentioned, does still contain elements of revisionism nonetheless. And that should be admitted.













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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #9)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:15 PM

10. You can check out his credentials and those who have reviewed the book and all of his sources.

I would suggest you do that before you levy a charge of revisionist of history.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #10)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:23 PM

11. Okay, and?

 

I'm not questioning the good Professor's credentials; not at all, to be truthful.

However, though, that doesn't mean that one cannot ask questions about a dissertation when it's needed; this is certainly one of those times. There are a few genuinely intelligent scientists who remain skeptical about climate change, for example; they may be smart people, but it doesn't make them right in that case, when all the evidence points in the other direction. A similar maxim applies here as well.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #11)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:27 PM

12. I did not suggest you should not do that, considering you have not read the book, your

charge at this point is without merit.

Of course this important book will stir controversy, I understand that.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #12)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:49 PM

16. "your charge at this point is without merit." Not when you've studied the actual history.

 

And I certainly have, so my point does indeed have merit. And btw, I've come across this same general thesis before so I'm not exactly new to it. And every single time I've read a piece like this(and there's been at least a few) it's left me rather unimpressed.....and I have no reason to suspect that this will be any different.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #16)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:52 PM

17. Ok.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 01:05 PM

18. k&r n/t

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