Teaser Tuesday: Scars of Independence

The Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, and anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

I finished my February books a few days early, so I have a day to two head start on March. First up: one of my first Goodreads wins of the year – Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth by Holger Hoock.

The Goodreads’ Blurb

When we think of the American Revolution, we think of brave patriots coming together to resist a tyrannical ruler in defense of noble ideals. It’s a stirring narrative, and one the Founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock argues, the truth is far more complex: The Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war—one that shaped the nation in ways we have only begun to understand.

In Scars of Independence, Hoock writes the violence back into the story. American Patriots tortured Loyalists and imprisoned them in Connecticut mines; British troops massacred enemy soldiers, raped colonial women, and crowded half-starving prisoners on disease-ridden ships; both sides conscripted African-Americans, who suffered disproportionately as soldiers and slaves; and Washington’s army waged a genocidal campaign against the Iroquois nation. In vivid, authoritative prose, Hoock also examines the moral dilemmas posed by this all-pervasive violence, as the British found themselves torn between unlimited war and restraint towards fellow subjects, while the Patriots ingeniously documented war crimes in an effort to unify the fledgling nation, ultimately erasing the trauma of the Loyalists in their midst.

For centuries, we have whitewashed this history of the Revolution. Scars of Independence forces a more honest appraisal, and in so doing, presents a new origins story that will spark debate for years to come. Elegantly written and meticulously researched, it is history that is both relevant and necessary—an important reminder that forging a nation is rarely bloodless.


The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 18:

The Patriots accused the British of indiscriminate plundering and destruction, battlefield massacres, rape, prisoner abuse, even the deportation of American captives to Asia and into slavery in Africa. They also grapples with the quandary of how to answer such abuse - for violence flowed in all directions. 

scars-of-independence-cover

There are 11 books I haven’t yet written a review for, and I’m wondering if I should even attempt . . . what do you think?

What are you reading today?

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4 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: Scars of Independence

  1. Hmm. Yes and no, re: the reviews. Whenever I get behind like that, I shrug it off… then regret it a few years later when I go back for a reread and remember how much I detested the novel, only how could I have known? I read so many books, but I didn’t write it down! Perhaps consider writing a brief review of a few sentences for yourself, if not the world. 🙂

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  2. “Particularly when you’re dealing with very high ranking people, you know, you have to get their attention, they are used to, by their rank, of having their own way and doing their own thing and when it’s necessary to all work together on something, sometimes you have to hit the mule between the eyes with a two by four to get its attention.” Norman Schwarzkopf : It doesn’t take a Hero

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  3. Actions must also be judged in context of time. It was a brutal existence world wide. (And war, of course brings out the worst of both sides. People are people. Rarely change.) Going to original sources/documents form solid grounds for books – and provide a more complete picture of what went on. (Will have to see if this author has other titles)
    Enjoy your reviews.
    I’ve been reading stuff by Jefferson and Adams (avoiding the noise/confusion/anger on news and social media)..interested that even before independence the Continental Congress was sending people to talk with Russia …things never change? HA HA

    Like

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