In history class, we are taught that the American Revolution was a war over liberty, involving heroic feats, noble ideals, and courageous patriots. In Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth, historian Holger Hoock reveals the less glamorous side of our nation’s inception with accounts of mass murder, disease, and rape. Rather than gloss over the gritty details that disrupt our sense of national pride, Hoock begs his readers to consider what has been written out of history and spurs a dialogue about the moral dilemmas inscribed in the making of a nation. Hoock has received the UK’s Philip Leverhulme Prize, as well as a number of international fellowships.
In Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick unfolds the tragic relationship between two key figures in the founding of a nation. As Philbrick exposes, the war was not simply a struggle between adversarial neighbors but a much more complex conflict that forced Americans to realize that the real threat to their liberties might not come from without but from within. Valiant Ambition paints a dramatic portrait of people in crisis and a nation on the precipice of independence. The Boston Globe has called it “one of the greatest what-if books of the age—a volume that turns one of America’s best-known narratives on its head.”
6:30 p.m. Learn more about the cultural perception and symbolism of the Revolutionary War through works in the American Art collection with Emily Schiller, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, DMA.