In the year of the nation’s bicentennial, Robert A. Gross published The Minutemen and Their World, a paradigm-shaping study of Concord, Massachusetts, during the American Revolution. It won the prestigious Bancroft Prize and became a perennial bestseller. Forty years later, in this highly anticipated work, Gross returns to Concord and explores the meaning of an equally crucial moment in the American story: the rise of Transcendentalism. […Learn More]
A little-known story of mutiny and murder illustrating the centrality of smuggling and slavery in early American society
On the night of June 1, 1743, terror struck the schooner Rising Sun. After completing a routine smuggling voyage where the crew sold enslaved Africans in exchange for chocolate, sugar, and coffee in the Dutch colony of Suriname, the ship traveled eastward along the South American coast. Believing there was an opportunity to steal the lucrative cargo and make a new life for themselves, three sailors snuck below deck, murdered four people, and seized control of the vessel. […Learn More]
Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a new look at the Plymouth colony’s founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story.
In March 1621, when Plymouth’s survival was hanging in the balance, the Wampanoag sachem (or chief), Ousamequin (Massasoit), and Plymouth’s governor, John Carver, declared their people’s friendship for each other and a commitment to mutual defense. […Learn More]
Shortly after the first Europeans arrived in seventeenth-century New England, they began to import Africans and capture the area’s indigenous peoples as slaves. By the eve of the American Revolution, enslaved people comprised only about 4 percent of the population, but slavery had become instrumental to the region’s economy and had shaped its cultural traditions. This story of slavery in New England has been little told. […Learn More]
On the night of March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd gathered in front of Boston’s Custom House, killing five people. Denounced as an act of unprovoked violence and villainy, the event that came to be known as the Boston Massacre is one of the most famous and least understood incidents in American history. Eric Hinderaker revisits this dramatic confrontation, examining in forensic detail the facts of that fateful night, the competing narratives that molded public perceptions at the time, and the long campaign to transform the tragedy into a touchstone of American identity. […Learn More]
Widely hailed as a “powerfully written” history about America’s beginnings (Annette Gordon-Reed), New England Bound fundamentally changes the story of America’s seventeenth-century origins. Building on the works of giants like Bernard Bailyn and Edmund S. Morgan, Wendy Warren has not only “mastered that scholarship” but has now rendered it in “an original way, and deepened the story” (New York Times Book Review). While earlier histories of slavery largely confine themselves to the South, Warren’s “panoptical exploration” (Christian Science Monitor) links the growth of the northern colonies to the slave trade and examines the complicity of New England’s leading families, demonstrating how the region’s economy derived its vitality from the slave trading ships coursing through its ports. […Learn More]
What are we willing to tolerate and whose lives are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival? What are the ways that “place” can shape, repel and draw us in? Arsenault sifts through historical archives and her own experience in this atmospheric memoir and searing exposé. […Learn More]
The bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and In the Hurricane’s Eye tells the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution, in this “masterpiece of narrative and perspective.” (Boston Globe)
In the opening volume of his acclaimed American Revolution series, Nathaniel Philbrick turns his keen eye to pre-Revolutionary Boston and the spark that ignited the American Revolution. […Learn More]
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials.
It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. […Learn More]