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Book Review

Taming Democracy: 'The People', the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution

Citation
Nicolson C (2009) Taming Democracy: 'The People', the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution. Review of: Taming Democracy: ‘The People’, the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution, by Terry Bouton. (Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2007; pp. 332. ISBN: 978-0195378566. English Historical Review, 124 (507), pp. 449-451. https://doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cep046

Abstract
(First paragraph). Terry Bouton has written one of the most engaging accounts of the American Revolutionary Era that I have read in several years. The publisher's blurb misleadingly promises that Taming Democracy ‘reveals a unique perspective' on popular responses to the American Revolution; on the contrary, Bouton's excellent and substantive contribution to scholarship has been to expand on themes explored concurrently in the work of others, especially by Gary B. Nash in The Unknown American Revolution (2005). In short, this is a masterly case-study of revolution and counter-revolution in action that connects the popular radicalism which disturbed Pennsylvania in the 1780s to egregious public policy. In one sense, Bouton continues the Beckerian theme of democratisation and contestation at home, but more importantly helps to establish the centrality of an equally venerable paradigm: that counter-revolution dominated the later years of the revolutionary period. Where Bouton hopes to tread new ground is in revealing how, by the 1790s, resistance to a counter-revolutionary movement was sustained by resurgent radicalism. On the whole, he succeeds.

Notes
Output Type: Book Review

Journal
English Historical Review: Volume 124, Issue 507

StatusPublished
Author(s)Nicolson, Colin
Publication date30/04/2009
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/6276
PublisherLongmans, Green and Co
ISSN0013-8266
Item discussedTaming Democracy: ‘The People’, the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution, by Terry Bouton. (Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2007; pp. 332. ISBN: 978-0195378566
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