Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World

Maya Jasanoff, Knopf, $30 (480p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4168-8
The plight of American Loyalists during and after the Revolutionary War has been largely forgotten. Harvard historian Jasanoff (Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750–1850) corrects that omission with a masterful account of the struggles, heartbreak, and determination that characterized specific Loyalist families and individuals. Rich and poor, black, white, and Native American, the Loyalists paid for their devotion to king and country with their blood, their property, and their prospects. The terrorist tendencies of the Sons of Liberty and the deliberate cruelty of Patriot leaders, including Washington and Franklin, are painfully described. Most tragic, however, was the postwar neglect of Loyalist refugees by the British government, which minimized the human consequences of defeat. Some Loyalists, among them John Cruden and William Augustus Bowles, responded with continuing efforts to establish armed encampments on the southeast frontier of the new United States. Others, by far the majority, settled in Canada, with smaller enclaves in the Caribbean. This superb study of a little-known episode in American and British history is remiss only in largely ignoring the Loyalist community in Spanish West Florida and the War of 1812 as a continuation of the earlier conflict. 8 pages of illus.; 10 maps. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 460 pages - 978-0-00-718010-3
Open Ebook - 362 pages - 978-0-307-59530-0
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-1-4000-7547-8
Hardcover - 460 pages - 978-0-00-718008-0
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