Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

Kathleen DuVal. Random, $28 (480p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6895-1
Focusing on the frontier struggle in the Gulf of Mexico region, DuVal (The Native Ground), a historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, illustrates how multipronged the American Revolution was. It involved three empires (Britain, France, and Spain), several major Native American peoples, and both free and enslaved Africans. DuVal personalizes the conflict by tracing the fates of eight individuals: two tribal leaders, a loyalist couple, a merchant couple backing the colonists, a transplanted pro-colonist Acadian, and a slave who served as a cattle driver and later as a courier for the Spanish. She argues that the American struggle was almost a sideshow to “the real war... between Britain and its French and Spanish enemies.” Her eye-opening discussion of diverse Native policies reveals, for example, that the Chickasaw adhered to a policy of strict neutrality while the Creek resisted the colonists’ expanding settlements and achieved a measure of “interdependence” with Spain. By the mid-1780s, the Americans had moved from seeing Natives as sovereign people with treaty rights to mere inhabitants with “no independent sovereignty.” DuVal’s fine scholarship and colorful presentation reveals that, as the European colonists won independence, they deprived many others of power, autonomy, homelands, and prosperity. Agent: Jill Kneerim, Kneerim Williams & Bloom. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 07/07/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-1328-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4945-6328-8
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-8129-8120-9
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