The Hidden History of the American Revolution


American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609
United States

A sweeping reassessment of the American Revolution, Woody Holton’s new book, Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution, shows how the Founders were influenced by overlooked Americans—women, Native Americans, African Americans, and religious dissenters. Using more than a thousand eyewitness accounts, the book explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers. It also considers other underappreciated factors such as weather, North America’s unique geography, chance, misperception, attempts to manipulate public opinion, and (most of all) disease. “It is all one story,” Holton writes, and in this program, he will discuss how, when examined together, these perspectives broaden and revivify a story we thought we already knew.


Woody Holton is McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches and researches Early American history, especially the American Revolution, with a focus on economic history and on African Americans, Native Americans, and women. He is the author of several previous books, including Abigail Adams (2010), which was awarded the Bancroft Prize. His second book, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2008), was a finalist for the National Book Award.