A renegade history of the United States by Thaddeus Russell

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The Independent Culture

In this entertaining corrective to theuplifting rectitude ofmany US histories,Russell points outthat the first activistsin theWar ofIndependence were Bostonian"drunkards, ruffians andgamblers". Though the FoundingFathers fought "simultaneouswars" against the British andhedonistic tearaways, America’srenegade impulse continuedunabated. Russell traces itsrefreshing influence throughslaves who not only relishedextramarital sex but also "dressedbetter than free whites", 19thcenturyprostitutes who laid thetemplate for Seventies feminists,Italian immigrants who wereoften bunched with blacks in theSouth to the extent of playing asignificant role in the early days ofjazz - and many others.

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