Maya Jasanoff tells the story of a neglected diaspora – the 60,000 loyalists who left the fledgling United States after the War of Independence.
Myths about the war are questioned; the patriots were not unambiguously the good guys: many freed or escaped slaves fought on the side of the British, as did most Native Americans. After the war, 8,000 white and 5,000 black refugees came to Britain; others settled in Canada, the West Indies, or Africa. Jasanoff traces individual stories such as that of David George, the black preacher who founded a church and community in Canada, then went on to Sierra Leone where he did it all again. The canvas is filled with hardship and suffering, but also courage, achievement and decency.