Review by Choice Review
Through their constant reexamination of primary sources in their attempts to explain the origins of the American Revolution, from traditional and established sources to newly discovered and controversial, each new generation of historians reshapes and remakes the story of the US's violent birth. Eustace's unique contribution adds to the already bountiful number of volumes on the subject. The author bases her premise upon an examination of the emotional state of the Revolutionary generation and how it fostered open rebellion against British rule. To her credit, Eustace explores not only the perceptions of the landed gentry, but also those of the working and poverty classes, as well as indentured servants and slaves. However, as well written and encompassing as the book is, the author often allows the anger over specific issues to obscure their overall significance in the chain of events that led to the outbreak of hostilities. In tandem, though she acknowledges British loyalism, the author gives it little weight when compared to anti-British sentiment, though it is a fact that the former outnumbered the latter in most of the colonies. As such, though Eustace has introduced a vital new element to explore, her book is nonetheless too heavily weighted toward one side of the equation. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. M. J. C. Taylor Bemidji State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.