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11-6-12: The Losing Side of History

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Historian Maya Jasanoff.  Credit: Lawrence Wright

On this election day, we see democracy and the ideals of self-rule on vivid display.  But back in the 1776, not everyone thought that independence from England was a good idea, for themselves, or for America in general.  700 people signed a “Declaration of Dependence” in New York in November 1776.  That’s 12 times the number of people who signed the July 4th declaration of independence. 

Maya Jasanoff is a historian at Harvard University who has written a book about this fairly substantial group of American loyalists, who broke with their neighbors, and in some cases, their families, to continue their lives under the British crown.  It's called Liberty’s Exiles:  American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World.  Washington College awarded Maya Jasanoff the George Washington Book Prize last summer, and she’ll be in Chestertown on Thursday at 5:30 at the Gibson Center for the Arts to speak about her book.  More details here, in case you'd like to go.


 E-mail: mdmorning@wypr.org

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