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Constitutional Myths

by Ray Raphael

Americans of late have taken to waving the Constitution in the air and proclaiming, "The founders were on MY side! See, it's all right here!" But these phantom constitutions bear little relation to the historical one.By entering the world of the Constitution's framers, and experiencing it one day after the next as they did, Ray Raphael helps us understand how and why they created the document they did. Casting aside preconceptions and commonly held beliefs, he asks provocative questions that get to the heart of the document and its purposes: Was the aim of the Constitution really to limit government? Why didn't the framers include a Bill of Rights? Did they hate taxes? Was James Madison actually the "Father of the Constitution," as proclaimed in our textbooks? Can we find the true meaning of the Constitution by reading The Federalist Papers or by revealing the framers' "original intent"? The answers to these questions are bound to surprise and enlighten.Before we can consider what the framers would do if they were alive today, we first need to see what they did during their own time, not in our terms, but theirs. Only then can we begin to resolve the sweeping question that affects us all: what does the Constitution, written at a different time, mean for us today? With this meticulously researched historical tour de force, Raphael sets the record straight-and sounds a vital call for a reasoned and evidence-driven debate about our founding document.

The First American Revolution

by Ray Raphael

According to the traditional telling, the American Revolution began with "the shot heard round the world." Now in paperback, Ray Raphael's The First American Revolution uses the wide-angle lens of a people's historian to tell a surprising new story of America's revolutionary struggle.In the years before the battle of Lexington and Concord, local people--men and women of common means but of uncommon courage--overturned British authority and declared themselves free from colonial oppression, with acts of rebellion that long predated the Boston Tea Party. In rural towns such as Worcester, Massachusetts, democracy set down roots well before the Boston patriots made their moves in the fight for independence. Richly documented, The First American Revolution recaptures in vivid detail the grassroots activism that drove events in the years leading up to the break from Britain.

The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord

by Ray Raphael

The famous Shot Heard Round the World in April 1775 was not the beginning of the armed struggle for independence, says popular historian Raphael. The British were at that point trying to regain the authority that thousands of artisans and farmers had seized from every Crown-appointed official in Massachusetts outside Boston the previous summer. Annotation c. Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Founders

by Ray Raphael

Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, and Madison-together they are best known as an intimate cadre of daring, brilliant men credited with our nation's founding. But does this group tell the whole story? In his widely praised new history of the roots of American patriotism, celebrated author Ray Raphael expands the historical canvas to reveal an entire generation of patriots who pushed for independence, fought a war, and set the United States on its course-giving us "an evangelizing introduction to the American Revolution" (Booklist) .Called "entertaining yet informative" by Library Journal , Founders brings to life seven historical figures whose stories anchor a sweeping yet intimate history of the Founding Era, from the beginnings of unrest in 1761 through the passage of the Bill of Rights thirty years later. Here we follow the intertwined lives of George Washington and a private soldier in his army. America's richest merchant, who rescued the nation from bankruptcy, goes head to head with a peripatetic revolutionary who incited rebellion in seven states. Rounding out the company is a richly nuanced cast that includes a common village blacksmith, a conservative slave owner with an abolitionist son, and Mercy Otis Warren, the most politically engaged woman of the time.A master narrative with unprecedented historical scope, Founders will forever change our image of this most crucial moment in America's past.

Founders

by Ray Raphael

Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, and Madison-together they are best known as an intimate cadre of daring, brilliant men credited with our nation's founding. But does this group tell the whole story? In his widely praised new history of the roots of American patriotism, celebrated author Ray Raphael expands the historical canvas to reveal an entire generation of patriots who pushed for independence, fought a war, and set the United States on its course-giving us "an evangelizing introduction to the American Revolution" (Booklist) .Called "entertaining yet informative" by Library Journal , Founders brings to life seven historical figures whose stories anchor a sweeping yet intimate history of the Founding Era, from the beginnings of unrest in 1761 through the passage of the Bill of Rights thirty years later. Here we follow the intertwined lives of George Washington and a private soldier in his army. America's richest merchant, who rescued the nation from bankruptcy, goes head to head with a peripatetic revolutionary who incited rebellion in seven states. Rounding out the company is a richly nuanced cast that includes a common village blacksmith, a conservative slave owner with an abolitionist son, and Mercy Otis Warren, the most politically engaged woman of the time.A master narrative with unprecedented historical scope, Founders will forever change our image of this most crucial moment in America's past.

Founders: The People Who Brought You a Nation

by Ray Raphael

Raphael provides a history of the work of seven forgotten founders of America, among the many Revolutionary Americans who contributed to the founding of the country: army private Joseph Plumb Martin; the wealthy merchant Robert Morris, who helped finance the nation; small-town blacksmith Timothy Bigelow, who helped engineer the first overthrow of British authority; conservative Henry Laurens; doctor Thomas Young; and political correspondent Mercy Otis Warren. He traces the lives and work of these individuals who aided in the revolution from 1761 to the passage of the Bill of Rights 30 years later. He focuses on these themes: the ideal of popular sovereignty, inclusion and exclusion, exchanges of power, efforts to constrain authority, and expansion of the country. Raphael has been a high school and college teacher and is the author of several books.

Founding Myths

by Ray Raphael

First published ten years ago, award-winning historian Ray Raphael's Founding Myths has since established itself as a landmark of historical myth-busting. With the author's trademark wit and flair, Founding Myths exposes the errors and inventions in America's most cherished tales, from Paul Revere's famous ride to Patrick Henry's "Liberty or Death" speech. For the seventy thousand readers who have been captivated by Raphael's eye-opening accounts, history has never been the same.In this revised tenth-anniversary edition, Raphael revisits the original myths and explores their further evolution over the past decade, uncovering new stories and peeling back additional layers of misinformation. This new edition also examines the highly politicized debates over America's past, as well as how school textbooks and popular histories often reinforce rather than correct historical mistakes.A book that "explores the truth behind the stories of the making of our nation" (National Public Radio), this revised edition of Founding Myths will be a welcome resource for anyone seeking to separate historical fact from fiction.

Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

by Ray Raphael

Raphael questions the validity of the legend of Paul Revere's ride, Thomas Jefferson's status as the architect of American equality, and the existence of Molly Pitcher.

More Tree Talk: The People, Politics, and Economics of Timber

by Ray Raphael

More Tree Talk is an insightful and compelling look at the human dimension of the challenges facing forestry. First published in 1981, Tree Talk was widely hailed as the most even-handed and well-written introduction to forestry issues available. More Tree Talk is an entirely revised edition of that classic volume that brings the book up-to-date with the current situation.Like the original, More Tree Talk features a running narrative punctuated by individual portraits that personalize the issues. It translates political and academic aspects of forestry into human terms, focusing on those whose lives and livelihoods depend on the outcome of the debates currently raging -- old-time woodsmen, loggers, naturalists, restoration workers, timber company executives.Ray Raphael explores the new forestry practices, theories, and controversies that have emerged in the past decade as he addresses problems of a declining resource base and increasing regulatory policies. He examines the impact of ecological and economic concerns on rural communities, and considers the possibility of large structural changes in the ways in which timber companies operate. Throughout, he emphasizes that without an understanding of the economic and political factors that interfere with good forest management, all the scientific knowledge -- and all the best intentions of on-site workers -- will come to no avail.

Mr. President

by Ray Raphael

The little-known story of the dramatic political maneuverings and personalities behind the creation of the office of the president, with ramifications that continue to this day. On June 1, 1787, when the Federal Convention first talked of establishing a new executive branch, James Wilson moved that "the Executive consist of a single person." To us this might sound obvious, but not so at the time. Americans had just won their independence from an autocratic monarch, and they feared that a single leader might commandeer power or oppress citizens. Should the framers even flirt with one-man rule? For the first and only time that summer, there was silence. Not one of the loquacious delegates dared speak up. Eventually Benjamin Franklin rose, then others. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and George Mason joined the debate, and for three months their deliberations continued. By early September the framers had made up their minds. A chief executive, the "president," would be appointed by Congress to serve for seven years. He could not be reelected, and his powers were tightly constrained. He could neither negotiate treaties nor appoint Supreme Court justices and ambassadors. The Senate would do all that. Suddenly, less than two weeks before the convention adjourned, all this changed. How? And who made it happen? Enter Gouverneur Morris, the flamboyant, peg-legged hero of this saga, who pushed through his agenda with amazing political savvy and not a little bluster and deceit. For the first time, by focusing closely on the give-and-take of the convention's dynamics, Ray Raphael reveals how politics and personalities cobbled together a lasting, but flawed, institution. Charting the presidency as it evolved during the administrations of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, Raphael shows how, given the Constitution's broad outlines, the president's powers could easily be augmented but rarely diminished. Today we see the result--an office that has become more sweeping, more powerful, and more inherently partisan than the framers ever intended. And the issues of 1787--whether the Electoral College, the president's war powers, or the extent of executive authority--continue to stir our political debates.

A People's History of the American Revolution

by Ray Raphael

The best single-volume history of the Revolution I have read.-Howard ZinnThe first major effort to tell the history of the American Revolution from the often overlooked standpoints of its everyday participants, A People's History of the American Revolution is a highly accessible narrative of the wartime experience that brings in the stories of previously marginalized voices: the common people, slave and free, who made up the majority in eighteenth-century America.This first volume in The New Press People's History Series skillfully weaves diaries, personal letters, and other long-overlooked primary source material into the historical narrative. The result is a remarkable first-person perspective on the events leading up to and during the war. With a simple shift of the focus of history's lens-away from Revolutionary leaders such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and on to the slaves they owned, the Indians they displaced, and the men and boys who did the fighting-author Ray Raphael brings us a true people's history of the Revolutionary experience.

A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence

by Ray Raphael

Upon its first publication in 2001 as the inaugural volume in The New Press People's History series, edited by the late Howard Zinn, Ray Raphael's magisterial A People's History of the American Revolution was hailed by Fresh Air as "relentlessly aggressive and unsentimental." With impeccable skill, Raphael presented a wide array of fascinating scholarship within a single volume, employing a bottom-up approach that has served as a revelation to thousands of Americans.A People's History of the American Revolution draws upon diaries, personal letters, and other Revolutionary-era treasures, weaving a thrilling, "you are there" narrative-"a tapestry that uses individual experiences to illustrate the larger stories" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). In the trademark style of Howard Zinn, Raphael shifts the focus away from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to the slaves they owned, the Indians they displaced, and the men and boys who did the fighting.This "remarkable perspective on a familiar part of American history" (Kirkus) helps us appreciate more fully the incredible diversity of the American Revolution by helping us see it through different sets of eyes.

A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence

by Ray Raphael

A People's History of the American Revolution is an accessible narrative of the wartime experience that brings in the stories of previously marginalized voices: the common people, slave and free who made up the majority in eighteenth-century America.

Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation

by Alfred F. Young Ray Raphael Gary Nash

In twenty-two original essays, leading historians reveal the radical impulses at the founding of the American Republic. Here is a fresh new reading of the American Revolution that gives voice and recognition to a generation of radical thinkers and doers whose revolutionary ideals outstripped those of the Founding Fathers.While the Founding Fathers advocated a break from Britain and espoused ideals of republican government, none proposed significant changes to the fabric of colonial society. As privileged and propertied white males, they did not seek a revolution in the modern sense; instead, they tried to maintain the underlying social structure and political system that enabled men of wealth to rule. They firmly opposed social equality and feared popular democracy as a form of "levelling."Yet during this "revolutionary" period some people did believe that "liberty" meant "liberty for all" and that "equality" should be applied to political, economic, and religious spheres. Here are the stories of individuals and groups who exemplified the radical ideals of the American Revolution more in keeping with our own values today. This volume helps us to understand the social conflicts unleashed by the struggle for independence, the Revolution's achievements, and the unfinished agenda it left for future generations to confront.From the Hardcover edition.

The Spirit of 74

by Ray Raphael Marie Raphael

Americans know about the Boston Tea Party and "the shot heard 'round the world," but sixteen months divided these two iconic events, a period that has nearly been lost to history. The Spirit of '74 fills in this gap in our nation's founding narrative, showing how in these mislaid months, step by step, real people made a revolution.After the Tea Party, Parliament not only shut down a port but also revoked the sacred Massachusetts charter. Completely disenfranchised, citizens rose up as a body and cast off British rule everywhere except in Boston, where British forces were stationed. A "Spirit of '74" initiated the American Revolution, much as the better-known "Spirit of '76" sparked independence. Redcoats marched on Lexington and Concord to take back a lost province, but they encountered Massachusetts militiamen who had trained for months to protect the revolution they had already made.The Spirit of '74 places our founding moment in a rich and new historical context, both changing and deepening its meaning for all Americans.

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