July 11, 2008

Independent reading

Just purchased: "American Scripture: How America Declared its Independence from Britain" by Pauline Maier.

From Richard Ryason's review in the New York Times:-
The most original contribution of "American Scripture" [is] Maier's setting both the congressional decision to break with Britain and the Declaration itself in the context of some 90 other "declarations" of independence issued between April and early July 1776 by Massachusetts towns; New York and Pennsylvania artisan and militia associations; counties in New York, Maryland and Virginia; South Carolina grand juries; and the provincial congresses of nine colonies.
She is apparently the first historian to accord such attention to these local declarations, and in so doing, she greatly advances her argument that the Declaration of Independence was indeed "an expression of the American mind."