This small book, first published in 1926, is comprised of three lectures on the American Revolution considered as a Social Movement, which were delivered by renowned historian and author J. Franklin Jameson in November 1925 on the Louis Clark Vanuxem foundation. In the fourth and final chapter, Jameson sums up and provides thoughts in conclusion.
Proving to be an influential publication, the book expresses themes that Jameson had been developing since the 1890s, and which reflected the “Progressive” historiography. It downplays ideas and political values and stresses that the Revolution was a fight over power among economic interest groups, especially as to who would rule at home.
“This is a small but highly significant book by one of the first scholars of America...A truly notable book, this is, carefully organized, cut with a diamond point to a finish, studded with novel illustrative materials, gleaming with new illumination, serenely engaging in style, and sparingly garnished with genial humor.”—CHARLES A. BEARD
“...stands as a landmark in recent American historiography, a slender but unmistakable signpost, pointing a new direction for historical research and interpretation...The influence of this little book with the long title has grown steadily...With the passage of a quarter-century, the book has achieved the standing of a minor classic. One will hardly find a textbook that does not paraphrase or quote Jameson’s words, borrow his illustrations, cite him in its bibliography.”—FREDERICK B. TOLLES in The American Historical Review
“The scholarship is impeccable, the style is polished, and, above all, the outlook is broad and thoughtful...The author has a keen eye for relationships which might easily be neglected.”—ALLAN NEVINS