Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution

S. & S. Oct. 2021. 800p. ISBN 9781476750378. $37.50. HIST
Historian Holton (American history, Univ. of South Carolina), a National Book Award finalist for Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, writes a new history of the American Revolution that explains why free colonists decided to declare independence and fight a grisly, protracted war with Britain. He identifies conditions that influenced the American Revolution in astonishing ways, including the global and domestic economic impact of the Seven Years’ War; the fight for freedom of people marginalized by the U.S. colonies, including enslaved people, Indigenous peoples, and Black Americans; the self-assertiveness of Evangelical Christianity; non-human factors (weather, geography, and disease); and internal social and economic conflicts and conspiracies. He warns readers about the popular myths, errors, and inadequacies in many over-simplified Revolutionary War histories that rely primarily on the Founding Fathers’ writings and deeds. Holton’s detailed account, spanning from 1763 to 1795, reveals little-known factors that gradually transformed resistance into rebellion, and complexities of military decisions and encounters gone wrong and of the war’s far-reaching and enduring aftermath.
VERDICT Holton’s exhaustive, masterfully written chronicle demonstrates that the Revolution was much more than a movement instigated by the political ideologies of a handful of elite, revered (although flawed) Founding Fathers against the British parliament and king. This book will be pivotal for scholars and requested by American history enthusiasts.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing