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In the dramatic few years when colonial Americans were galvanized to resist British rule, perhaps nothing did more to foment anti-British sentiment than the armed occupation of Boston. As If an Enemy's Country is Richard Archer's gripping narrative of those critical months between October 1, 1768 and the winter of 1770 when Boston was an occupied town. Bringing colonial BoIn the dramatic few years when colonial Americans were galvanized to resist British rule, perhaps nothing did more to foment anti-British sentiment than the armed occupation of Boston. As If an Enemy's Country is Richard Archer's gripping narrative of those critical months between October 1, 1768 and the winter of 1770 when Boston was an occupied town. Bringing colonial Boston to life, Archer deftly moves between the governor's mansion and cobblestoned back-alleys as he traces the origins of the colonists' conflict with Britain. He reveals the maneuvering of colonial political leaders such as Governor Francis Bernard, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson, and James Otis Jr. as they responded to London's new policies, and he evokes the outrage many Bostonians felt towards Parliament and its local representatives. Archer captures the popular mobilization under the leadership of John Hancock and Samuel Adams that met the oppressive imperial measures--most notably the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act--with demonstrations, Liberty Trees, violence, and non-importation agreements. When the British government decided to garrison Boston with troops, it posed a shocking challenge to the people of Massachusetts. The city was flooded with troops; almost immediately, tempers flared and violent conflicts broke out. Archer's vivid tale culminates in the swirling tragedy of the Boston Massacre and its aftermath, including the trial and exoneration of the British troops involved. A thrilling and original work of history, As If an Enemy's Country tells the riveting story of what made the Boston townspeople, and with them other colonists, turn toward revolution....

Title : As If an Enemy's Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780195382471
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

As If an Enemy's Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution Reviews

  • Jerome
    2019-05-17 16:12

    The American Revolution has long been pliant timber for those with ideological axes to grind. And why not, what better claim to legitimacy could there be than the explicit endorsement of the Founding Fathers? Perhaps fortunately, “original intent” is amorphous; we will never know definitively what Washington meant when he said this or what Jefferson’s intended when he declared that. This may be the point that John Adams was driving at when he asked Thomas Jefferson in one of their many letters, “Who shall write the history of the American Revolution? Who can write it?” To which Jefferson esoterically replied “Nobody, except perhaps its external facts.”Yet some will not be deterred from trying to jam the round peg of history into the square hole of contemporary ideological divides. This is why it’s a welcome change to come across an agenda-free historian whose labor, inadvertently, levels the playing field and reclaims historical fact from misappropriation by abusers such as the 21st century Tea Party movement. Richard Archer’s new book on the British occupation of Boston, As If an Enemy’s Country is just such a work; Archer discusses Great Britain’s hubris and its bungling attempts at administrating its North American possessions, transforming discontent into revolution via the focal point of it all: the cradle of liberty, Boston.History, despite the series of great, often socially cataclysmic, events taught in school or emphasized by civic commemorizations, is composed of increments and a nexus of myriad causes and effects. The British military occupation of Boston in the late 1760s , as presented in this book, was the key event that radicalized regional politics and gave birth to a permanent coalition of previously separate power bases and political forces. The notorious Stamp Act and taxes on tea and other imports all played an integral role in the development of events, of course, but it was the display of naked military force thrust into a civilian community that went beyond all else in laying the groundwork for April, 1775. British ministries and military leadership were confident that dissent would be quashed by stationing a few thousand troops in a continual, highly visual presence. Instead, the tactic fed fuel into the fire and dramatically demonstrating that the British government viewed the American colonists not as true Englishmen but as a distinctly separate and inferior Other.After the Seven Years War, known in America as the French and Indian War, Britain needed to raise taxes to pay for the defense of its North American colonies. Since the British people didn't want to pay higher taxes, the obvious solution was to get the colonists to pay. Archer describes in detail how the resistance to these taxes eventually forced the British to occupy Boston to enforce its customs laws and to protect its revenue agents. With one man in five wearing a red coat, it was inevitable that tensions would rise, culminating in the Boston Massacre, during which five colonists were killed.Readers will learn how the colonists worked cooperatively to oppose the British. One of their most effective tools was the Nonimportation Agreement, a pledge by the merchants of Boston to stop importing British goods until all revenue acts were repealed. Violators' names were published in Boston newspapers and citizens were urged to boycott their businesses. One merchant who did not sign the agreement "questioned whether a society had the right to pass legislation that was compulsory for individuals to obey if they had not supported the measure." However, he was forced to comply because "there was a social good that superseded individual liberty."There is no great prose, no sweeping passages that bring home the event’s epic sweep. The author’s lack of narrative skill (or refusal to display it) gives rise to occasional doldrums – the reader has to exert some mental muscle to work their way through these. Yet the book’s vanilla simplicity is refreshing. In all, a fine book.

  • Grace
    2019-06-15 11:06

    Richard Archer's "As If an Enemy's Country" is a dry and at times boring account of the 18 month occupation of colonial Boston by British troops. Archer's meticulous research and command over the information is astounding as seen by the careful details throughout the text and the extensive foot notes. The book fell short with the prose. I doubt Archer intended this to be a book for the masses, the general population interested in the subject matter and taken in by the cover art. If he had the notion that this could be a general public kind of book, he is sadly mistaken. I am an avid reader and learner of all things American Revolution and events leading up to the revolution, but I couldn't help but be bored to sleep on numerous occasions while reading this book. I fell asleep four pages from the end, knowing I was so close to finishing it too. The only thing that stood out about the material was Archer's excessive portrayals of colonial Bostonians intimidating people through words and actions. It seemed like every other day there was an angry mob somewhere causing some sort of ruckus, whether it be throwing snowballs at British troops or breaking into and destructing the homes of fellow Bostonians for not following the populace's demands. I wouldn't recommend this book to the average person looking to learn more about pre-revolution Boston, but I would recommend it to a history professor or graduate student who could glean a lot of great information and references from the text.

  • James Spurgeon
    2019-06-03 09:54

    The Boston Massacre is one of those key events leading up to the American Revolution. However, when simple protests broke out in Boston after the conclusion of the Seven Years War (French & Indian War) and Parliament started taxing the colonies, it was not a foregone conclusion that this would be the end result. Early on, colonists sent petitions to Parliament, but those soon devolved into intimidating royal commissioners and non-importation. However, it was not until royal officials asked for military assistance that fate had been sealed and that violence would be the end result of colonists feeling as though they were being occupied and made to feel like foreigners in their own city. The violence that happened on the night of March 5, 1770, was not isolated but it was the most severe. Before that, the soldiers had not fired upon the colonists despite being constantly harassed (which they, too, did right back). It was clear that the two sides could not live in the same city and something was bound to happen... which it did on that fateful night. Whether by accident or on purpose, blood was shed and the earliest sprout of the independence seed was born."The realization that had come with the landing of the occupying soldiers on October 1, 1768 -- that Bostonians and their countrymen were a separate people -- had become a reality."#historynerd

  • Carter West
    2019-06-13 12:45

    Bostonians and all others: here's your Fourth of July read! Brisk, informative, even-handed, and downright genial. Archer has a gift for conveying the essentials of complex topics -- e.g., British political maneuvering over the passage of bills to tax the colonies --without getting lost in the weeds. The narrative never flags, nor will your interest in getting behind the events to the causes of things. He gives you a well-rounded view of civic life under the occupation. I had no idea that, at its height, one out of every three male residents of Boston was a British soldier! He makes no bones about the role mob violence played in the colonists' strategy to wrest their rights away from the Crown. Archer shows how high principle and base impulse converge to make history. His is one book in Oxford University Press's "Pivotal Moments in American History" series -- inexpensive volumes that take up well-defined periods or events (the stock market crash of 1929, say, or 1961's Freedom Rides for civil rights) and lay them out briefly, yet with significant depth. I will definitely be checking out other titles they offer.

  • Brian
    2019-05-21 16:12

    As if an Enemy’s Country covers the occupation of Boston by the British from the time of the Sugar Act through the Boston Massacre in detail and makes the case that these incidents put the colonies on the inevitable path to war. The book is well research and as other reviewers note can be dry at times but overall it is a solid account of the year and a half focusing not only on the colonial response but taking a look at the British response as well. The book goes into a good amount of detail without being laborious and getting bogged down. For those looking for a general history of the time period this may be more detail than the average reader would want but for those who want a fresh perspective and more information. For those who are fans of the Pivotal Moments in American history series I feel this is a weaker showing in convincing me that this was a pivotal moment compared to others in the series.

  • Glenn Robinson
    2019-05-17 15:45

    What we were taught in grade school was not entirely accurate. This is a book that describes the events that led up to the Boston Massacre. These include events, politics and personalities in London, Boston and New York.We generally were taught that the Red Coats opened fire in an unprovoked manner on innocent peoples, but this really was not the case. John Adams, the defense lawyer, proved as such. There were groups of thugs that spent most nights harassing the British soldiers and the day of the incident was no different.Well written, with details of lesser known leaders of both Boston and London. London clearly made many mistakes about taxation, representation and governance. Dictating new taxes, dictating quartering, dictating trade laws did not work then and certainly does not work now.

  • Mark
    2019-06-06 17:02

    A well-researched look into events around Boston leading to the American Revolution. Archer finds that the economy of the Boston area was declining in the 1760s, which made the leading citizens of the area less inclined to support the policies of the crown when they seemed to infringe on local interests. The turning point is the occupation of Boston by British troops intended to assist the King's men in enforcing new taxes. Archer's assessment is not particularly well written, and does not address the argument that the standard of living in Boston was still higher than that of England, with lower taxes. Still, it provides a good amount of information and a case that the revolution involved more than the leading citizens and more than petty complaints.

  • Lee
    2019-05-28 09:45

    I liked this book. If you are interested in learning about Boston in the years after the Seven Years War up to the Boston Massacre, this is the book for you. Mr. Archer does a great job of describing what was going on and why. He describes many of the people and their involvement. There are many quotes from the newspapers of the day. It was really an interesting read and really gives you an idea of just why the people of Boston were so angry about the situation. I got angry about it too!! I was all for revolution after reading this book.

  • Jay Perkins
    2019-06-16 16:11

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Beginning with the economic issues in Boston as a result of the French and Indian war and ending with the Boston Massacre, the author explains how the city went from a loyal colonial town in the empire, to the hotbed of revolt. The chapter on the Massacre was especially good, dealing with every aspect leading up to that famous event. Would give the book 5 stars, but part one felt disjointed at times.

  • Dan Rogers
    2019-06-11 09:57

    This book was quite informative and gave me a much better understanding into both the colonists' and the English government's perspective of the situation in Boston leading up to the Boston Massacre. There is so much that we don't learn from the history books and this book filled the void between the passage of the Sugar Act in 1764 and the spring of 1770 immediately following the "Boston Massacre." Quite informative and well worth reading.

  • Blake Maddux
    2019-06-01 12:46

    One of the blurbs on the back of this book is from Robert Allison, who was one of my professors a couple of years ago. I get the feeling that he liked the book more than I did. Then again, I am not an expert on the subject. As If an Enemy's Country is a good book, but I also enthusiastically recommend American Tempest by Harlow Giles Unger. It is less about the Boston Tea Party than its subtitle suggests, and more a general history of colonial Boston.

  • D.B. Jackson
    2019-05-21 14:50

    I used Archer's book extensively in my research of the second THIEFTAKER book, and have been consulting it again as I research and plot out book three in the series. The book is well-researched, soundly reasoned, clearly written, and at times quite entertaining. I would think it an essential addition to the library of anyone interested in America's pre-Revolutionary period. Highly recommended.

  • Chase Metcalf
    2019-06-05 10:44

    Interesting read looking at the critical years just prior to the Revolutionary War in Boston. Focus of the book is the political and social conflicts that contributed to the war. A key highlight from the book is the resentment produced by the occupation of Boston by British troops and the role that had on ultimately bringing in greater conflict.

  • Joshua Horn
    2019-05-24 12:09

    This book provides a good overview of the events which led up to the British occupation of Boston in the 1760s up until the Boston Massacre. It is brief, very readable, and provides useful analysis on many points. I would have appreciated some more details in some areas, and more lengthy quotes from first hand accounts, but this work is very good as far as it goes.

  • Louise
    2019-05-26 14:05

    Very interesting. Written in a rather dry manner so it took me awhile to get through it. I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Boston and the British occupation of Boston. Gives some added insight into the beginnings of the Revolution.

  • Rich Humes
    2019-05-29 16:44

    A look at how "acting civil" is a myth of the good old days. Pre-Revolutionary Boston was a powder keg that had to erupt. It's parallels to today's political climate shouldn't be overlooked. Even if citizens are less politically inclined these days.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-20 12:04

    This is history as history: a straight record of facts with no attention whatsoever paid to the implications of the main event to the broader narrative - and thus is quite useless. This is boring and narrow in scope, a waste of time with no concept behind it and no new information to offer.

  • Mary
    2019-05-20 09:43

    This book should probably used more as a reference tool. I found it hard going as I read it cover to cover. It has great information and gave me a much better understanding of why people turned their loyalties away from Britain.

  • Mike
    2019-06-02 10:46

    This looks cool.

  • Emily
    2019-06-03 12:45

    It was an interesting and informative work on the turmoils in the city of Boston before the Revolution.

  • Pat Bennett
    2019-06-09 12:45

    Great build-up to the Boston Massacre. He made you feel it!

  • Judy
    2019-06-06 13:45

    I wanted to be engrossed by this book, but I found it heavy going and have laid it aside.

  • Stefan
    2019-06-13 11:54

    excellent insight into the British occupation of revolutionary Boston

  • Michele
    2019-06-13 17:13

    I haven't started this yet, but it was a lovely gift from Boston By Foot, where I volunteer as a guide giving tours of the city's history and architecture. I am excited to read it!

  • Drew
    2019-06-03 11:00

    One of the best books I've ever read at portraying what a specific place was like in a specific time.

  • Raymond
    2019-05-19 12:57

    Good read, lots if information I did not previously know.