What was the most remarkable summer in American history? The one 150 years ago when Gettysburg and Vicksburg altered the course of the Civil War? The one in 1944 when the Allies invaded Europe and began the march toward victory against the Axis powers? The one a year later when the nuclear age began with the dropping of the atom bombs that hastened victory in the Pacific?
Joseph J. Ellis has perhaps the winning answer. It’s the summer of 1776 when the Colonies declared their independence; the broad outlines of democratic government began to emerge; and the British undertook in earnest to suppress their rebellious subjects.