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The Boston Globe

Magazine

First Person

Political commentator Kevin Phillips on the American Revolution

In his latest book, 1775: A Good Year for Revolution, he argues that that year, not 1776, deserves attention.

In the 1990s, I decided I’d had enough of politics for a while and wrote a book called The Cousins’ Wars about three English-speaking civil wars. By 2008, I had it in mind that it was time to take another vacation from [modern politics], that I would do [a book] on the Revolution itself and try to analyze what I’ll refer to as the emerging republican majority, small r. I’d always been interested in the REALIGNMENTS OF AMERICAN POLITICS, and this was the grandest realignment of all.

I would say people in Massachusetts and Boston, in particular, are predisposed to believe in THE IMPORTANCE OF 1775, but perhaps not in the fullness of its 13-colony context. By early 1775, people were really feeling — I don’t want to say invincible — but they truly believed that their arms would be strong and JUSTICE WOULD PREVAIL. That was very much the mind-set, and it guided people in the Revolution.

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