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Scars of Independence

AMERICA'S VIOLENT BIRTH
Written by HOLGER HOOCK
Format: Hardcover, 576 pages
Publisher: Crown
On Sale: 05/09/2017
Price: $30.00
ISBN: 978-0-804-13728-7
open close ABOUT THE BOOK
“In this bracing and convincing book, Holger Hoock gives us an original and thought-provoking account of the violent nature of the founding of our country. We cannot understand our past or our present without grappling with the profound issues that Hoock raises here.”  
Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power  
  
“This timely, powerful book reveals a side of America’s founding too often forgotten: the American Revolution was our first civil war, and the United States that emerged long bore its scars. I have read no account of the conflict that so impressively shows how the violence of this war touched all Americans: patriot and loyalist, enslaved and free, indigenous and colonial. Hoock’s careful research and vivid writing bring to life a history at once gripping, challenging, and essential.”  
Maya Jasanoff, Harvard University, and author of Liberty’s Exiles  
  
“As Americans we’d prefer to believe our revolution was inherently different from everybody else’s—that it was more about eloquent speeches in the halls of the Continental Congress than violence and bloodshed. But as Holger Hoock reveals, it took a brutal, soul-damaging war to bring our country into being. Scars of Independence is a revelatory examination of the long and bloody conflict that came to define in so many deeply troubling ways what America would become.”  
Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Valiant Ambition  
  
“This striking history exposes the grim realities behind America’s origin myth. But it is not an exercise in disillusionment or cynicism. By describing the Revolutionary War as it really happened, Hoock adds vividness and realism to implausible legends of heroes and saints. He sheds light on divisions that shape the world today, and most important, he reminds us how far we’ve come.”   
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature  
  
“In this deeply researched and indeed harrowing book, Holger Hoock strips away the easy language of patriotic memory and explains just how cruel a war the American Revolution often proved, with quarter denied to prisoners, women and girls exposed to the horror of rape, and communities often degenerating into civil war. No historian before Hoock has made the experience of violence so central a theme of the Revolution.”  
Jack Rakove, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Original Meanings and Revolutionaries  
   
“From the scalding tar poured on merchants and customs officials to the public stripping of women suspected of loyalist sympathies, Holger Hoock’s deep research and gripping prose expose the frightening violence of the American Revolution and overturn the sentimental myth of our nation’s bloodless birth.”   
Kathleen DuVal, University of North Carolina, and author of Independence Lost  
  
“It is difficult to extricate the Revolutionary War from the romance of national mythology, but Holger Hoock offers an important correction in Scars of Independence, the first book to examine the tragic and shocking role of violence in the conflict.”  
Andrew O’Shaughnessy, University of Virginia, and author of The Men Who Lost America  
  
Scars of Independence is a brilliant comprehensive history of the Revolutionary War that accents how this bloody and destructive conflict touched the lives of ordinary men and women. Holger Hoock’s account goes beyond well-known Founding Fathers at war to show the violence and terror that befell soldiers and civilians on both sides. This is an important book that should be read by all who seek a better understanding of the true nature of America’s War of Independence.”  
John Ferling, author of Whirlwind: The American Revolution and the War That Won It  
  
“War by definition is about violence, but Holger Hoock’s brilliantly written book is perhaps the first to use violence as its main focus for understanding the War of American Independence.  He highlights some truly shocking instances of violence—on both sides—in a gripping (if at times stomach-churning) account.  All students of the American Revolution and its war should read this book.”  
Stephen Conway, University College London, and author of The British Isles and the War of American Independence  
open close ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Holger Hoock was educated at Freiburg and Cambridge and received his doctorate from Oxford. He currently serves as the J. Carroll Amundson Professor of British History and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. His previous books include Empires of the Imagination and The King’s Artists. An elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Hoock has recently been a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress; visiting scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford; and senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Konstanz.