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October 8, 2010

Breen’s Latest Book Examines the People Who Made the Grassroots of the American Revolution

Most Americans today have a working knowledge of our Founding Fathers and the role that they played in American independence. Distinguished author, lecturer and historian T. H. Breen tells a different story during the program, American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People, at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St.

Drawing on a wealth of fascinating and rarely seen documents such as diary entries, letters and minutes from revolutionary committee meetings, Breen introduces us to some of these ordinary American farmers who made up the grassroots of the Revolution, and the tactics that they employed in their insurgency.

Admission to the lecture is by Colonial Williamsburg admission pass, museum admission pass or Good Neighbor pass.

A book signing will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15 at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers, 101 Visitor Center Dr.

About Breen’s recently released book, American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed noted, “This bracing and impassioned recounting of the origins of America’s break with Great Britain puts ‘the people’—ordinary men and women—back into their rightful place in the story. Sure to provoke discussion, Breen’s work is a much-needed and welcome addition to the literature on the founding of the American nation.”

Jim Cullen of History News Network wrote, “In this compellingly structured and argued book, [Breen] asserts that a de facto nation came into existence between the spring and fall of 1774. It was in these crucial months that the people of the thirteen colonies—not the Founding Fathers, not the Continental Army, not the maladroit British government—executed a series of steps that collectively solved problems of governance and demonstrated how a republic could be successfully constituted…Highly readable as well as provocative.”

Breen is the William Smith Mason Professor of American History and director of the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies at Northwestern University. The author of several works of history, Breen has also written for The New York Times Magazine, the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement and The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Evanston, Ill.

American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People was published in hardcover by Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and can be purchased at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers and at the Museum Store for $27.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121