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February 23, 2011

Breen’s Latest Book Examines How Ordinary People Fueled the American Revolution

Timothy Breen, a historian interested in the history of early American political thought, material culture and cultural anthropology, moderates a free-flowing discussion about writing his latest book during the program, “Hiding in Plain Sight: Writing a History of the Ordinary People During the American Revolution,” at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25 at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium.

His most recent book, “American Insurgents, American Patriots,” details the participation of ordinary people in the American Revolution. 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.

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” is available for purchase at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers and at the Museum Store.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to this lecture.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday through March 13. On March 14, museum hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. 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., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121