Joseph Taglieri

Quicklet on Jack Rakove's Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America

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Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America adds an interesting twist to the format of writing a nonfiction book on the nations founding period. Author Jack Rakove tells a personalized tale from the perspective of Americas founding fathers as private individuals turned public figures during the forefront of the revolutionary revolt against British colonial rule. The book focuses on the period from 1773 to 1792 and highlights many historical household names and lesser-known contributors to Americas invention.


Joe Taglieri is a freelance journalist and musician (drum set and Latin percussion instruments) in Los Angeles. He has written on a range of subjects for a variety of publications since the 1990s. Taglieri's forte is writing about governmental and economic issues, and he has a keen interest in sports and the arts, most notably music, television and film. He holds a degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California and has studied, taught and performed via the drum set for nearly 25 years and has done the same with Latin percussion instruments such as conga and bongo drums, cajon and timbales for more than 15 years.

The book is an extremely detailed, objective look at the personal evolution that men such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and many others went through as they became historical figures. Revolutionaries provides a compelling look at how Washington became a lauded military strategist, Franklin and Jefferson became skilled diplomats, Hamilton and Madison became shrewd governmental architects. The book also details the advent of the American legal system.


John Adams seemed destined for a life as a relatively small-time Massachusetts attorney. However, the aftermath of the 1773 Boston Tea Party and a spate of political crises within the colonies in the 1760s transitioned Adams from private to public life. As Rakove states, Few…lives were more enlarged than that of John Adams, the deacons son who would soon be received at the courts of Versailles and St. James, the plain-speaking advocate who rarely allowed discretion to get the better part of polemical valor.

John Dickinson was a Pennsylvania lawyer from a wealthy family who was educated in England. He wrote an anonymous letter which contributed a great deal to shape the colonists arguments against Parliaments taxes via the Stamp Act and Townshend duties. Rakove notes, When the crisis of empire broke in 1774, Dickinson supported the radical measures that the Continental Congress was driven to adopt, while longing for reconciliation with the mother country he still loved.

Dickinson wrote home while he was a student in London. His letters reveal a marked culture gap between native Britons and the kings American subjects. Ravkove expounds upon his letters stating, In perhaps his most interesting letter, Dickinson reflected on the damage that youthful exposure to slavery had inflicted on his colonial acquaintances. The passions of pride, selfishness, peevishness, violence, anger, meanness, revenge and cruelty that young Americans learned from owning and commanding slaves unfitted them to deal with their social equals, much less their superiors, in England, where the first lesson a person learns is he is nothing.

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Jack Rakove’s Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America

+ Introduction

+ About the Author

+ Overall Summary

+ Chapter-by-Chapter Commentary & Summary

+ …and much more

Jack Rakove's Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America
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