Declaration

The first bit of a piece in today’s Boston Globe – a review of William Hogeland’s Declaration:

If you look beyond the charred burgers and warm beer, it’s easy to see that, like all national holidays, Independence Day isn’t so much a moment of national remembrance as it is a demonstration of historical amnesia. Yes, we all possess a high school understanding of the American Revolution with its great men in perilous times. There’s a happy, flawed assumption that the Declaration of Independence was also a declaration of unanimity – that the Colonists perfectly agreed in their willingness to challenge Britain and in the form of government they sought to implement.

Such tidy narratives are the domain of lazy fiction or efficient propaganda, though, and the textbook story of the decision to declare independence is a bit of both.

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