When we think of the American Revolution, we think first of ideals such as democracy and freedom. These abstractions, Hoock shows, can obscure the fact that such ideals were secured at the cost of bloodshed and violence. Hoock, the J. Carroll Amundson Chair of British History at the University of Pittsburgh and editor of The Journal of British Studies, details the grueling, often brutal, nature of the struggle, which ranged from Washington’s near-genocidal campaigns against the Iroquois to the harsh conscription of African Americans to mistreatment of prisoners and rape as a weapon. To fully understand ourselves as a nation, Hoock argues that we must see our tendency to violence in tandem with our high principles.
Hoock will be in conversation with Dane Kennedy, the Elmer Louis Kayser Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University, and author of six books, most recently Decolonization.