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The Pursuit of History

"Daniel Shay's Honorable Rebellion" - Signed by the author, Daniel Bullen

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Daniel Shays's Honorable Rebellion: An American Story, signed by the author


Hardcover (320 pages), brand new and signed by the author, Daniel Bullen.

All proceeds go to The Pursuit of History, a non-profit organization

Short Description

On January 25, 1787, in Springfield, Massachusetts, militia Major General William Shepard ordered his cannon to fire grapeshot at a peaceful demonstration of 1,200 farmers approaching the federal arsenal. The shots killed four and wounded twenty, marking the climax of five months of civil disobedience in Massachusetts, where farmers challenged the state’s authority to seize their farms for flagrantly unjust taxes. Government leaders and influential merchants painted these protests as a violent attempt to overthrow the state, in hopes of garnering support for strengthening the federal government in a Constitutional Convention. As a result, the protests have been hidden for more than two hundred years under the misleading title, “Shays’s Rebellion, the armed uprising that led to the Constitution.” But this widely accepted narrative is just a legend: the “rebellion” was almost entirely nonviolent, and retired Revolutionary War hero Daniel Shays was only one of many leaders.

Daniel Shays’s Honorable Rebellion: An American Story by Daniel Bullen tells the history of the crisis from the protesters’ perspective. Through five months of nonviolent protests, the farmers kept courts throughout Massachusetts from hearing foreclosures, facing down threats from the government, which escalated to the point that Governor James Bowdoin ultimately sent an army to arrest them. Even so, the people won reforms in an electoral landslide.

Thomas Jefferson called these protests an honorable rebellion, and hoped that Americans would never let twenty years pass without such a campaign, to rein in powerful interests. This riveting and meticulously researched narrative shows that Shays and his fellow protesters were hardly a dangerous rabble, but rather a proud people who banded together peaceably, risking their lives for justice in a quintessentially American story.

You may also check out the recorded session of Daniel Bullen's History Camp Discussion "Daniel Shay's Honorable Rebellion" from History Camp.

Reviews

“Bullen has crafted an accurate, comprehensive, and carefully researched account of the individuals, their situation, and their actions. . . . He has captured the essence of an important social movement. The rebellion of the Massachusetts farmers against oppressive authority in 1786 has echoes in populist movements in America throughout history and even today. This story is only tangentially military history, but readers can learn much about a pivotal event in national development.” — Journal of America’s Military Past

“Daniel Shays’s famous contemporaries accused him and his fellow ‘rebels’ of seeking to skate out of their debts or even redistribute the property of the rich. But in this gripping and scrupulously accurate narrative, Daniel Bullen, starting from the plain fact that the Regulators (as they called themselves) did not take a single life, makes a persuasive case that they actually showed remarkable patriotism, economic acumen, and even restraint.” —Woody Holton, author of Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution

About the Author

Daniel Bullen is an American writer raised in the suburbs of New York City. He completed a Ph.D. in English in 2003 from New York University and he currently lives in western Massachusetts.

All proceeds go to The Pursuit of History, a non-profit organization

The Pursuit of History is the non-profit organization that engages adults in conversation about history and connects them with historic sites in their communities and across the country through unique annual events, including History Camp, and through video and other online content.

The History List is a sponsor of The Pursuit of History, and all proceeds from the sale of this book will go to The Pursuit of History to support their in-person and online events.

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            ["Autographed","History buff","History lover","History student","History teacher"]