A Renegade History of the United States

  • by Thaddeus Russell
  • Narrated by Paul Boehmer
  • 16 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Historian Howard Zinn demonstrated that there are compelling, alternative histories that are both scholarly and valuable. Now, Thaddeus Russell provides a challenging new way of reading history that will turn convention on its head and is sure to elicit as much controversy as it does support.
Russell shows that drunkards, laggards, prostitutes, and pirates were the real heroes of the American Revolution. Slaves worked less and had more fun than free men. Prostitutes, not feminists, won women's liberation. White people lost their rhythm when they became good Americans. Without organized crime, we might not have Hollywood, Las Vegas, labor unions, legal alcohol, birth control, or gay rights. Zoot-suiters and rock-and-rollers, not Ronald Reagan or the peace movement, brought down the Soviet Union. And Britney Spears will win the war on terror.
It was not the elitists who created real revolution in America nor the political radicals whom Zinn credits, but the people on the fringes of society who laid the foundation for change and were responsible for many of the freedoms we cherish today. American history was driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires---the "respectable" versus the "degenerate", the moral versus the immoral, "good citizens" versus the "bad". The more that "bad" people existed, resisted, and won, the greater was our common good.
In A Renegade History of the United States, Russell introduces us to the origins of our nation's identity as we have never known them before.

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What the Critics Say

"This is a fun read that makes a serious point. Even drunkards, whores, black pleasure-seekers, gangsters, and drag queens have contributed to American culture, and sometimes in surprising ways." (W. J. Rorabaugh, professor of history, University of Washington, and author of The Alcoholic Republic)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hard to hate on something this entertaining

How can you go wrong with this one? Juicy and chalk full of crime, laziness and utter licentiousness, this book is a dream come true to history buffs who are also unprincipled slackers. That's not to say that it's not serious work, though. The research is solid and the facts are well presented. This is actual scholarship, not hacky journalism. Narrator Paul Boehmer's accent, intonation and rhythm are quite odd to me, and bug me sometimes, but he is chosen to read a lot of the best books, so I guess I'm stuck with him. You should really buy this book. It kicks ass.
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- Blake

One of those books...that cause brain freeze!

I love the books that are filled with a bits of trivia, and I learned quite a bit listening to this book. Yet, just me personally, I listen to this in small bursts. It is one of those books, not sure if is better used as coffee table reference. There are constant tidbits of info without much of a central theme or narrative means too much at once. Like drinking a slurpee too fast after a job---brain freeze!
Love the book and the tidbits, though, and narrator is fun to listen to as well.
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- Rory

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-28-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio