The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
by Bernard Bailyn
***Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History 1968***
Bernard Bailyn was interviewed by Five Books in 2011 on the best books on Atlantic History.
Recommendations from our site
“The book first appeared as the introduction to a proposed four-volume series of what Professor Bailyn thought were key documents in understanding the American political mind. Ideological Origins of the American Revolution argues that ideas were central to the American Revolution. Bailyn described the Americans, on the eve of the Revolution, as believing that a conspiracy had taken over British politics, causing power to fall into the hands of a few corrupt people and that caused revolutionaries resolved to stand up for a purer form of politics.” Read more...
The Best Books on the American Revolution
T.H. Breen, Historian
“The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution is probably the most important book written about the Revolution. It was written over 50 years ago, but it still dominates the field. Bailyn outlines the ideas that justified the break from Great Britain. He puts it all together in the most succinct and powerful form.” Read more...
Gordon S. Wood, Historian
“Fifty years after its initial publication, Bernard Bailyn’s Ideological Origins has been so fully assimilated into our common understanding of the era of the American Revolution that it can be hard to recover what made it so significant at the time it appeared”—Eric Hinderaker, Professor of History at the University of Utah
Historians reflect on the significance of Bernard Bailyn’s Ideological Origins of the American Revolution