"The Cause": Historian Joseph Ellis on our Revolution's complex legacy
Tom's guest today is the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Joseph Ellis, whose latest book - his 13th - examines the American revolution and its two abiding legacies: independence and slavery.
Many participants in the fight for independence worried that the central challenge was not winning the war, but surviving its aftermath. Ellis observes that at the time, there was no such thing as an American identity, and that a cohesive consensus about nationhood and the institutions of democracy remained elusive following the war. In our time, events since the last Presidential election would indicate that consensus remains elusive to this day.
The book is called The Cause: The American Revolution and Its Discontents, 1773-1783.
Joseph Ellis joined us on Zoom from Woodstock, Vermont.
Tom's conversation with Joseph Ellis was recorded earlier, so we can’t take any calls or comments today.