Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots

Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots

by Thomas S. Kidd


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Most Americans know Patrick Henry as a fiery speaker whose pronouncement “Give me liberty or give me death!” rallied American defiance to the British Crown. But Henry's skills as an orator—sharpened in the small towns and courtrooms of colonial Virginia—are only one part of his vast, but largely forgotten, legacy. As historian Thomas S. Kidd shows, Henry cherished a vision of America as a virtuous republic with a clearly circumscribed central government. These ideals brought him into bitter conflict with other Founders and were crystallized in his vociferous opposition to the U.S. Constitution.

In Patrick Henry, Kidd pulls back the curtain on one of our most radical, passionate Founders, showing that until we understand Henry himself, we will neglect many of the Revolution's animating values.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465009282
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 11/22/2011
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 314,068
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

An Associate Professor of History at Baylor University, winner of a 2006–2007 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and author of numerous books on American religious history, Thomas S. Kidd lives in Waco, Texas.

Table of Contents

Introduction "The nefarious and highly criminal Patrick henry Patrick Henry in American Memory ix

Chapter 1 "If your industry be only half equal to your genius' Patrick Henry Backcountry Virginia 1

Chapter 2 "The infatuation of new light' The Great Awakening and the Parsons' Cause 27

Chapter 3 "If this be treason" The Stamp Act Crisis 51

Chapter 4 "The first man upon this continent" Boycotts and the Growing Crisis with Britain 67

Chapter 5 "Liberty or death" Arming for Revolution 91

Chapter 6 "To cut the knot" Independence 109

Chapter 7 "Our worthy governor" Patrick Henry in Wartime 129

Chapter 8 "Virtue has taken its departure" The War's End and a New Virginia 151

Chapter 9 "I smelt a rat" Defending the Revolution by Opposing the Constitution 183

Chapter 10 "To care for the crazy machine" Reconciling with the Republic 213

Epilogue: "Mourn Virginia Mourn!" The Legacy of Patrick Henry 245

Acknowledgments 255

Notes 257

Index 293

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