Riot And Revelry In Early America

Paperback | February 4, 2002

EditorWilliam A. Pencak

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Riot and revelry have been mainstays of English and European history writing for more than a generation, but they have had a more checkered influence on American scholarship. Despite considerable attention from "new left" historians during the 1970s and early 1980s, and more recently from cultural and "public sphere" historians in the mid-1990s, the idea of America as a colony and nation deeply infused with a culture of public performance has not been widely demonstrated the way it has been in Britain, France, and Italy. In this important volume, leading American historians demonstrate that early America was in fact an integral part of a broader transatlantic tradition of popular disturbance and celebration.

The first half of the collection focuses on "rough music" and "skimmington"—forms of protest whereby communities publicly regulated the moral order. The second half considers the use of parades and public celebrations to create national unity and overcome divisions in the young republic.

Contributors include Roger D. Abrahams, Susan Branson, Thomas J. Humphrey, Susan E. Klepp, Brendan McConville, William D. Piersen, Steven J. Stewart, and Len Travers. Together the essays in this volume offer the best introduction to the full range of protest and celebration in America from the Revolution to the Civil War.

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Riot and revelry have been mainstays of English and European history writing for more than a generation, but they have had a more checkered influence on American scholarship. Despite considerable attention from "new left" historians during the 1970s and early 1980s, and more recently from cultural and "public sphere" historians in the ...

William Pencak is Professor of History at Penn State University. Matthew Dennis is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oregon. Simon P. Newman is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Director of the Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies at the University of Glasgow.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.73 inPublished:February 4, 2002Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271022191

ISBN - 13:9780271022192

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“Riot and Revelry in Early America marks a new level of maturity in our understanding of the popular cultures of early America. The essays clearly demonstrate that early America was an integral part of a broader transatlantic tradition of popular disturbance and celebration. In no small way because of the strength of these essays, after long years in the wings America can now assume its rightful place in the history of transatlantic popular culture.”—Ronald Schultz, University of Wyoming