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American Patriots

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Member Reviews

American Patriots by Ralph Young is a delight to read. Much of this history you may already have some knowledge of but this is a very broad and compelling read. I highly suggest anyone with a desire to know the history of one of America's favorite past times, protesting and making changes happen, should read this book.

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today i finished american patriots: a short history of dissent, by ralph young. this book chronicles america’s history through its major movements of dissent and protest in an effort to prove that the most patriotic thing one can do is dissent, while making it clear that there is a difference between well-informed dissent and terrorism built on misinformation.
this book was absolutely incredible. it was fairly well-paced and thorough, and did not shy away from the horrors that incited some of the protests and movements young discusses in each chapter. i thought that its structure of focusing on a movement and era per chapter was super easy to navigate and understand, and i liked that some of the early chapters spent time focusing on a particular person or people who had a large influence on the movement being discussed. for the most part, this book was really engaging throughout, and it’s incredibly present, referencing events from the summer of 2022 at the latest. young’s commentary on more modern events is level-headed rather than alarmist, which i appreciate. i genuinely can’t think of a single thing i disliked about this book, which rarely happens.
if you are interested in american history at all, this is absolutely worth your time when it comes out on january 9, 2024. thank you to netgalley and to nyu press for providing me access to this title in exchange for my review!

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I'd describe this as a new narrative of known knowledge. I've read Young's previous work, but this updated version focuses a lot on the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It's very readable for students, is more direct than the unabridged earlier version. Young does a great job focusing on the agency of individuals and the power they have to shape the world and society around them (an important lesson for students of any age)

I really liked the coverage of the Red Scare and the counterculture. Father Berrigan's appearance was appreciated; I feel he's overlooked in social history. Young also pays equal respect to BLM, the Tea Party, and Occupy Wall Street. The chapter on civil rights forced me reconsider the role of the movement

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