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Redemption from Tyranny

Herman Husband's American Revolution
Bruce E. Stewart

BUY Cloth · 248 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813943701 · $29.95 · Feb 2020
BUY Ebook · 248 pp. · ISBN 9780813943718 · $29.95 · Feb 2020

For many common people, the American Revolution offered an opportunity to radically reimagine the wealth and power structures in the nascent United States. Yet in the eyes of working-class activists, the U.S. Constitution favored the interests of a corrupt elite and betrayed the lofty principles of the Declaration of Independence. The discontent of these ordinary revolutionaries sparked a series of protest movements throughout the country during the 1780s and 1790s.

Redemption from Tyranny explores the life of a leader among these revolutionaries. A farmer, evangelical, and political activist, Herman Husband (1724-1795) played a crucial role in some of the most important anti-establishment movements in eighteenth-century America--the Great Awakening, the North Carolina Regulation, the American Revolution, and the Whiskey Rebellion. Husband became a famous radical, advocating for the reduction of economic inequality among white men.

Drawing on a wealth of newly unearthed resources, Stewart uses the life of Husband to explore the varied reasons behind the rise of economic populism and its impact on society during the long American Revolution. Husband offers a valuable lens through which we can view how "labouring, industrious people" shaped--and were shaped by--the American Revolution.


The world has waited long enough for a scholarly biography of Herman Husband, and Stewart fills the void wonderfully with this insightful and clearly written narrative. With his new archival discoveries, he is able to depict Husband as considerably more complex than the heroic figure of legend.

Woody Holton, University of South Carolina, author of Abigail Adams

Redemption from Tyranny will fill an enormous lacuna in the literature on eighteenth-century American politics and revolution. Herman Husband was a key actor from the rising of the North Carolina Regulators to the opening of the Revolution, and then the Whiskey Rebellion: Stewart has put this story together, explaining Husband and his world in clear, easy prose.

John L. Brooke, Ohio State University, author of Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson

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