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Gilbert T. Sewall, contributor: I’ve been reading University of Virginia historian Alan Taylor’s American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804. This impressive 2016 survey combines decades of fresh, often harsh scholarship that supplants old-style accounts of patriots and English tyrants. Backed up with extensive notations, Taylor’s book unravels complex European commercial and power relations in eighteenth-century North America. Beginning with a continental overview and a distinct chapter on slavery, Taylor cuts to the 1774 Coercive Acts to give a detailed account of events culminating in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. After victory, there were winners and losers; the landed and commercial elites were winners. These Federalists used the “creative fiction” of a sovereign people, Taylor suggests too cynically, taking control of a new republic in their self-interest. He minimizes rapidly ascendant American nationalism extant from Boston to the Carolinas. Covering many dimensions ignored in the past, Taylor features—I give just two examples here—the plight of the Loyalists and Haiti’s rebellion as trigger for the Louisiana Purchase. Lest we forget slavery was in the social equation and gender relations were not equal, Taylor makes certain to check all boxes, sometimes tendentiously, detracting from an otherwise welcome account. Destined to become a classic, Taylor’s overview joins established works by Samuel Eliot Morison, Richard Hofstadter, and Gordon Wood.