288 pages | 6 x 9 | 13 illus.
Paper 1999 | ISBN 9780812217247 | $24.95s | Outside the Americas £19.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Early American Studies
"Newman's impressively researched and elegantly written interpretation of popular culture and political mobilization is a major contribution to scholarship on the early American republic."—American StudiesSimon P. Newman vividly evokes the celebrations of America's first national holidays in the years between the ratification of the Constitution and the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson. He demonstrates how, by taking part in the festive culture of the streets, ordinary American men and women were able to play a significant role in forging the political culture of the young nation. The creation of many of the patriotic holidays we still celebrate coincided with the emergence of the first two-party system. With the political songs they sang, the liberty poles they raised, and the partisan badges they wore, Americans of many walks of life helped shape a new national politics destined to replace the regional practices of the colonial era.
"Deeply researched, evocative chapters treat the partisan politics of popular leadership, Independence Day, American celebrations of the French Revolution, and the songs, signs, and symbols of popular political culture."—Journal of American History
"The world of the Founding Fathers was also a postrevolutionary society, in whose streets people of all social classes jostled in festivals and parades that expressed a vibrant popular politics. Simon Newman's book is as lively as the tumultuous political culture he has mapped."—Linda K. Kerber
"In this impressive study of festive culture in the early republic, Simon Newman has gone a long way towards filling in many of the gaps in our understanding not only of early American culture and society but also of the changing nature of American nationalism in this period."—Urban History
Simon P. Newman is Sir Denis Brogan Professor of American Studies at the University of Glasgow and author of Embodied History: The Lives of the Poor in Early Philadelphia, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.