Gary B. Nash Quotes
“In this book the reader will find, I hope, an antidote for historical amnesia. To this day, the public remembers the Revolution mostly in its enshrined, mythic form. This is peculiar in a democratic society because the sacralized story of the founding fathers, the men of marble, mostly concerns the uppermost slice of American revolutionary society. That is what has lodged in our minds, and this is the fable that millions of people in other countries know about the American Revolution. I ask readers to expand their conception of revolutionary American society and to consider the multiple agendas—the stuff of ideas, dreams, and aspirations—that sprang from its highly diverse and fragmented character. It is not hard today to understand that American people in all their diversity entertain a variety of ideas about what they want their nation to be and what sort of America they want for their children. Much the same was true two centuries ago. But from a distance of more than two centuries we don’t think about our nation’s birth that way. It is more comforting to think about united colonists rising up as a unified body to get the British lion’s paw off the backs of their necks. That is a noble and inspiring David and Goliath story, but it is not what actually happened. It is assuredly not the story of radical democracy’s work during the Revolution. This book presents a people’s revolution, an upheaval among the most heterogeneous people to be found anywhere along the Atlantic littoral in the eighteenth century. The book’s thrust is to complicate the well-established core narrative by putting before the reader bold figures, ideas, and movements, highlighting the true radicalism of the American Revolution that was indispensable to the origins, conduct, character, and outcome of the world-shaking event.”
Gary B. Nash
- Born: The United States.
- Description: Gary B. Nash received his B. A. from Princeton University in 1955 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1964. He earned the position of Director of the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught colonial and revolutionary American history since 1974. Nash has been the Director of the National Center for History in the Schools sinc 1994 and co-chaired the National History Standards Project from 1992-1996. His past positions include: Dean of Undergraduate and Intercollege Curricular Development, University of California, Los Angeles; President, Organization of American Historians; Dean, Council on Educational Development, University of California, Los Angeles; Assistant Professor, Department of History, Princeton University. He has received research grants from the University of California Institute of Humanities and American Philosophical Society and fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial and American Council of Learned Society. Nash was elected member of American Antiquarian Society, Society of American Historians, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as winning the University of California Distinguished Emeriti Award and the Defense of Academic Freedom Award, from the National Council for Social Studies. Nash is the Founding Member and has been on the Board of Trustees of the National Council for History Education since 1990 and was Vice-Chair in 1992. He was also President of the Organization of American Historians, from 1994-95, the Primary History Consultant for the Schlessinger Production series in United States History, from 1996-97, he was on the University of California Bicentennial Committee, from 1975-76 and was an Historical Consultant and Writer for "Lights of Liberty," sound and light tour, Philadelphia, PA, in 1999. Among the books Nash has authored are Quakers and Politics: Pennsylvania, 1681-1726 (1968); Red, White and Black: The Peoples of Early America (1974, 1982); The Urban Crucible: Social Change, Political Consciousness, and the Origins of the American Revolution (1979); and Forging Freedom: The Black Urban Experience in Philadelphia, 1720-1840 (1988).