A Renegade History of the United States

A Renegade History of the United States Cover

A Renegade History of the United States

By Thaddeus Russell

Free Press, Paperback, 9781416576136, 382pp.

Publication Date: July 5, 2011

This provocative perspective onAmerica's history claims that the country's personalitywas defined not by the ideals ofthe elites and intellectuals, but by those who throughout have lived on the fringes of society history slaves, immigrants, gangsters, and others who challenged the conventions of their day.
Raucous, profane, and thrillingly original, Thaddeus Russell's "A Renegade History of the United States" turns the myths of the American character on their heads with a rare mix of wit, scholarship, and storytelling flair (Steven Johnson, author of "Everything Bad Is Good for You" and "The Invention of Air" ).
An all-new, stunning, and controversial story of the United States: It was not good citizens who established American liberty, declares Thaddeus Russell, but immoral and degraded people on the fringes of society whose subversive lifestyles legitimized the taboo and made America the land of the free.
In vivid portraits of renegades and their respectable adversaries, Russell shows that the nation's history has been driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires. The more these accidental revolutionaries drunkards, prostitutes, gangsters, unassimilated immigrants, bad blacks persevered, the more American society changed for the better.
This is not the history taught in textbooks or classrooms this renegade book will upend everything you believe about the American past.

About the Author
Thaddeus Russell teaches history and cultural studies at Occidental College and is the author of Out of the Jungle.