An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America by Nick Bunker - review by Andrew J O'Shaughnessy

Andrew J O'Shaughnessy

How the West Was Lost

An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America

By

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Shortly before the signing of the peace with Britain in 1783, John Adams warned that those who wished to write a history of the origins of the American War of Independence would need to comprehend the situation in all thirteen colonies as far back as the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620. He believed that the latent potential of the colonies for revolution had developed prior to ‘the present Dispute which began in 1761’ and that the real revolution in the mind of the people occurred long before the outbreak of war in 1775. In this remarkably original contribution to scholarship, Nick Bunker gives only brief consideration to the 1760s, the decade that has traditionally attracted the most attention, and instead focuses primarily on events beginning in 1772. He likens these years to the more recent fall of the Berlin Wall. 

An Empire on the Edge offers a rich narrative that includes much novel information thanks to the extensive use of unpublished primary sources in both Britain and America. These include the journals of General Thomas Gage and what the author describes as the best description by an American of London

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