Chestertown, MD — Terry Bouton, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will present "Dumbing Down the Past: Our Muddled Memory of the So-Called 'Whiskey Rebellion'" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center on Tuesday, November 18, at 4:30 p.m.
The event is this year's Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture. The lecture series was established in 1989 to honor the memory of the late history professor who had taught at Washington College for 30 years. The intent of the endowed lecture series is to bring a distinguished historian to campus each year to lecture and to spend time with students in emulation of Dr. Goodfellow's vibrant teaching style.
Bouton is the author of Taming Democracy: "The People," the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution, which Publishers Weekly hailed as "a rare book—scholarly yet written with verve, readable for pleasure as well as for knowledge." Taming Democracy, winner of the Philip S. Klein Book Prize of the Pennsylvania Historical Association, is a critical re-evaluation of America's post-Revolutionary period.
Americans are fond of reflecting upon the Founding Fathers as selfless patriots who came together to force out the tyranny of the British and bring democracy to the land. But as Bouton contends in his provocative book, the Revolutionary elite often seemed as determined to squash democracy after the War of Independence as they were to support it before the conflict.
Centering on Pennsylvania, the symbolic center of the story of democracy's rise during the Revolution, Bouton shows how this radical shift in ideology spelled tragedy for thousands of common people. It was the narrowing of popular ideals that led directly to the misnamed Whiskey and Fries rebellions, popular uprisings during the 1790s that were both put down by federal armies.
A booksigning will follow Bouton's November 18 lecture at Washington College. Admission to "Dumbing Down the Past: Our Muddled Memory of the So-Called 'Whiskey Rebellion'" is free and open to the public.
November 7, 2008