The Boston Massacre: A Family History

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020 M02 18 - 320 pages
A dramatic untold ‘people’s history’ of the storied event that helped trigger the American Revolution

The story of the Boston Massacre—when on a late winter evening in 1770, British soldiers shot five local men to death—is familiar to generations. But from the very beginning, many accounts have obscured a fascinating truth: the Massacre arose from conflicts that were as personal as they were political. 
Professor Serena Zabin draws on original sources and lively stories to follow British troops as they are dispatched from Ireland to Boston in 1768 to subdue the increasingly rebellious colonists. And she reveals a forgotten world hidden in plain sight: the many regimental wives and children who accompanied these armies. We see these families jostling with Bostonians for living space, finding common cause in the search for a lost child, trading barbs and and sharing baptisms. Becoming, in other words, neighbors. When soldiers shot unarmed citizens in the street, it was these intensely human, now broken bonds that fueled what quickly became a bitterly fought American Revolution. 
Serena Zabin’s The Boston Massacre delivers an indelible new slant on iconic American Revolutionary history. 

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User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

The Boston Massacre is seen as a precipitating event of the American Revolution, but at the time, no one knew the revolution was coming. People made the incident represent their political ideologies ... Read full review

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User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

The Boston Massacre, Zabin argues, has been stripped of its context from the very beginning. Even just after it happened, both sides had reasons to deny that the soldiers quartered in Boston had ... Read full review


1 Families of Empire 1765
2 Inseparable Interests 176667
3 Seasons of Discontent 176668
4 Under One Roof 1768
5 Love Your Neighbor 176970
6 Absent Without Leave 176870
March 1770
March 6 1770August 1772
9 From Shooting to Massacre OctoberDecember 1770
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About the author (2020)

SERENA ZABIN is a professor of history and chair of the History Department at Carleton College. Her books include Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York and she is also the codesigner of a forthcoming serious video game about the Boston Massacre, Witness to the Revolution.

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