Thursday, February 27, 7:00pm Magers and Quinn Booksellers (map)
Serena Zabin presents The Boston Massacre: A Family History
A dramatic ‘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 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 is a professor of history and director of the American studies program at Carleton College. She is the author of Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York and The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741: Daniel Horsmanden's Journal of the Proceedings. She is also the codesigner of a forthcoming video game about the Boston Massacre, Witness to the Revolution.