"Before there could be a revolution, there was a rebellion; before patriots, there were insurgents. Challenging decades of received wisdom, T.H. Breen's strikingly original book explains how ordinary Americans-- most of them members of farm families living in small communities-- were drawn into a successful insurgency against imperial authority. This is the compelling story of our national political origins that most Americans do not know. It is a story of rumor, charity, vengeance, and restraint. American insurgents, American patriots reminds us that revolutions are violent events. They provoke passion and rage, a willingness to use violence to achieve political ends, a deep sense of betrayal, and a strong religious conviction that God expects an oppressed people to defend their rights. The American Revolution was no exception."--Book jacket.