Online Book Talk with Mary Beth Norton

Online Book Talk with Mary Beth Norton
1774: The Long Year of Revolution

On Tuesday, July 14 at 4:30pm, the West Tisbury Library presents an online book talk with special guest author and acclaimed historian Mary Beth Norton. This is a live event that will meet on Zoom. Mary Beth will discuss her newest book, 1774: The Long Year of Revolution (released February 2020). Please email to receive your Zoom invitation to join. This event is free and open to the public.

About the book:

“From one of our most acclaimed and original colonial historians, Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2018 President of the American Historical Association, a groundbreaking book, the first to look at the critical, “long year” of 1774 and the revolutionary change that took place from December 1773 to mid-April 1775, from the Boston Tea Party and the first Continental Congress to the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

In this original and important book, Mary Beth Norton’s first in more than fifteen years, she looks at the sixteen months during which the traditional loyalists to King George III began their discordant ‘discussions’ that led to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire and to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April, 1775.

Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it happened, showing the vigorous campaign mounted by conservatives criticizing congressional actions. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, governors throughout the colonies informed colonial officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of the committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans, even before the outbreak of war in April 1775, had in effect “declared independence” by obeying the decrees of their new provincial governments rather than colonial officials.” (

About the author:

Mary Beth Norton is the author of six books and co-editor of several others. Her textbook, A People and a Nation, a survey of U.S. history written with five other authors, has been published in ten editions and has sold more than 500,000 copies. Mary Beth is the Mary Donlon Alger Professor Emerita of American History at Cornell University. She lives in Ithaca, NY and West Tisbury.