S4 E1: Rich Man’s Revolt

January 8, 2020

In the American Revolution, the men who revolted were among the wealthiest and most comfortable people in the colonies. What kind of revolution was it, anyway? Was it about a desire to establish democracy—or something else?

By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Davy Arch, Barbara Duncan, Rob Shenk, and Woody Holton. Edited by Loretta Williams.

Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Download a transcript of the episode.

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11 comments on “S4 E1: Rich Man’s Revolt

  1. the more I learn about our country the more repulsed I feel….

  2. Rachel Jan 21, 2020

    I wish that there was some way to ensure that this “full” history was what was taught in school instead of the watered down pro-white version we all learned. Thank you for your deep dive into this subject, just as I thank you for your other topics in past seasons. I have learned so much and it has sparked in me a desire to learn more of the real stories rather than the simplified ones.

    • Episode 1 was thought provoking and really challenges the fables we tell ourselves as to the origins of this country. I look forward to the rest of s4.

    • Robin Lee Holmes Feb 14, 2020

      Me too!

  3. this entire podcast went in one ear and out the other, anyone know a better way to actually understand podcasts?

    • Renee Sep 4, 2020

      Try not to multitask. Or if you do, don’t do something that depends on the language and logic parts of your brain (emailing, reading, …) Cooking or a repetitive task is ok. This should help your comprehension. Then, after you’re done with the podcast, tell someone about it. And comment on it. Interaction should help your retention.

  4. Alice Coblentz Feb 3, 2020

    I am always happy to learn so much from your podcasts.
    I didn’t hear in my first listen to this episode that the Cherokee kept slaves – it’s true. While you emphasized that indigenous tribes of North America have much to teach us about representative government and were not perfect, it would be good to include that among their imperfections. I learned this listening to another podcast “This Land”, which tells of a history well worth learning and a case currently before the Supreme Court with huge implications for native people.

    • It is important to look at all aspects of various societies, including indigenous societies as well. We do want to be careful, though, about comparing apples and oranges. When some people talk about slavery in past cultures before the United States, it is not an even comparison. The scope of the North Atlantic slave trade, and the manner in which people were born into slavery, these are two major differences from many other versions of enslavement. We can agree that slavery is always wrong. But I want to be careful that comparing two forms that are very different doesn’t add justification to the chattel slavery in the U.S.

      • Caroline Apr 13, 2020

        I think I understand what you are saying about indigenous societies that has slaves from other indigenous societies. Alice was talking about 19th century Cherokee societies who, like the white people they were emulating, kept African American people as slaves.

  5. Robin Lee Holmes Feb 14, 2020

    Thank you for S4 E1. What an eye-opener. I especially love learning about the Council of 7 Women in the Cherokee Tribe. This is something that isn’t well known and something I wondered about but never knew. I too, wish we’d learned all of these truths in history classes growing up. Wow. Maybe we’d all be a little different in how we treat each other. I’ll pass your podcast on.
    Thank you!

  6. martha lefebvre Mar 12, 2020

    As has been true in all these series, the depth of information selected combined with audio skill quality produces phenomenal reportings. This newest season 4 leaves one craving to know more of our nation’s true history. The quality of tone in voice and the tempered punch of the series unfolding is powerfully done. Truly accessible and unforgettable.