In 1775, war broke out between the British and the American colonists. By 1776 the colonists had declared themselves independent and in 1783, following a long and bloody conflict, Britain was forced to recognise the independence of the United States.The Founding Fathers - those men who signed the Declaration of Independence against Britain - may have led the charge, but the energy to raise a revolt emerged from all classes and races of American society. This remarkable new book not only tells the story of the Revolutionary war, but plunges us into the swirl of ideology, grievance, outrage and hope that animated the Revolutionary decades. It tells of the efforts of a wide variety of men and women who stepped forward amidst a discouraging, debilitating, but ultimately successful war to set a new course for the new country- one free of entrenched class hostilities, religious bigotry and racism. The people so vividly portrayed in this book did not all agree or succeed, but during the exhilarating and messy years of the country's birth, they laid down ideas that have become a crucial and fundamental part of America's inheritance.