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Extended Audio Sample The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged Americas Newfound Sovereignty, by William Hogeland Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (183 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Hogeland Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A gripping and provocative tale of violence, alcohol, and taxes, The Whiskey Rebellion pits President George Washington and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton against angry, armed settlers across the Appalachians. Unearthing a pungent segment of early American history long ignored by historians, William Hogeland brings to life the rebellion that decisively contributed to the establishment of federal authority.

In 1791 at the frontier headwaters of the Ohio River, gangs with blackened faces began to attack federal officials, beating and torturing the collectors who plagued them with the first federal tax ever laid on an American product—whiskey. In only a few years, those attacks snowballed into an organized regional movement dedicated to resisting the fledgling government’s power and threatening secession, even civil war.

With an unsparing look at both Hamilton and Washington—and at lesser-known, equally determined frontier leaders such as Herman Husband and Hugh Henry Brackenridge—journalist and popular historian William Hogeland offers an insightful, fast-paced account of the remarkable characters who perpetrated this forgotten revolution, and those who suppressed it. To Hamilton the whiskey tax was key to industrial growth and could not be permitted to fail. To hard-bitten people in what was then the wild West, the tax paralyzed their economies while swelling the coffers of greedy creditors and industrialists. To President Washington, the settlers’ resistance catalyzed the first-ever deployment of a huge federal army, led by the president himself, a military strike to suppress citizens who threatened American sovereignty.

Daring, finely crafted, by turns funny and darkly poignant, The Whiskey Rebellion promises a surprising trip for readers unfamiliar with this primal national drama—whose climax is not the issue of mere taxation but the very meaning and purpose of the American Revolution.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shonda Wilson | 1/15/2014

    " Loved the narrative of this text, highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Pat | 1/4/2014

    " Tax whiskey to pay for the new country. The little guys have another idea. Washington avoids "civil war." His 60,000 acres increase in value. The Feds find another way to fund the new nation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tom | 12/6/2013

    " good book, also see "The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution" by Thomas P. Slaughter "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Craig | 12/5/2013

    " The schemes with which politicans play with people's money has not changed in 200 years. This book describes the taxation of whiskey without perceived represenation. Western Pennsylvania was on the brink of civil war in the first uprising after the birth of our country. "

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About the Author

William Hogeland has published in numerous print and online periodicals, including the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, and Slate. He lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.