Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries: The Founding Fathers in the Age of Enlightenment

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Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries: The Founding Fathers in the Age of Enlightenment  by Tom Shachtman C-Span’s taping of lecture about this book at the New York Public Library

The book is a Featured Alternate for the History Book Club, Military Book Club, Scientific American Book Club, and Book-of-the-Month Club 2.

Adapted excerpt: George Washington, the First Vaxxer  at The Daily Beast

Praise for Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries

“A fascinating and unique look at the familiar history of the founding of the United States through the hyperfocused lens of scientific advancement.” – Library Journal

“An intriguing survey of science’s influence on the Founders.”   — Booklist

“Makes a strong case for the importance of science and technology in the creation of the United States …. A well-researched, lively entry into the current debate about the role of science in a democracy.” Kirkus Reviews

In this lively history … Shachtman makes an ingenious and convincing case that “science-based thoughts and actions were critical to the nation’s birth and early health—far more so than were religious doctrine or economic considerations.” — Publishers Weekly

“We might hear as children about Ben Franklin with his kite and key in the thunderstorm, but this lively and learned book gives us the grown-up view of the Founders and their fascination with things scientific. Employing a large cast of colonial characters–Franklin, Washington, Jefferson and other famous figures of the era, but also lesser-known thinkers and tinkerers–Tom Shachtman makes a compelling case that the American Revolution became a movement not only for political independence, but for scientific independence as well. Indeed, Shachtman shows us that the two can hardly be considered separable.” –Greg Nobles, Professor of History, Georgia Institute of Technology, and co-author of Whose American Revolution Was It?

“This splendid book tells the eye-opening story of America’s founding generation as first-class scientists. We know how they created the government of the United States. Here we learn much more – and what a story it is!” –Lee Dembart, former science editor and science book reviewer, Los Angeles Times

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American Iconoclast: The Life and Times of Eric Hoffer

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American Iconoclast: The Life and Times of Eric Hoffer by Tom Shachtman“Excellent new biography …. [Hoffer’s] name has gradually faded from view. Yet, as his biographer points out, Hoffer continues to contribute insightful ideas and opinions to society, which is why we ought to look to his writings once again.” – The New Criterion, September 2012

Known as the longshoreman philosopher, Eric Hoffer was a beloved and controversial figure. Using Hoffer’s never-before-seen archives, this biography uncovers the steps by which an unschooled migrant field hand and dockworker created himself as an artist and thinker, relates how his background and occupations were reflected in his published works, and analyzes Hoffer’s books and articles and their impact on his times.

“As complete and masterful a biography as could be imagined, a great study of Hoffer, an American icon—provocative and stimulating. Shachtman also provides an interesting view of the period.” -Herbert S. Parmet, biographer of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon

”Eric Hoffer speaks with remarkable clarity to many of today’s most difficult questions. Tom Shachtman presents this visionary thinker and his ideas with page-turning style and thought-provoking insight. A long overdue rediscovery of the longshoreman philosopher by a fine writer.” -Walter W. Woodward, State Historian, Connecticut

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Rumspringa, To Be Or Not To Be Amish

Rumspringa by Tom Shachtman

“Shachtman is like a maestro, masterfully conducting an orchestra of history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and journalism together in a harmonious and evocative symphony of all things Amish.” – Christian Science Monitor. Now in paperback.                   A … [Continue reading]

The Most Beautiful Villages of New England

The Most Beautiful Villages of New England by Tom Shachtman

"This is one of the few 'coffee table' books I own. But it covers all the gems and must-see villages ... and provides plenty of information on the history and architecture of each .... In the depth of a New England winter this is a book I take to bed with me and dream of spring." -- The New England Online Magazine. Honored as the birthplace of the Revolution, the … [Continue reading]

The Inarticulate Society

The Inarticulate Society: Eloquence and Culture in America by Tom Shachtman

“A perceptive and disturbing book .... Our inability to use language articulately has consequences beyond aesthetics, says Shachtman. It threatens the survival of democracy ..... Loss of analytic capacity makes us easy prey for Big Brother and his Orwellian gang.” -- Washington Post Book World … [Continue reading]