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Korbel professor to read from new book Friday at Tattered Cover

Alan Gilbert reads from his new book Friday at the Tattered Cover.

Alan Gilbert, a professor at the Josef Korbel School of International studies, will be at the Tattered Cover Book Store on Colfax Avenue Friday night to read from his new book, Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

According to Gilbert, there were two revolutions in America in the mid-1770s — one for American independence from the British and the other for emancipation of slaves. In his book, Gilbert tells the story of this second revolution, which is not nearly as well known.

The two revolutions moved often in opposition, but sometimes in harmony. George Washington relied on black troops, particularly the First Rhode Island Regiment, at Yorktown. Under the command of aides John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton, black soldiers stormed and took two crucial British positions that decided the battle.

But, Gilbert says, the dark secret of the American Revolution — and the reason that historians, until recently, have ignored the role of black soldiers on both sides — is the recruitment of escaped American slaves by the British.

In Black Patriots and Loyalists, according to a press release, Gilbert asks readers to “rethink what we know about the Revolutionary War, to realize that while white Americans were fighting for their freedom, black Americans were joining the British imperial forces to gain theirs. There were actually two wars being waged at once: a political revolution for independence from Britain and a social revolution for emancipation and equality.”

The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Tattered Cover, 2526 E. Colfax Ave. Call 303-322-7727 or visit for more information.



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