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Autographed hardcover of ONE LIFE TO GIVE (Fortress Press, 2021).

ONE LIFE TO GIVE: Martyrdom & the Making of the American Revolution

SKU: 364115376135191
  • The saying with which Nathan Hale is associated in the lore of the American Revolution - "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country" - was probably attributed to him after the fact. But my exploration of this saying -- and of the voluminous rhetoric from 18th-century America that resonates with this same sentiment -- unearths an unexpected story about the Revolution's spiritual origins. Young men like Hale were raised from the time they were first taught to read to idealize certain kinds of deaths - deaths self-sacrificed for a sacred cause, the deaths of martyrs. For better and for worse, this tradition - call it "American martyrdom" -- is still with us today.




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