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A Look Back at the "Revolutionary Summer" of 1776 (Encore Presentation)

Aired on Wednesday, June 28th.

(Note: This interview originally aired in 2014.) Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis, who has written several well-regarded books on the events and persons concerning the founding of the United States. His fascinating book called "Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence" -- which he discusses with us today -- details two seminal events in the summer of 1776, both of them quite central to our nation's founding. Of course, the activity of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia (resulting in the signing of the Declaration of Independence) is one such event. But Ellis writes that the first encounter with the full imperial might of Great Britain, the disastrous New York military campaign -- where George Washington lost New York City and only barely extricated the ragtag Continental Army from complete annihilation -- was just as important. This resounding defeat is what solidified American opinion towards independence...as opposed to accepting a negotiated settlement and remaining a part of the British Empire. These remarks, from The Washington Post, are typical of how this book was received: "First-rate history.... [Ellis's] books are chock full of penetrating analysis, from their often-innovative structures to the provocative insights woven into their narratives. 'Revolutionary Summer' is no exception.... Ellis's admiration for Adams is infectious."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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