Eli Merritt, research assistant professor of political science, will discuss his new book, Disunion Among Ourselves: The Perilous Politics of the American Revolution, at the Vanderbilt Bookstore from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9. Co-sponsored by the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries, the event will include a book signing following the discussion. Books will be available for purchase.
Disunion Among Ourselves (University of Missouri Press, 2023) reveals that the chief obstacle to American independence in the 1770s–80s was not the British Empire’s military might but rather the regional disagreements that constantly threatened to break apart the Continental Congress. In filling this critical gap in our historical understanding of the Revolution, the book also helps frame our present era of political hyperpolarization, reminding readers that the founders overcame their challenges through a commitment to ethical constitutional democracy and compromise.
Merritt is a political historian who specializes in the founding era of the United States and the intersection of demagogues and democracy. He has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and American Journal of Legal History, among other publications. The editor of How to Save Democracy: Inspiration and Advice from 95 World Leaders, Merritt also writes an online newsletter called American Commonwealth that explores the origins of the United States’ political discontents and solutions to them.
Read more about the Vanderbilt Bookstore event.