The Original Tea Party

Why not spend this election day, in which the modern Tea Party figures so largely, reading Benjamin L. Carp’s Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party & the Making of America (Yale University Press)? The well-timed book is not only a lucid, detailed explanation of what took place in Boston from the mid-1760s to that fateful December night in 1773. It also sets those events into a global context, with a chapter on the East India Company and “Great Britain’s struggle to manage its expanding empire”; highlights women’s roles in the related boycotts and non-importation agreements; and builds on the nexus between the urban environment and political mobilization that Carp laid out so clearly in Rebels Rising, his first book. Carp offered a brief summary of “the real history of the Tea Party” in the Wall Street Journal, and spoke about the book in this podcast.