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The "old revolutionaries" were Samuel Adams, Isaac Sears, Thomas Young, Richard Henry Lee and Charels Carroll, five men who played significant roles in the American Revolution, and who are usually overlooked in history books today. Of widely varying backgrounds and interests, all of them had thir gratest influence in the years between 1769 and 1776 and all of them saw their power transferred after the war to the men we know as "the founding fathers." In telling the stories of these men, Pauline Maier shows how the American Revolution was less a collective movement than a committment to an ideal of a republic, which different people interpreted differently, and she describes "not just why Americans made the Revolution, but what the Revolution did to them."