In this introduction to his large-scale work The Peopling of British North America, Bernard Bailyn identifies central themes in a formative passage of our history: the transatlantic transfer of people from the Old World to the North American continent that formed the basis of American society. Voyagers to the West, which covers the British migration in the years just before the American Revolution and is the first major volume in the Peopling project, is also available from Vintage Books.
BERNARD BAILYN is currently Adams University Professor emeritus at Harvard University. He founded and for fifteen years directed the International Seminar on the Atlantic World, which helped reorient the study of the Atlantic region in the early modern era. His previous books include Education in the Forming of American Society; The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which received the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes in 1968; The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, which won the 1975 National Book Award for History; Voyagers to the West, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987; Atlantic History: Concept and Contours; and To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders.
"Mr. Bailyn brings a new vividness, authenticity and excitement to the story of the settlement of North America....He sees the past in a more lively and human fashion, and in sharper detail, than have most previous historians....This is a rich canvas of a great folk-wandering over two centuries .... If the Introduction is any guide to what is to follow, the volumes to come will be treasure houses indeed."
-- Esmond Wright, The New York Times Book Review
"With a spare and delicate genius, [Bailyn] sketch[es] out the fiendishly complex essentials of a world where 'everything seems strange close up.'... Bernard Bailyn's work has the grandeur of a Braudel and the humanity of a Michelet. And he's got to the roots."
-- Gwyn A. Williams, The Guardian
The Peopling of British North America by Bernard Bailyn