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The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735–1789

Brooke Hindle

Copyright 1956
University of North Carolina Press


The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America is one of the most original works on American history to appear in recent decades and signalizes the appearance of a brilliant young historian. In it, Brooke Hindle successfully chronicles the beginnings of science in this country and interweaves this development with the exciting events that led to independence from Great Britain. He demonstrates with insight and clarity how interdependent scientific advance and social change really were. Here we read of such great individual scientists as Bartram, Franklin, Rittenhouse, and Winthrop, of the inception of scientific organization in the American Philosophical Society, of the dominant role science played in the War for Independence, of the hopes for a Republican Science in the first years of the new nation. It is an amazing and fascinating story, one which makes a major contribution to the history of science in America and at the same time provides penetrating insights into the nature of social and political change during the Revolutionary Era.

--Carl Bridenbaugh

Professor Hindle’s tracing of the history of the development of institutions devoted, in whole or in part, to the furtherance of the sciences in America is exemplary.

--American Journal of Science

The scholarly world owes the author a great debt for having done such a superb job; it will be difficult to think of anyone daring to work in this particular field without having this book at hand. This work is a trail blazer; it is one that should interest the well-informed reader.

--Baltimore Sun