The new Alan Taylor book comprises a brief recap of Taylor’s previous book in the sequence: American Colonies. The introduction begins with the use of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writings that encapsulate an image of the time. The quotations from Hawthorne’s “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” create the backdrop for the beginning of Taylor’s book in order to demonstrate the essence of the colonial camaraderie of the time. As Robin’s kinsman is being humiliated by being paraded through the town after being tarred and feathered, Robin has a peculiar reaction. At first he feels pity and is terrified of what has been done to his kinsman, then he begins to laugh at the display of humiliation before him. Along with the imagery of a face painted half black and half red, the story demonstrates the division and evils during this time. To sum up Robin’s experience he is told that he should stay and try to make it in the New England colony because there is still hope for him to arise in the world without the kinsman. I interpret this story as a depiction of the time of the revolution and the division between Loyalists and Patriots. I believe Alan Taylor included this story in his introduction to preface this division and give an image of colonial life during the revolution.
Taylor, Alan. American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (p. xvii). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.