H.W. Brands: Our First Civil War

Thursday, December 9, 2021
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Students

Prior to the American Revolution, George Washington sat at the peak of Virginia society, while Benjamin Franklin sat higher still. What did these men have in common? Both owed their success to the British Empire and both took up arms against it, with the likes of a more likely rebel in John Adams. Franklin’s own son, William, on the other hand, remained loyal to the British.  He was not alone, joined by Joseph Galloway and Thomas Hutchinson, a royal governor and family friend of the Franklins. While some became rebels, others became traitors for not betraying the country in which they grew up.

What causes a man to forsake his country and take arms against it? Bestselling author H.W. Brands, in his newest book Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution, cautions us to remember that before America could win the revolution, the rebels had to win a bitter war against friends and family. Join the Hauenstein Center and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Library, and Museum as we welcome back one of West Michigan’s favorites in H.W. Brands to offer a fresh perspective on the American Revolution. 

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Location Information

Eberhard Center, Room 215

We will continue to offer a digital alternative for all of our events as we consider the health and safety of our members, students, and the community. We strongly encourage higher-risk populations to engage in our events virtually by visiting  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87222394732 or call in at US: +1 (929) 205-6099 Webinar ID: 872 2239 4732  to view the live broadcast.

Contact Information

[email protected]
(616) 331-2770


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This event was added to the calendar by Samantha York (yorksa@gvsu.edu) on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 and was last updated on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 2:58 p.m.