News & Information

The Truth about the Boston Massacre's Role in America'sHistory

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jun 30, 2017 11:00 pm
  • 49:01

Guest: Eric Hinderaker, PhD, Chair and Professor, Department of History, University of Utah, Author, "Boston's Massacre" A pivotal event in America’s path to independence happened in Boston in 1770, several years before the Revolutionary War actually broke out. But “The Boston Massacre,” as it’s known, was a galvanizing moment for the Patriot cause.  Right from the start, mythology arose around the events. What we know for certain is that British soldiers fired on a crowd in a street in Boston and that when it was over, five civilians were dead and eight British soldiers went on trial for murder. Major Revolutionary figures including Samuel Adams, John Adams and Paul Revere had a hand in shaping the way The Boston Massacre would be remembered. Historian Eric Hinderaker writes that “from the beginning, the symbolic power of the Boston Massacre transcended its details.” Hinderaker has a new book exploring that symbolic power from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, to the Civil Rights Movement, to the Vietnam War protests, to today’s debate over police use of force.