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Gary B. Nash, Professor and Director, National Center for History in the Schools, University of California, Los Angeles


This seminar will proceed from two premises: 1) that the Revolution had many meanings to its diverse participants; and 2) that its causes, dynamics, and outcomes have been interpreted and reinterpreted ever since. Therefore, we will read secondary works of various historians who have disagreed sharply on how to interpret the American Revolution; and we will examine a variety of primary documents through which we can better understand how people at the time understood what they were fighting for and what outcomes they hoped to enjoy. “Who shall write the history of the American Revolution?” wrote John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (in 1815). “Nobody,” Jefferson replied, “except merely its external facts . . . The life and soul of its history must be forever unknown.” Almost two centuries later, let’s discover the answers to that question for ourselves.


Readings are sent by the Institute to seminar participants. Readings may include:

Nash, Gary B. The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America.  New York: Viking, 2005.

National Center for History in the Schools. Bring History Alive! A Sourcebook for Teaching United States History. Los Angeles: National Center for History in the Schools, 1996.

Course Reader

Travel & Accommodations

UCLA is easily reached by car. It is important to note that all nearby airports offer frequently scheduled shuttle service to campus or locations nearby. The university website provides a detailed transportation page that may help you plan your trip.

Workshop participants will be housed in an on-campus dormitory. Participants will have single bedrooms, but may share bathrooms and common space. Dormitories are air-conditioned; wireless Internet is service provided. Several computer clusters and lounges are available in the complex. Some participants choose to bring laptops.

The university provides pillows, blankets, sheets, and towels only. Please note that participants should plan to bring alarm clocks, hangers, irons, and hair dryers.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Each summer seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar.

Participants traveling internationally or from Alaska and Hawaii receive a $500 stipend in lieu of reimbursement upon completion of the seminar.

Applicants to seminars should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the $400 allowance is insufficient to cover all travel expenses. Our reimbursement policy has changed from previous years. For more information on our policy click here.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 14th, 2013 5:00 PM   through   July 20th, 2013 9:00 AM
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
United States

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Seminar Fee
Attending $50.00
Not Attending $0.00

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