This study group will focus on the critical events between May and October of 1776, the most consequential period in the story of our nation’s founding. These five months were busy: a consensus for American independence emerged and was officially declared, the outlines for an American republic were first proposed, the problems that would shape its future were faced and finessed, and the largest armada ever to cross the Atlantic arrived to kill the American rebellion in the cradle, and very nearly did. Our text will be Joseph Ellis’s Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence (Knopf, 2013). Ellis intertwines the two strands of the story to create a single, comprehensive whole. The first strand is the political tale of how thirteen colonies came together and agreed to secede from the British Empire; the second is the military narrative of the battles of Long Island and Manhattan, where the British army and navy delivered a series of devastating defeats to an American army of amateurs, but missed whatever chance existed to end it all. Join us (as well as Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, et al.) this summer to revisit the colorful and compelling story of our nation’s birth.