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Published on Apr 4, 2013
You think you know American history? Think again. Drunks, slackers, prostitutes, and pirates were the real heroes of the American Revolution. Slaves created a culture that made America free. Prostitutes, not feminists, were the pioneers of women's liberation. Gangsters helped establish Hollywood, birth control, Las Vegas, legal alcohol, and gay rights. And zoot-suiters and rock-and-rollers, not generals or the Air Force, brought down the Soviet Union. Thaddeus Russell is a historian and cultural critic and the author of A Renegade History of the United States (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 2010). He teaches American history and cultural studies at Occidental College and has taught history, American Studies, and the history of philosophy at Columbia University, Barnard College, the New School for Social Research, and Eugene Lang College. He is a frequent contributor to Reason Magazine and The Daily Beast and has written for The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, and Salon.