Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Perspectives on Culture and Violence in Revolutionary America

High/Low Art Debate

The debate on “High Art versus Low Art” has always been centered around the question of what is referred to as high culture/ art and lower or popular cultures. I resist rigid cultural hierarchies that label certain art forms inherently superior in quality or more profound meaning. Contemporary examples abound of graphic novels, hip-hop albums, or independent films that provoke as much thought and emotional resonance as established literary fiction, fine art, or classical orchestras. Genre lines have undeniably blurred when avant-garde works integrate elements spanning highbrow to pop culture (Sloan & Harding, 2019). However, the mastery of technique and subtlety of expression demonstrated in works that endure decades or centuries cannot be ignored. The craft involved in composing a Mahler symphony undoubtedly exceeds most Top 40 Billboard hits, even if both achieve mass appeal.

Hedges on War

Hedges’ argument is one-sided and absolutist, positing that war is the only way to find meaning and purpose in life that peace cannot give. It is evident that human beings intrinsically crave fellowship, causes, self-actualization, and artistry through non-warlike conduits. Nonetheless, his core thesis is undoubtedly correct when discussing how people are attracted to war because it provides a psychological escape into tribalism. Examining the stories of warriors, heroes, and wartime leaders across different cultures and periods, Hedges uncovers consistencies concerning the addiction to adrenalin rushes, searching for a sense of purpose in one’s life and trauma that haunts all those involved in military activities. Importantly, Hedge’s essay attempts to critique rather than exalt this recurrent sociological narrative and psychological trap that puts into question personal ethos. The fact is that post-war tranquility cannot uphold the same degree of lucidity, connexity, and commitment commonly seen among individuals during their involvement in armed conflict.

Zinn and the American Revolution

Zinn changed the paradigm by discussing widely touted men of the Revolution, such as Washington, Jefferson, and Paul Revere, in a less forgiving prism focusing on little-mentioned results from their actions. Looking at Washington through his slaves’ eyes showed the huge hypocrisies and cruelties next to brilliant Enlightenment ideas about freedom (Cohen & Murrow, 2022). Class consciousness also permeated the book; seeing lower economic echelons worse off financially under rebel leaders provoked new criticism about what the power shifts achieved for everyday people. The storytelling approach focusing on ordinary citizens’ struggles imparted voices conveniently ignored for so long. I better understood tensions between professed noble ideals and far murkier realities.

The Boston Massacre

Boston Massacre happened on March 5, 1770, and involved British soldiers firing at a crowd of colonists in Boston, killing five. Captain Thomas Preston led the British forces. He and his men were tried in court with Preston, claiming they had defended themselves (Zabin, 2020). Preston was cleared, but two soldiers were guilty of manslaughter. Comparing primary accounts of this pivotal event revealed striking biases slanting ostensibly factual reporting. Captain Preston’s account painted an agitated mob steeped more broadly in revolutionary zealotry and defiance of English rule. This narrative claims no malice but the absolute necessity of lethal force to defend vastly outnumbered British officers from concrete threats. Conversely, the anonymous narrator depicted callous overreactions against innocent civilians, resulting in needless bloodshed. The power of perspective emerges here, whether one views armed and trained soldiers or impassioned civilians as most at fault following allegiance, kinship, grudges, and agenda. Perhaps objective truth dissolves when threats escalate rapidly on both ends.


Cohen, R., & Murrow, S. E. (2021). Rethinking America’s Past: Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States in the Classroom and Beyond. University of Georgia Press.

Sloan, N., & Harding, C. (2019). Switched on pop: How popular music works, and why it matters. Oxford University Press, USA.

Zabin, S. (2020). The Boston Massacre: A Family History. Houghton Mifflin.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics