Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits

Americans Against the Grain

Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits: Americans Against the Grain takes the reader on a journey across American history, from the colonial period to the present, through the life stories of exceptional men and women who have responded in unconventional ways to the challenges and circumstances of their time and place. The journey begins in Puritan New England, where the country’s roots were planted. It then visits America’s war of independence, before following the path of westward migration. It explores the struggle over slavery and the impact of the industrial revolution on the quality of American life. Chapters on the twentieth century take up the issues of war, alienation, and social inequity that haunt the American dream. The journey ends as we wrestle with the challenge of climate change and its implications for our economic system and agriculture.

The cast of characters reflects the diversity of the people who make up the American melting pot--Northern Europeans, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, and Native Americans. Although these individuals represent widely varying cultural traditions and beliefs, they share a commitment to upholding the promise of liberty, equality, and opportunity that the New World held out to the Old. Their life stories, though often at variance with the direction of the mainstream society around them, exhibit certain enduring qualities of the American character--courage, experimentation, creativity, independence, compassion¾qualities that make them exemplars.


  • Roger Williams: The First American
  • Anne Bradstreet: The First American Poet
  • Thomas Paine: The Voice of Revolution
  • Josiah Gregg: A Wanderer on the Prairie
  • William and Ellen Craft: Runaways To Freedom
  • Thorstein Veblen: An Adam Longing for Eden
  • Thomas Merton: The Restless Hermit
  • Brummett Echohawk: Plains Warrior
  • Judith Baca: Chicana Muralist
  • Warren Brush and Cynthia Harvan-Brush:.Revolution from the Ground Up


"We need a book like this at the current moment" -- Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus, Columbia University.


Arthur Hoyle is a writer, educator, and independent filmmaker. His documentary films have won numerous awards and have aired on PBS, and he received a media grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Before becoming an author, he produced corporate communications materials in print and video for a broad array of clients. He received Bachelors and Masters Degrees in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and taught English, coached tennis, and served as an administrator in independent schools. He currently volunteers as a naturalist in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, leading interpretive walks on Chumash Indian culture. His biography of Henry Miller, The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur, was published in March 2014 by Skyhorse/Arcade. He has also published essays in Huffington Post, Empty Mirror, Across the Margin, Counterpunch, and AIOTB: As It Ought To Be. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.

by Arthur Hoyle
Trade paperback - 6 x 9 x .8
288 Pages
HISTORY / United States / Colonial Period
HISTORY / United States / Revolutionary Period
HISTORY / United States / 19th Century
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
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Price $19.95
Availability In-Stock

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