Alfred F. Young, an emeritus professor at Northern Illinois University and a distinguished scholar of the American Revolution, passed away on Tuesday in Durham. Young's books include The Shoemaker and the American Revolution (2000), The Democratic Republicans of New York (1967), Whose Revolution was It: Historians Interpret the Founding (with Gregory Nobles, 2011), and Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation (edited Gary B. Nash and Ray Raphael). Young was interested in the role of humble people in the American Revolution -- how their ideas and actions impelled revolution. The opening line of The Shoemaker and the American Revolution, for instance is "How does an ordinary person win a place in history?"
I love history written from the bottom up -- particularly intellectual history, even though these days I'm mostly writing about the legal ideas (and actions) of the wealthy and well-educated and powerful. I plan to change that soon.
Here is Alfred F. Young's obituary from the Raleigh News and Observer of November 11.