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Book Interview – London in a Box

The true cultural tipping point in the run-up to the American Revolution, writes University of Washington drama professor Odai Johnson in his new book, might not have been the Boston Tea Party, the British naval blockade or even the First Continental Congress.

Rather, Johnson suggests in “London in a Box: Englishness and Theatre in Revolutionary America,” it was that Congress’s decision in late October of 1774 to close the theaters in British America.

“To close them was a small and radical act of the Continental Congress among far weightier measures,” he writes, “but a hard shot across the bow of British culture.”