The history of the United States has been largely shaped, for better or for worse, by the actions of large groups of people. Rioters on a village green, shoppers lurching about a labyrinthine mall, slaves packed into the dark hold of a ship, strikers assembling outside the factory gates, all have their place in the rich and sometimes tragic history of the American crowd. This unique study traces that history from the days of anti-colonial revolt to today's passive, "colonized crowds" that fill our sports arenas, commercial centers, and workplaces. In clear and lively prose, Al Sandine argues for the progressive role crowds have played in securing greater democracy, civil rights, and free speech. But he also investigates crowds in their more dangerous forms, such as lynch mobs and anti-immigrant riots.