Pauline’s early book From Resistance to Rebellion: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776 strongly shaped my understanding of Revolutionary thinking. It connects the protests in North America in the 1760s to the actions of British Whigs in the same period, and showed how the colonial leaders’ argument for securing British rights evolved into an argument for breaking from Britain.
History News Network said Pauline was “one of the formative ‘neo-Whig’ historians of the American Revolution, along with Gordon Wood and Edmund Morgan.” However, she always emphasized the broad American population rather than just the intellectual leaders. For example, in an excellent review for the Journal of Interdisciplinary History of Hiller B. Zobel’s also-excellent The Boston Massacre in 1970, she criticized how that book presents Samuel Adams as manipulating the people of Boston, removing their own autonomy.
Pauline’s American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence highlighted the scores of documents making the case for independence all over the colonies before the Continental Congress got around to their Declaration of Independence. In Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 she skipped over the elite, secret Convention in favor of a deep study of the process by which state conventions and legislatures debated and ultimately adopted the new Constitution.
Teaching at M.I.T., where most students arrive focused on science rather than history, probably piqued Pauline’s interest in reaching beyond academia to the public and using technology to do so. She coauthored a textbook that discussed American history through the prism of inventions. She helped to develop the 2004 videogame Revolution and designed one of the early online courses in American history. C-SPAN has videos of Pauline discussing her last book and her whole body of work.