Sunday, July 3, 2016

So You Want to Read about the Revolution

Although I'm reading American literature for Independence Day instead of history, why not share some favorites from previous years' Independence Day salutes?

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin from HBO's John Adams.

Founding Biographies
John Adams, David McCullough
First Family: John and Abigail Adams, Joseph Ellis
American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll, Bradley Birzer
The Cost of Liberty: the Life of John Dickinson, William Murchinson
Alexander Hamilton, Rob Chernow
American Sphinx: the Character of Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Ellis
His Excellency: George Washington, Joseph Ellis

Give me Liberty...
Common Sense, Tom Paine
Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation, Joseph Ellis
Chainbreaker's War: a Seneca Chief Remembers the Revolution, Jeanne Adler
A People's History of the American Revolution, Ray Ralphael

...or Give Me Death
George Washington's Secret Six: the Spy Ring that Saved the Revolution, Brian Kilmead
1776, David McCullough

God Save the King
The Men Who Lost America,  Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy
The American Tory, ed. Morten Borden and Penn Borden

A More Perfect Union: the Early Republic
American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic, Joseph Ellis
Founding Rivals: Madison vs Monroe, Chris DeRose

The Fort, Bernard Cornwell
Redcoat, Bernard Cornwell

Books of note but which I don't have review for are McCullough's 1776, and Jeff Shaara's revolutionary war fiction, beginning with The Glorious Cause.  Looking at a list of the books makes me realize I've read virtually nothing about the military aspect of the war, aside from 1776.   Something to remedy!


  1. If you want to read something from a British perspective one of my upcoming 'Special Relationship' triple read is:

    Fusiliers - How the British Army lost America but Learned how to Fight by Mark Urban (2007). I've read a few by him and he's an excellent military historian.

  2. Oh, excellent! That will go towards the military shortfall, too. I think you've read "Empire on the Edge", of how Britain came to blows with the states? That's one on my to-read list.

    1. Always glad to help out a fellow book addict..... Oh, and you might also want to check out James Nelson who has (I think) written a series of novels set during the War of Independence.

      No, I haven't read "Empire on the Edge". I'll look out for it though.

    2. The Nelson I can find on Goodreads has written a series of nonfiction books with a naval focus -- still very interesting.

      It still feels very weird not reading Revolution material this year -- next to the end-year recaps, it's this blog's longest-lived custom!

    3. His fiction is naval too. I have 2 of his (Civil War) which I've had for some time. He seems rather prolific which is a good thing - if he's good that is!

  3. I see that you had a similar as I did for Independence day.

    I love your lost. I have read some of these books but not all of them. I want to read the ones that I did not read.

    I think that I might read Founding Rivals next.


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