While parades, BBQs, and fireworks are always on the menu as we gather to celebrate the birth of our nation on July 4th, days around Independence Day can also be a prime time to delve into the rich history of the people and places that make this nation special.
As patriotic fervor surrounds you and you get hungry to learn more about the earliest days of our country — check out one or more of these newer nonfiction titles that shed some new light on American revolutionary history and about the war for independent America.
The Cause : The American Revolution And Its discontents, 1773-1783 by Joseph J. Ellis
Ellis takes a fresh look at the events between 1773 and 1783, recovering a war more brutal than any in American history save the Civil War and discovering a strange breed of “prudent” revolutionaries, whose prudence proved wise yet tragic when it came to slavery, the original sin that still haunts our land.
The Compleat Victory : Saratoga and The American Revolution by Kevin J. Weddle
A comprehensive study of the Saratoga Campaign of 1777. The Battle of Saratoga, which took place over three weeks, was really a series of two large battles and many smaller engagements along the Hudson River north of Albany, New York. As Weddle, a former Army officer who teaches at the Army War College, shows, the outcome was a stinging defeat for the British, whose commander, John Burgoyne, had not long before humiliated the American defenders of Fort Ticonderoga.
In this landmark account, a noted historian investigates the private financial affairs of the Founding Fathers, revealing how and why the Revolution came about and providing a new understanding of the nation’s bedrock values.
George Washington : The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father by David O. Stewart
A fascinating and illuminating account of how George Washington became the single most dominant force in the creation of the United States of America. Stewart makes the case that though George Washington went out of his way to hide it, he was a masterful politician who used his talents to advance the priorities he thought necessary for the fledgling United States.
The Irish played a huge role in the American Revolution, not just on the battlefield but also in the field hospitals and in the framing of the Declaration of Independence. O’Dowd takes readers on a journey into the unexplored contributions of the Irish in the American Revolution and behind the scenes of the relationships of some of those men and women with the first president of the United States.
In The Founders’ Footsteps : Landmarks Of The American Revolution by Adam Van Doren
A tour through the original thirteen colonies in search of historical sites and their stories in America’s founding. Obscure, well-known, off-the-beaten path, and on busy city streets, here are taverns, meeting houses, battlefields, forts, monuments, homes which all combine to define our country–the places where daring people forged a revolution.
Tells the history of the Marblehead Regiment, led by John Glover, which fought at Lexington; on Bunker Hill, formed the Guard that protected George Washington; and conveyed Washington’s men across the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776.
Liberty Is Sweet : The Hidden History Of The American Revolution by Woody Holton
A celebrated scholar’s history of the American Revolution, from its origins to its aftermath, which emphasizes the contributions of groups usually omitted in this story: Native Americans, African Americans, and women.
The winter of 1779 to 1780 would mark Washington’s darkest hour where he contemplated the army coming apart from lack of food, money, six years of war, desertions, mutiny, the threat of a devastating attack by the British, and incredibly, a plot to kidnap him. Yet Morristown would mark a turning point.
Fanestil traces the deep history of the tradition of martyrdom from its classical and Christian origins to the onset of the Revolutionary War. Ultimately, he articulates how the tradition of American martyrdom animated countless personal commitments to American independence, and thereby to the war.
Our First Civil War : Patriots And Loyalists In The Revolution by H. W. Brands
Brands offers a fresh and riveting narrative of the American Revolution that shows it to be more than a fight against the British, but also a violent battle among neighbors forced to choose sides, Loyalist and Patriot
Rebels At Sea : Privateering In The American Revolution by Eric Jay Dolin
Dolin reclaims the daring freelance sailors who proved essential to the winning of the Revolutionary War. Armed with cannons, swivel guns, muskets, and pikes-as well as government documents granting them the right to seize enemy ships-thousands of privateers tormented the British on the broad Atlantic and in bays and harbors on both sides of the ocean.
1774 : The Long Year of Revolution by Mary Beth Norton
Presents information on the American Revolution and the revolutionary change that took place from December 1773 to mid-April 1775, including the Boston Tea Party and the first Continental Congress to the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
Thirteen Clocks : How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence by Robert G. Parkinson
In his celebrated account of the origins of American unity, John Adams described July 1776 as the moment when thirteen clocks managed to strike at the same time. So how did these American colonies overcome long odds to create a durable union capable of declaring independence from Britain? In this powerful new history of the fifteen tense months that culminated in the Declaration of Independence,. Parkinson provides a troubling answer: racial fear. Parkinson argues that patriot leaders used racial prejudices to persuade Americans to declare independence.
The wild and suspenseful story of one of the most crucial and least known campaigns of the Revolutionary War when America’s scrappy navy took on the full might of Britain’s sea power.
A masterly history of the lesser-known second half of the Revolutionary War. Ferling reminds readers that American patriots, ecstatic after the 1777 victory at Saratoga, were not expecting the fighting to continue for nearly twice as long as before. He argues that American victory at Saratoga and Yorktown was far from guaranteed—chance, along with military strategy, played a significant role in the founding of the U.S.
Happy Independence Day!
–Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian