Our 15 Favorite Books on the American Revolution

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 1:13pm -- lwhite

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July then by picking up a book about the American Revolution? While numerous books have been written on this struggle for independence, we've have compiled a list of our 15 favorite books on the topic. What is your favorites?


The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood

This Pulitzer Prize winning account of the American Revolution provides a very readable overview of the political, historical, and cultural aspects of the conflict. Wood's account of the struggle portrays a nation that is transformed from a feudal society to that of a democratic nation. 


Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution by Benson Bobrick

This account provides a compelling narrative that traces the roots of the American Revolution from the French and Indian War and ending with the election of George Washington. He provides a lively account of the war through entertaining anecdotes of leading characters on both sides of the war, as well lives of the common colonial citizens. 



Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer 

This book is unique in that is both a biography of Paul Revere and history of the onset of the American resistance to Great Britain. Fischer provides not just an excellent profile of Paul Revere, but of all the important players in the beginning of the revolution. 



The Rhode Island Campaign: The First French and American Operation in Revolutionary War by Christian M. McBurney

The Rhode Island Campaign provides a wonderfully well-written account of this often overlooked military campaign, but whose participants were legendary - Benedict Arnold, the Marquis de Lafayette, British Admiral Richard Howe, and American General Nathaniel Greene. 


Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution by A.J. Langguth

With meticulous research and page-turning suspense, Patriots brings to life the American Revolution—the battles, the treacheries, and the dynamic personalities of the men who forged our freedom.



Liberty's Exile: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff

This groundbreaking book offers the first global history of the loyalist exodus to Canada, the Caribbean, Sierra Leone, India, and beyond.



Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before it was History, it was News by Todd Andrlik


This book presents a collection of primary source newspaper articles and correspondence reporting the events of the Revolution, containing both American and British eyewitness accounts and commentary and analysis from thirty-seven historians.



Weathering the Storm: Women of the American Revolution by Elizabeth Evans

Weathering the storm is a vivid, contemporary record drawn from the diaries and journals of eleven women who lived through the momentous events of the Revolutionary period. These elven women with very different perspectives provide an engaging insight into life in colonial America during the revolution. 


The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff

Robert Middlekauff offers a panoramic history of the conflict between England and America, highlighting the drama and anguish of the colonial struggle for independence. Through it all, Middlekauff gives the reader a vivid sense of how the colonists saw these events and the importance they gave to them. Common soldiers and great generals, Sons of Liberty and African slaves, town committee-men and representatives in congress--all receive their due.




The War of American Idenpendence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763-1789 by Don Higginbotham

Don Higginbotham provides a behind-the-scenes look at the causes and effects of the Revolutionary War. As opposed to other historical accounts that focus on specific details of battles, Higginbotham dissects the military policies from their heritage throughout the colonial period to the execution of the war.


George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

 When General George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied--thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. Washington realized that he couldn't beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members' identities that one spy's name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring's activities to piece together evidence that these six individuals turned the tide of the war.


Defender's of Liberty: African Americans in the Revolutionary War by Lt. Col. Michael Lee Lanning

Noted military historian, Lt. Col. Michael Lee Lanning, reveals the critical and heroic role African Americans played in the American Revolution, the last war to use integrated units until the Korean Conflict.


The marketplace of Revolution by T.H. Breen


The Marketplace of Revolution offers a boldly innovative interpretation of the mobilization of ordinary Americans on the eve of independence. Breen explores how colonists who came from very different ethnic and religious backgrounds managed to overcome difference and create a common cause capable of galvanizing resistance. Breen argues that the colonists' shared experience as consumers in a new imperial economy afforded them the cultural resources that they needed to develop a radical strategy of political protest--the consumer boycott. 


A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution by Johann Conrad Döhla


This unique diary, written by one of the thirty thousand Hessian troops whose services were sold to George III to suppress the American Revolution, is the most complete and informative primary account of the Revolution from the common soldier's point of view. Johann Conrad Döhla describes not just military activities but also events leading up to the Revolution, American customs, the cities and regions that he visited, and incidents in other parts of the world that affected the war. He also evaluates the important military commanders, giving readers an insight into how the enlisted men felt about their leaders and opponents.


Blue Water Patriots: The American Revolution Afloat by James M. Volo


In 1775, it was inconceivable that the American colonists could have overcome the overwhelming military superiority of Great Britain. Yet the belligerent colonists seemed certain that they could defeat the British army they so despised. On the other hand, the one great fear shared by all colonists was that they would not be able to overcome the presence of the Royal Navy. From as early as 1764 until the French joined the world-wide naval conflict, the colonists contended with British naval might alone and against formidable odds. These Blue Water Patriots fought the first battles on the road to American independence.