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Subject: Recommendation for American Revolutionary War books rss

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Justin
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I've been a fan of military history since i was very young. I always enjoyed ancient military history. I couldn't stand american military history. It was just to 'new' and we were always taught the same thing in school. I wouldn't even look at a history book that was about anything past 1700.

But recently i've started taking a look at Napoleonic age of warfare and i find that i'm enjoying it.

Then i stumbled upon Gittes Historical Geeklist series and started reading about the American revolution and i am very interested.

I've spent sometime reading book reviews on amazon for a good history book on the topic. I would like a book that takes a look at the entire war not just specific part or army.

What i really want is an unbiased history of the war. A lot of the book i looked at on amazon seemed to downplay the strength of the British in the war or the fact that without the french support we wouldn't have lasted.

I did see some book that were written from a British perspective but are they just as biased in the other direction?

I wouldn't greatly appreciate any recommendations and a little sentence about why you like the book.

thanks in advance.
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Robert Wesley
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robot Uniforms of the American Revolution in Color by John Mollo & illustrated by Malcolm MacGregor. "For their depictures!" whistle
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Jim Ransom
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Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer. A great read; Pulitzer Prize winner; doesn't cover the whole war, but fascinating concerning the important and little studied New Jersey campaign.

The Glorious Cause by robert Middlekauff. Comprehensive!

Victory at Yorktown by Richard M. Ketchum. Easy reading, narrative style; covers the final campaign; author has also written on Saratoga and Bunker Hill -- he's an AmRev expert.

Enjoy!
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M Hellyer
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Aurora
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Years ago I really liked Rebels and Redcoats -- a lot of perspective from the soldier, and very well written.
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Justin
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I've read a couple recommendations for that book. Doesn't really bother me that much but one of the amazon reviews says that one of their quotes from a german commander is false or something like that.

 
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Adam Cirone
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I will second the recommendation of The Glorious Cause by Middlekauf. Most of the book focuses on the causes behind the American Revolution, rather than just descriptions of battles, and why the war unfolded in the manner that it did. These are the most interesting parts of history, in my opinion.

However, I will say that it helps to have an understanding of the general timeline of the war and some of the key events before reading this book.
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Christina Kahrl
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Jayne Starlancer wrote:
I will second the recommendation of The Glorious Cause by Middlekauf. Most of the book focuses on the causes behind the American Revolution, rather than just descriptions of battles, and why the war unfolded in the manner that it did. These are the most interesting parts of history, in my opinion.


I'll third Middlekauf's book as a great read, and I'd also recommend John Ferling's "A Leap in the Dark" and Robert Ketchum's "Saratoga."


Christina
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Jacovis
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I also enjoy Middlekauff's book!

Also, Richard Ketchum has written a few great books: "Saratoga" and "The Winter Soldiers" are my favorites.

Enjoy!

Jacovis
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Jeffrey D Myers
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http://www.amazon.com/Almost-Miracle-American-Victory-Indepe...
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Paul Spak
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The Spirit of Seventy-six, Commager/Morris.

A large collection of the contemporary writings from most of the principal figures of the conflict. Excellent source material on all the major campaigns.
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Mitch Willis
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George Washington's War: The Saga of the American Revolution by Robert Leckie: A good general history of the conflict written by a popular historian. It's an easy read...while it's short on analysis, it covers the entire war. Another plus is that you can get it pretty cheap on Amazon...

+1 Washington's Crossing by Fischer: Agree that this is a great read 'bout a pivotal turning point in the war.

+1 for any of Ketchum's battle histories as well. I particularly enjoyed his book on Saratoga...

I'd also recommend the A&E movie "The Crossing" which you should be able to find on DVD. While it's not 100% historically accurate, I think it probably comes fairly close, and it's entertaining to boot. I thought Jeff Daniels (who played Chamberlain in "Gettysburg") was good at portraying Washington...
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Colin Parkin
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Washington's Crossing is a good read but very pro-revolutionary. For an antidote, read Hugh Bicheno's 'Rebels and Redcoats', which is the total opposite of the 'Washington on a par with Alexander' school of thought. I found Robert Harvey to be a reasonably balanced commentator from the British perspective in ' A few bloody noses'.
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Jim Ransom
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stpark wrote:
Washington's Crossing is a good read but very pro-revolutionary. For an antidote, read Hugh Bicheno's 'Rebels and Redcoats', which is the total opposite of the 'Washington on a par with Alexander' school of thought. I found Robert Harvey to be a reasonably balanced commentator from the British perspective in ' A few bloody noses'.


Great point -- it's good to get some perspective from the Mothership. We colonials tend to forget that there are other viewpoints, and often you can't get the full picture by looking solely from one angle.
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John New
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A few more recommendations:

A Revolutionary People At War: The Continental Army and American Character, 1775-1783 by Charles Royster.

http://www.amazon.com/Revolutionary-People-War-Continental-C...

Those Damned Rebels: The American Revolution As Seen Through British Eyes by Michael Pearson

http://www.amazon.com/Those-Damned-Rebels-American-Revolutio...

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

http://www.amazon.com/Patriots-Men-Started-American-Revoluti...

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Steve Boone
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The American Revolution (vols 1 and 2) by John Fiske. Free on Google books.

Published in 1894. Brilliant insight from the author. I was very interested to see the perspective of a time when the country was barely a hundred years old.

I was able to acquire the set on eBay for about $10. To me, they're priceless.

Fehrling's works are a nice contemporary-to-us view of the war. Sometimes I have to question his conclusions. But for a single volume work, it is very readable.

-Steve
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Chris Hobbs
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I'm no expert, but I've begun reading The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman after hearing it mentioned on the Guns, Dice and Butter podcast. I'm about half way through it and really enjoying the worldwide perspective on the American Revolution. What I've read so far is really more focused on the Europe, and the impact of the Netherlands and France on the revolution. Very interesting to get a more global look at the conflict than I ever received from my history classes in school.
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Kurt Weihs
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LancerDeuce wrote:
I'm no expert, but I've begun reading The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman after hearing it mentioned on the Guns, Dice and Butter podcast. I'm about half way through it and really enjoying the worldwide perspective on the American Revolution. What I've read so far is really more focused on the Europe, and the impact of the Netherlands and France on the revolution. Very interesting to get a more global look at the conflict than I ever received from my history classes in school.


+1 excellent book. Tuchman is arguably one the best American Historical authors of the 20th century.

I also recommend 1776 by McCullough, the only downside is its narrow scope.
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Mike Windsor
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Christina Kahrl
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Speaking of Fischer's "Washington's Crossing," I picked up a used hardbound today at Powell's, as well as a copy of Urban's "Fusiliers," two AmRev books I've definitely been interested in for a while.

Slightly off-topic since it's the French & Indian War, but I'd recommend "Braddock's March" as well, because it devotes a lot of serious attention to the logistical difficulties of Braddock's task, and the colonial world didn't change that much in ~20 years. Plus cameos from George Washington, Horatio Gates, Charles Lee & more. I'd liken reading this to reading about future ACW generals in the Mexican-American War. (Speaking of which, I also picked up Dugard's "The Proving Ground" today.)


Christina
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