100 books like 1774

By Mary Beth Norton,

Here are 100 books that 1774 fans have personally recommended if you like 1774. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret: George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon

John Koopman III Author Of George Washington at War - 1776

From my list on a fresh look into the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in history and in particular military history for my entire life. Since 2006 I have been a George Washington interpreter. I portray the great man in first person live presentations and in documentary film. I have devoted a great deal of time in study of him. As a result of my studies of Washington, I felt compelled to write a book about him. I wanted to capture aspects of him not covered in most books or in film. Four of the books I reviewed involve George Washington.

John's book list on a fresh look into the past

John Koopman III Why did John love this book?

Mount Vernon research historian Mary V. Thompson has written what will become the definitive book on slavery at George Washington's home. The book puts you in the place of an enslaved person, what their daily life was like. Throughout his life Washington struggled with slavery, he wanted it to end. Finally in his will, he freed his slaves. Sending a message to the country that slavery must end. There were those who were angered by this action, documented in the book. One contemporary said it was “the…worst act of his public life.” There were former slaves that thought differently. Over thirty years after Washington’s death eleven African American men were observed making repairs to Washington’s tomb. When asked about it by a visitor to Mount Vernon, it was discovered that they were former slaves of Washington freed in his will. They had volunteered their time for the memory of a…

By Mary V. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

George Washington's life has been scrutinized by historians over the past three centuries, but the day-to-day lives of Mount Vernon's enslaved workers, who left few written records but made up 90 percent of the estate's population, have been largely left out of the story.

In ""The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret,"" Mary Thompson offers the first comprehensive account of those who served in bondage at Mount Vernon. Drawing on years of research in a wide range of sources, Thompson brings to life the lives of Washington's slaves while illuminating the radical change in his views on slavery and race wrought…


Book cover of Founding Friendships: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Early American Republic

Alexis Coe Author Of You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

From my list on George Washington.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alexis Coe is a presidential historian and the New York Times bestselling author of You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, which was also Audible’s best history book of 2020 and Barnes and Nobel's nonfiction Book of the Month. She was a producer and appeared in Doris Kearns Goodwin's Washington series on the History Channel.

Alexis' book list on George Washington

Alexis Coe Why did Alexis love this book?

“I am always yours” was not George Washington’s usual signoff. It was reserved for Elizabeth Willing Powel, a dear friend who often gets short shrift in Washington biographies. Cassandra Good’s book isn’t devoted to the General, but what's there can't be found anywhere else.

By Cassandra A. Good,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Founding Friendships as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"When Harry Met Sally" is only the most iconic of popular American movies, books, and articles that pose the question of whether friendships between men and women are possible. In Founding Friendships, Cassandra A. Good shows that this question was embedded in and debated as far back as the birth of the American nation. Indeed, many of the nation's founding fathers had female friends but popular rhetoric held that these relationships were fraught with
social danger, if not impossible.

Elite men and women formed loving, politically significant friendships in the early national period that were crucial to the individuals' lives…


Book cover of Valiant Ambition

Alexis Coe Author Of You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

From my list on George Washington.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alexis Coe is a presidential historian and the New York Times bestselling author of You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, which was also Audible’s best history book of 2020 and Barnes and Nobel's nonfiction Book of the Month. She was a producer and appeared in Doris Kearns Goodwin's Washington series on the History Channel.

Alexis' book list on George Washington

Alexis Coe Why did Alexis love this book?

Nathaniel Philbrick produces what we call “Dad History,” but despite that, I find this book on George Washington and Benedict Arnold’s relationship to be the most exciting out there. You’ll be surprised at how much they had in common, but their differences matter most.

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Valiant Ambition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the George Washington Prize

A surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold, from the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and In the Hurricane's Eye.

"May be one of the greatest what-if books of the age-a volume that turns one of America's best-known narratives on its head."-Boston Globe

"Clear and insightful, [Valiant Ambition] consolidates Philbrick's reputation as one of America's foremost practitioners of narrative nonfiction."-Wall Street Journal

In the second book of his…


Book cover of The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington

Alexis Coe Author Of You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

From my list on George Washington.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alexis Coe is a presidential historian and the New York Times bestselling author of You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, which was also Audible’s best history book of 2020 and Barnes and Nobel's nonfiction Book of the Month. She was a producer and appeared in Doris Kearns Goodwin's Washington series on the History Channel.

Alexis' book list on George Washington

Alexis Coe Why did Alexis love this book?

Until Martha Saxton came along, Mary Ball Washington was much maligned by historians--but she’s no Mary Washington apologist. Saxton wrote the first comprehensive book on the first President’s mother with her eyes wide open and no one, not mother or son, gets away with anything.

By Martha Saxton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Widow Washington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Widow Washington is the first life of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother, based on archival sources. Her son's biographers have, for the most part, painted her as self-centered and crude, a trial and an obstacle to her son. But the records tell a very different story. Mary Ball, the daughter of a wealthy planter and a formerly indentured servant, was orphaned very young and grew up in an atmosphere of work, frugality, and piety. She married the older planter Augustine Washington and had five children with him before his death eleven years later. As a widow deprived of…


Book cover of George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides

Natasha Wing Author Of The Story of Eliza Hamilton: A Biography Book for New Readers

From my list on Founding Mothers and Fathers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love relearning history I learned way back in high school and looking at it with wiser eyes. I wanted to pay tribute to both the Founding Fathers and Mothers since it took quite a few brave, smart and determined people to figure out how the new nation of the United States of America would operate. After watching the musical, Hamilton, I was curious to discover more about some of the characters. That’s what’s so great about children’s books – they can be used to extend and deepen the learning process for kids and adults.

Natasha's book list on Founding Mothers and Fathers

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

You’ve heard the saying, “There are two sides to every story.” Well, that’s what this author did. She presented both sides of the story of the American Revolution from George Washington’s side in America to King George III’s side in England. Real quotes used in speech balloons add another layer to the historic facts in this book. This is for older kids, 9-12. There are gory details of war (including rape) so just warning you. Kids will have a deeper understanding of what lengths the troops went through to carry on and win the Revolutionary War. Excellent afterward tells what each man did after the war. 

By Rosalyn Schanzer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked George vs. George as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There were once two enemies who were both named George - George Washington and George III. They were very much alike in some ways, and they were both beloved by their people. But wars alter perceptions of people and interpretations of events. Because the winners tend to tell the tale, very few people in the United States have ever considered the British side of the American Revolution. In George vs. George, Roz Schanzer deftly shifts her perspective and includes primary source quotes from people on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the conflict. (There were loyalists in…


Book cover of A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley

Edward G. Gray Author Of Tom Paine's Iron Bridge: Building a United States

From my list on ingenuity and innovation in the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in the American Revolution began with a college course on the French Revolution. I was enthralled by the drama of it all. Being the impressionable late adolescent that I was, I naturally explained to my professor, a famous French historian of the French Revolution, that I wanted to dedicate my life to the study of this fascinating historical period. My professor urged me to reconsider. He suggested I look at a less well-known Revolution, the one British colonists undertook a decade earlier. I started reading books about the American Revolution. Now, forty years on, I’m still enthralled by the astonishing creative energy of this period in American history. 

Edward's book list on ingenuity and innovation in the American Revolution

Edward G. Gray Why did Edward love this book?

Eighteenth-century innovators came in many forms. Some were artisans, the craftspeople who made utilitarian things. Some were what were sometimes called toy makers, not because they made toys, but because they made baubles and trinkets for adults. Some were natural philosophers, whose innovations came in the physical sciences. And some were artists—creators of high-priced, highly-prized, and beautiful things. In this latter category, John Singleton Copley was America’s most accomplished. Perhaps the finest portraitist ever to paint in America, on the eve of the War for Independence, the young Copley left for Britain, never to return to the country of his birth. Kamensky’s intimate and moving portrait shows Copley, the ex-pat and loyalist, ascending to the pinnacle of the British art world. But far more importantly, it shows the price Copley and his family paid for this ascent, reminding the reader that innovation does not happen in a political vacuum. 

By Jane Kamensky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Revolution in Color as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this life of painter John Singleton Copley, Jane Kamensky untangles the web of principles and interests that shaped the age of America's revolution. Copley's talent earned him the patronage of Boston's leaders but he did not share their politics and painting portraits failed to satisfy his lofty artistic goals. A British subject who lamented America's provincialism, Copley looked longingly across the Atlantic. When resistance escalated into war, he was in London. A painter of America's revolution as Britain's American War, the magisterial canvases he created made him one of the towering figures of the British art scene. Kamensky brings…


Book cover of Gingerbread for Liberty!: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution

Beth Anderson Author Of Cloaked in Courage: Uncovering Deborah Sampson, Patriot Soldier

From my list on children’s stories on the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an educator, I’ve experienced the power of true stories to engage readers, widen their world, spur thinking, and support content areas. I’ve learned plenty from these books, too! As an author, I’m fascinated with many aspects of the American Revolution that I never learned about as a student. Researching this time period has revealed much more than men at war. The revolution affected every aspect of life—a “world turned upside-down.” Today, we’re fortunate to have a range of stories that help kids understand that history is about people much like them facing the challenges of their time and place. 

Beth's book list on children’s stories on the American Revolution

Beth Anderson Why did Beth love this book?

A gingerbread baker had a role in the American Revolution? I had to know more!

I love stories of people behind the scenes, everyday people like us, so often overlooked. These stories let us know that we’re all a part of history. In this book, a German immigrant uses his baking talents to support George Washington’s troops.

Recently, I’ve learned with my research for an upcoming book about how difficult it was to supply the Continental Army with food. Starving soldiers had to go out and forage for food—one of the many everyday struggles of the time that brings history home. I also love that it’s a story of generosity. Rockliff’s lively books never fail to engage me as a reader. 

By Mara Rockliff, Vincent X Kirsch (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gingerbread for Liberty! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Christopher Ludwick was a German-born American patriot with a big heart and a talent for baking. When cries of “Revolution!” began, Christopher was determined to help General George Washington and his hungry troops. Not with muskets or cannons, but with gingerbread!     Cheerfully told by Mara Rockliff and brought to life by Vincent Kirsch’s inventive cut-paper illustrations, Gingerbread for Liberty is the story of an unsung hero of the Revolutionary War who changed the course of history one loaf at a time.


Book cover of The Washingtons: George and Martha: Partners in Friendship and Love

Cassandra Good Author Of First Family: George Washington's Heirs and the Making of America

From my list on the fascinating families of America’s founders.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved reading books about time travel, and now as a historian, I do a sort of time travel for my job. I have always been especially drawn to reading women’s correspondence, particularly when the women involved were pushing against gender roles and finding ways to access political power. I approach doing history as if it’s an ethnography of a group of people with entirely different beliefs, norms, and even emotions from us today; after all, the past is a foreign country. I’m especially intrigued by uncovering how personal relationships worked in the past and how relationships with political figures allowed family and friends to access power.

Cassandra's book list on the fascinating families of America’s founders

Cassandra Good Why did Cassandra love this book?

The story of Martha and George Washington’s marriage is a hard one to tell because almost none of their correspondence survives, but Fraser pieces together a rich story that shows the evolving love story of this famous couple. She makes clear that Martha—both her wealth and her character—was fundamental to making George Washington into the famous general and president he became.

By Flora Fraser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Washingtons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In these pages, acclaimed historian Flora Fraser unfurls the story of George and Martha, brilliantly narrating the lives of an extraordinarily dedicated, accomplished, and historic couple. When they married in colonial Virginia in 1759, he was an awkward but ambitious young officer, she, a graceful, wealthy young widow. They were devoted to one another, and George was as a father to Martha’s children by her first husband. She endowed Washington with the confidence—and resources—that would aid him when elected commander-in-chief of the Continental army. During the war, Martha resolutely supported her husband, ‘the General,’ joining him every winter in headquarters;…


Book cover of Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution

Clark Rich Burbidge Author Of StarPassage: Book One: The Relic

From my list on allowing characters to find their greatness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an unextraordinary individual with an ordinary skill set including strengths and weaknesses. Yet, my life experiences have caused me to reach deep inside and find my own greatness to face seemingly impossible obstacles in my path. My writing reflects this hopeful overcoming and undaunted spirit. I have learned that heroes only exist because they must face daunting villains. Such villains can arise from other individuals, outside forces, life circumstances, and even from within ourselves. Yet, I have learned that villains are not a threat to destroy us, they are in fact the vehicles by which we become heroes in our own story. There are no heroes without villains.

Clark's book list on allowing characters to find their greatness

Clark Rich Burbidge Why did Clark love this book?

George Washington was given the opportunity to become King of America as it struggled mightily following the Revolution.

I am inspired by his selflessness after giving every ounce of his spiritual, emotional, and physical might to the cause. He turned it down in perhaps the single most powerful speech in America’s history. His power and influence over this young nation was set aside in an example that resonates still today.

I love how his story of courage against impossible odds and his steadfast confidence in the support of providence allowed the birth of something unique and wonderful. Thomas Jefferson attributed the “…moderation and virtue of a single individual…” to the survival of the cause of freedom in America. 

By Benson Bobrick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Angel in the Whirlwind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Grounded in the latest research, this comprehensive volume explores the frequently overlooked fact that, despite charismatic leadership and eventual success, the revolutionary movement never garnered the support of more than half the American colonists. 30,000 first printing.


Book cover of American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804

Kathleen DuVal Author Of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

From my list on the American Revolution beyond the Founding Fathers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional historian and life-long lover of early American history. My fascination with the American Revolution began during the bicentennial in 1976, when my family traveled across the country for celebrations in Williamsburg and Philadelphia. That history, though, seemed disconnected to the place I grew up—Arkansas—so when I went to graduate school in history, I researched in French and Spanish archives to learn about their eighteenth-century interactions with Arkansas’s Native nations, the Osages and Quapaws. Now I teach early American history and Native American history at UNC-Chapel Hill and have written several books on how Native American, European, and African people interacted across North America.

Kathleen's book list on the American Revolution beyond the Founding Fathers

Kathleen DuVal Why did Kathleen love this book?

The other books I am recommending focus on pieces of the Revolution; American Revolutions is a sweeping history of the American Revolution.

This is the book I recommend to anyone who wants the whole story, from the Revolution’s causes coming out of the Seven Years’ War, through protests, declaring independence, fighting a war across the continent, to Jefferson’s postwar visions of American expansion.

Most big picture histories of the Revolution are still stuck in the old Founding Fathers and generals model, but American Revolutions manages to tell all of this history without focusing solely on men like John Adams and George Washington. We learn about them but also about ordinary men and women—rebelling and loyalist; British, French, and Spanish; enslaved and free—caught up in it all.

By Alan Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Revolutions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Often understood as a high-minded, orderly event, the American Revolution grows in this masterful history like a ground fire overspreading Britain's mainland colonies, fuelled by local conditions and resistant to control. Emerging from the rivalries of European empires and their allies, the revolution pivoted on western expansion as well as resistance to new British taxes. In the seaboard cities, leading Patriots mobilised popular support by summoning crowds to harass opponents. Along the frontier, the war often featured guerrilla violence that persisted long after the peace treaty. The smouldering discord called forth a movement to consolidate power in a Federal Constitution…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the American Revolution, George Washington, and King George III?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the American Revolution, George Washington, and King George III.

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