100 books like A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier

By Joseph Plumb Martin,

Here are 100 books that A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier fans have personally recommended if you like A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier. 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 Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire

Jack N. Rakove Author Of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution

From my list on the Revolutionary War and why the British lost it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became a historian of the American Revolution back in the early 1970s and have been working on that subject ever since. Most of my writings pivot on national politics, the origins of the Constitution, and James Madison. But explaining why the Revolution occurred and why it took the course it did remain subjects that still fascinate me.

Jack's book list on the Revolutionary War and why the British lost it

Jack N. Rakove Why did Jack love this book?

The vast majority of books on the Revolutionary War are written by Americans, and they predictably focus on the conflict from the Patriot side. But throughout the war, the strategic initiative rested with Britain, not the United States. Through a series of brilliant biographical chapters, O’Shaughnessy traces the history of the war and the evolution of British strategy, and its ultimate failure, from the imperial side.

By Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Men Who Lost America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The loss of America was a stunning and unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders in Britain must have been to blame, but were they? This intriguing book makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, historian Andrew O'Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory. In interlinked biographical chapters, the author follows the course of the war from the perspectives of King George…


Book cover of The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America

Tom Shachtman Author Of The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid for and Profited from America's Revolution

From my list on lesser-known figures in the American Revolution and early years.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Tom Shachtman, author of many nonfiction books about American and world history, including three on overlooked aspects of the Revolutionary War.  I believe that America’s Revolution belongs to all of us, native-born and immigrant, old and young, and it does so today just as much as it did a hundred and two hundred years ago; but too many myths have grown up about it, obscuring some of its most interesting people and aspects. My aim is to recover those people and aspects, and in writing about them to broaden our understanding of our common heritage.

Tom's book list on lesser-known figures in the American Revolution and early years

Tom Shachtman Why did Tom love this book?

The story of the mostly urban radicals – the unknowns -- who began the Revolution, and how they and their democratic passions were gradually but inevitably “tamed” to create a Constitution and a governable country.

By Gary B. Nash,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this audacious recasting of the American Revolution, distinguished historian Gary Nash offers a profound new way of thinking about the struggle to create this country, introducing readers to a coalition of patriots from all classes and races of American society. From millennialist preachers to enslaved Africans, disgruntled women to aggrieved Indians, the people so vividly portrayed in this book did not all agree or succeed, but during the exhilarating and messy years of this country's birth, they laid down ideas that have become part of our inheritance and ideals toward which we still strive today.


Book cover of The Wealth of Nations

Sylvana Tomaselli Author Of Wollstonecraft: Philosophy, Passion, and Politics

From my list on the eighteenth-century you should read for yourself.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had the privilege to teach the history of political theory from Plato to today for decades and to discuss texts such as the five I mentioned with very gifted students. No matter how often I return to such works, I always find something new in them and it is a pleasure to see how students learn to love reading for themselves what can be daunting works, once they overcome the fear of opening the great works and the initial challenge of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century prose.

Sylvana's book list on the eighteenth-century you should read for yourself

Sylvana Tomaselli Why did Sylvana love this book?

Even though Adam Smith is often said to be the father of all that is good or bad about capitalism very few people have read his famous Wealth of Nations. Why? Well, 1) they think they already know what’s in it: no government intervention in the economy, thank you. 2) It is two volumes. 3) It must be very dreary because it is about economics, and 4) they are not good at economics or math.  

But read it for yourself, and you will find that it is readable, nuanced, and you can skip the bits that you can’t make out, enjoy the examples, and decide for yourself what he actually argued and whether you agree with it or not.

By Adam Smith,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Wealth of Nations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity, and free markets.


Book cover of Jefferson's Treasure: How Albert Gallatin Saved the New Nation from Debt

Tom Shachtman Author Of The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid for and Profited from America's Revolution

From my list on lesser-known figures in the American Revolution and early years.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Tom Shachtman, author of many nonfiction books about American and world history, including three on overlooked aspects of the Revolutionary War.  I believe that America’s Revolution belongs to all of us, native-born and immigrant, old and young, and it does so today just as much as it did a hundred and two hundred years ago; but too many myths have grown up about it, obscuring some of its most interesting people and aspects. My aim is to recover those people and aspects, and in writing about them to broaden our understanding of our common heritage.

Tom's book list on lesser-known figures in the American Revolution and early years

Tom Shachtman Why did Tom love this book?

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and their secretary of the treasury, Albert Gallatin, did as much as Alexander Hamilton to create the unique blend of capitalism and democracy that is the United States of America – a story that more Americans ought to know.

By Gregory May,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jefferson's Treasure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WALL STREET JOURNAL review: "One of Mr. May's strengths is his ability to convey a vivid sense of the times. When Britain attacked the U.S. naval frigate Chesapeake in 1807, Gallatin received a message from Jefferson bidding him to come in haste. 'If you arrive before half after three, come and take a family dinner with me,' Jefferson pleaded, a poignant reminder that, in Jefferson's time, official duties set with the sun... [May] credits Gallatin with ushering in an era of official frugality and mourns that we have "lost sight of the pragmatic, liberal republicanism he practiced"

George Washington had…


Book cover of The American Revolution: A World War

Ray Raphael Author Of Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

From my list on deepening your view of the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

When writing my first of my ten books on the Founding Era, A People’s History of the American Revolution, I came across an amazing uprising not celebrated in the traditional saga of our nation’s birth: the people of Massachusetts, everywhere outside of Boston, actually cast off British authority in 1774, the year before Lexington and Concord. How could this critical episode have been so neglected? Who’s the gatekeeper here, anyway? That’s when I began to explore how events of those times morphed into stories, and how those stories mask what actually happened—the theme of Founding Myths.  

Ray's book list on deepening your view of the American Revolution

Ray Raphael Why did Ray love this book?

This book is a game changer. In the traditional telling of the American Revolution, rebellious colonists were the sole agents, save for a bit of help from France. Here, scholars from Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and India, as well as the United States, broaden our perspective. The volume is lavishly produced with historical artwork by the Smithsonian, but this is no ordinary coffee table book. In vivid detail, you will learn that from its very outset, our nation was not a world unto itself. From the nearby Caribbean to Europe to far-away India, the American Revolution played out on a global stage. 

By David K. Allison (editor), Larrie D. Ferreiro (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An illustrated collection of essays that explores the international dimensions of the American Revolution and its legacies in both America and around the world

The American Revolution: A World War argues that contrary to popular opinion, the American Revolution was not just a simple battle for independence in which the American colonists waged a "David versus Goliath" fight to overthrow their British rulers. Instead, the essays in the book illustrate how the American Revolution was a much more complicated and interesting conflict. It was an extension of larger skirmishes among the global superpowers in Europe, chiefly Britain, Spain, France, and…


Book cover of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

Ray Raphael Author Of Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

From my list on deepening your view of the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

When writing my first of my ten books on the Founding Era, A People’s History of the American Revolution, I came across an amazing uprising not celebrated in the traditional saga of our nation’s birth: the people of Massachusetts, everywhere outside of Boston, actually cast off British authority in 1774, the year before Lexington and Concord. How could this critical episode have been so neglected? Who’s the gatekeeper here, anyway? That’s when I began to explore how events of those times morphed into stories, and how those stories mask what actually happened—the theme of Founding Myths.  

Ray's book list on deepening your view of the American Revolution

Ray Raphael Why did Ray love this book?

You might or might not have read about Alexander McGillivray, the controversial Creek diplomat, but how about Payamataha, Oliver Pollack, Petit Jean, Amand Broussard, or James Bruce? They were, respectively: Chickasaw leader who tried to keep his people out of the war; merchant and the Continental Congress’s agent in Louisiana; slave from Mobile who spied for Spain; Cajun militiaman seeking revenge against the British for deporting his people; member of His Majesty’s Council for West Florida. Weaving her narrative around this diverse cast and little-known cross-cultural encounters in the Gulf region, DuVal explores “the changing power dynamics of the entire continent, not just the thirteen British colonies that eventually rebelled.”

By Kathleen DuVal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A rising-star historian offers a significant new global perspective on the Revolutionary War with the story of the conflict as seen through the eyes of the outsiders of colonial society

Winner of the Journal of the American Revolution Book of the Year Award • Winner of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey History Prize • Finalist for the George Washington Book Prize

Over the last decade, award-winning historian Kathleen DuVal has revitalized the study of early America’s marginalized voices. Now, in Independence Lost, she recounts an untold story as rich and significant as that of…


Book cover of A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence

Jack N. Rakove Author Of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution

From my list on the Revolutionary War and why the British lost it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became a historian of the American Revolution back in the early 1970s and have been working on that subject ever since. Most of my writings pivot on national politics, the origins of the Constitution, and James Madison. But explaining why the Revolution occurred and why it took the course it did remain subjects that still fascinate me.

Jack's book list on the Revolutionary War and why the British lost it

Jack N. Rakove Why did Jack love this book?

This is a classic and provocative set of essays by an eminent historian who asked whether and in what ways the War for Independence resembled modern revolutionary wars. It led every serious historian of the Revolution to realize that the war was not simply a conflict between armies but a political struggle to secure the loyalty of the civilian population.

By John Shy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A People Numerous and Armed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Americans like to think of themselves as a peaceful and peace-loving people, and in remembering their own revolutionary past, American historians have long tended to focus on colonial origins and Constitutional aftermath, neglecting the fact that the American Revolution was a long, hard war. In this book, John Shy shifts the focus to the Revolutionary War and explores the ways in which the experience of that war was entangled with both the causes and the consequences of the Revolution itself. This is not a traditional military chronicle of battles and campaigns, but a series of essays that recapture the social,…


Book cover of This Glorious Cause: The Adventures of Two Company Officers in Washington's Army

Ray Raphael Author Of Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

From my list on deepening your view of the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

When writing my first of my ten books on the Founding Era, A People’s History of the American Revolution, I came across an amazing uprising not celebrated in the traditional saga of our nation’s birth: the people of Massachusetts, everywhere outside of Boston, actually cast off British authority in 1774, the year before Lexington and Concord. How could this critical episode have been so neglected? Who’s the gatekeeper here, anyway? That’s when I began to explore how events of those times morphed into stories, and how those stories mask what actually happened—the theme of Founding Myths.  

Ray's book list on deepening your view of the American Revolution

Ray Raphael Why did Ray love this book?

What about wives left behind when their husbands marched off to war? This neglected gem showcases the letters between Joseph Hodgkins, a Minuteman who answered the Lexington Alarm, and his wife Sarah, at home with three small children. Joseph reenlists, not once but twice: “If we Due not Exarte our selves in this gloris. Cause our all is gon and we made slaves of for Ever.” But with each succeeding term, Sarah’s letters become more heart-wrenching: “You may think I am too free in expressing my mind. I look for you almost every day but I dont alow myself to depend on anything for I find there is nothing to be depended upon but troble and disapointments. I hope you will Let Some body else take your Place.” Can such a marriage survive? 

By Herbert Treadwell Wade, Robert A. Lively,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Glorious Cause as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"As I am ingaged in this glories Cause I am will to go whare I am Called"-so Joseph Hodgkins, a shoemaker of Ipswich, Massachusetts, declared to his wife the purpose that sustained him through four crucial years of the American Revolution. Hodgkins and his fellow townsman Nathaniel Wade, a carpenter, turned out for the Lexington alarm, fought at Bunker Hill, retreated from Long Island past White Plains, attacked at Trenton and Princeton, and enjoyed triumph at Saratoga. One of them wintered at Valley Forge, and the other was promoted to command at West Point on the night that Benedict Arnold…


Book cover of Washington's General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution

Jack Kelly Author Of Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty

From my list on the American Revolutionary War from five different perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jack Kelly is a prize-winning historian who has written two acclaimed books about the Revolutionary War. Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence provides one of the best short accounts of the entire war. Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty is a suspense-filled account of the crucial northern theater during that decisive year.

Jack's book list on the American Revolutionary War from five different perspectives

Jack Kelly Why did Jack love this book?

The Revolution was an affair of people. Golway does a masterful job of bringing to life one of the most important, and often most neglected, of the American officers. Nathanael Greene was the epitome of the amateur soldiers who led the patriot effort. He was the man Washington selected to take over the Continental Army if Washington himself was killed. The book offers important insights into logistics (Greene for a time served as Quartermaster General). It also illuminates the war in the South, where Greene confounded British plans and set the scene for the patriot victory at Yorktown.

By Terry Golway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The overlooked Quaker from Rhode Island who won the American Revolution's crucial southern campaign and helped to set up the final victory of American independence at Yorktown

Nathanael Greene is a revolutionary hero who has been lost to history. Although places named in his honor dot city and country, few people know his quintessentially American story as a self-made, self-educated military genius who renounced his Quaker upbringing-horrifying his large family-to take up arms against the British. Untrained in military matters when he joined the Rhode Island militia in 1774, he quickly rose to become Washington's right-hand man and heir apparent.…


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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the American Revolution, the Continental Army, and the American Revolutionary War?

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