100 books like The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787

By Gordon S. Wood,

Here are 100 books that The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 fans have personally recommended if you like The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution

Katlyn Marie Carter Author Of Democracy in Darkness: Secrecy and Transparency in the Age of Revolutions

From my list on revolutionary ideas.

Who am I?

I am a historian of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, specializing in the American and French Revolutions. The relationship between ideas and politics has fascinated me since I worked in media relations in Washington, DC. Because I think history can help us better understand our current political controversies and challenges, I write about the origins of representative democracy in the eighteenth century. I’m also an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame where I teach classes on colonial and revolutionary America, the Constitution, and history of the media.

Katlyn's book list on revolutionary ideas

Katlyn Marie Carter Why did Katlyn love this book?

The Haitian Revolution was long left out of the history of Atlantic revolutions, dismissed as a violent uprising of enslaved people without an ideological dimension.

Dubois’s book walks readers through the twists and turns of this decade-long revolution, highlighting the intellectual agency of enslaved and freed people and the ideological consequences of this transformative event.

The Haitian Revolution is a notoriously complicated event, but I found that this book provided coherence and a compelling analysis of the effects of this crucial moment in the history of democracy and movement for human rights. And it was a gripping read at that.

By Laurent Dubois,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Avengers of the New World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first and only successful slave revolution in the Americas began in 1791 when thousands of brutally exploited slaves rose up against their masters on Saint-Domingue, the most profitable colony in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Within a few years, the slave insurgents forced the French administrators of the colony to emancipate them, a decision ratified by revolutionary Paris in 1794. This victory was a stunning challenge to the order of master/slave relations throughout the Americas, including the southern United States, reinforcing the most fervent hopes of slaves and the worst fears of masters.

But, peace eluded Saint-Domingue as British and…


Book cover of The Minutemen and Their World

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.

Who am I?

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?

I first read Minutemen and Their World in graduate school, and it shaped how I see the Revolution and history more generally—history is made by the decisions of ordinary people.

First published in 1976 and recently reissued, it focuses on the battles of Lexington and Concord, where the first shots of the Revolution were fired. Like Zabin’s Boston Massacre, it starts before the well-known events. The people of Concord were ordinary men and women with no intention to revolt against their empire. They were busy arguing about local matters such as whether to fire their preacher.

What I love about this book is how we see them gradually become revolutionaries, really against their will, humanizing the Revolution and helping us understand that it was not inevitable.

By Robert A. Gross,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Minutemen and Their World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Bancroft Prize! The Minutemen and Their World, first published in 1976, is reissued now in a revised and expanded edition with a new preface and afterword by the author.

On April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. The "shot heard round the world" catapulted this sleepy New England town into the midst of revolutionary fervor, and Concord went on to become the intellectual capital of the new republic. The town--future home to Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne--soon came to symbolize devotion to liberty, intellectual freedom, and the stubborn integrity of…


Book cover of The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

Joel Richard Paul Author Of Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times

From my list on the American Revolution from an American historian.

Who am I?

I am an American historian and author of Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution and Without Precedent: Chief Justice Marshall and His Times. I teach constitutional law and history at the University of California Hastings Law School, where I am the Albert Abramson Professor. I have a new book on American history from the War of 1812 to the Civil War coming out in 2022.

Joel's book list on the American Revolution from an American historian

Joel Richard Paul Why did Joel love this book?

Bernard Bailyn studied the political pamphlets that persuaded people that the Revolutionary War was worth fighting. Bailyn explains why a relatively minor British tax fanned the flames of revolution, and how profound political philosophy was translated into common language. This is an important book that reveals the origins of our revolution. There’s a good reason it won the Pulitzer Prize.

By Bernard Bailyn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, awarded both the Pulitzer and the Bancroft prizes, has become a classic of American historical literature. Hailed at its first appearance as "the most brilliant study of the meaning of the Revolution to appear in a generation," it was enlarged in a second edition to include the nationwide debate on the ratification of the Constitution, hence exploring not only the Founders' initial hopes and aspirations but also their struggle to implement their ideas in constructing the national government.

Now, in a new preface, Bernard Bailyn reconsiders salient features of the book and isolates…


Book cover of Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America

Joel Richard Paul Author Of Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times

From my list on the American Revolution from an American historian.

Who am I?

I am an American historian and author of Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution and Without Precedent: Chief Justice Marshall and His Times. I teach constitutional law and history at the University of California Hastings Law School, where I am the Albert Abramson Professor. I have a new book on American history from the War of 1812 to the Civil War coming out in 2022.

Joel's book list on the American Revolution from an American historian

Joel Richard Paul Why did Joel love this book?

Stanford history professor Jack Rakove is one of the most original thinkers on American history, and this book is a richly textured dramatic portrait of the lives and contributions of the Founding Fathers. It’s fast-paced, colorful, and novelistic. It’s hard to set it aside.

By Jack N. Rakove,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Revolutionaries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

* Rather than simply celebrating the 'triumph of liberty', Jack Rakove's new history of the American Revolution will stress the ambiguous legacy of the revolution, a legacy that ranges from liberty and democracy to slavery.

* Rakove will explore the complex and contested genesis of the United States, showing how the evolution was by no means inevitable and grew out the actions and interactions of many individuals, both radical and conservative, republicans, moderates and those loyal to the crown. Throughout he will investigate the complex legacy of the Revolution for notions of American nationalism and identity, issues that are all…


Book cover of A History of the American Revolution

Joel Richard Paul Author Of Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times

From my list on the American Revolution from an American historian.

Who am I?

I am an American historian and author of Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution and Without Precedent: Chief Justice Marshall and His Times. I teach constitutional law and history at the University of California Hastings Law School, where I am the Albert Abramson Professor. I have a new book on American history from the War of 1812 to the Civil War coming out in 2022.

Joel's book list on the American Revolution from an American historian

Joel Richard Paul Why did Joel love this book?

If you want to read one comprehensive history of the Revolutionary War from start to finish, this is the book you should read. Alden has packed in all the important events and personalities from the French and Indian War through George Washington’s inauguration. It is the best, most richly detailed source I know for the remarkable story of how thirteen colonies defeated the world’s most powerful military and achieved something unprecedented  – an independent democratic republic.

By John R. Alden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The history of the American rebellion against England, written by one of America's preeminent eighteenth-century historians, differs from many views of the Revolution. It is not coloured by excessive worship of the Founding Fathers but, instead, permeated by sympathy for all those involved in the conflict. Alden has taken advantage of recent scholarship that has altered opinions about George III and Lord North. But most of all this is a balanced history,political, military, social, constitutional,of the thirteen colonies from the French and Indian War in 1763 to Washington's inauguration in 1789. Whether dealing with legendary figures like Adams and Jefferson…


Book cover of Inventing the French Revolution: Essays on French Political Culture in the Eighteenth Century

Katlyn Marie Carter Author Of Democracy in Darkness: Secrecy and Transparency in the Age of Revolutions

From my list on revolutionary ideas.

Who am I?

I am a historian of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, specializing in the American and French Revolutions. The relationship between ideas and politics has fascinated me since I worked in media relations in Washington, DC. Because I think history can help us better understand our current political controversies and challenges, I write about the origins of representative democracy in the eighteenth century. I’m also an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame where I teach classes on colonial and revolutionary America, the Constitution, and history of the media.

Katlyn's book list on revolutionary ideas

Katlyn Marie Carter Why did Katlyn love this book?

What makes a revolution thinkable? Looking back, we tend to think we can identify revolutions, pinpoint their causes, and analyze their outcomes.

In this classic account of the years leading up to the French Revolution, Baker traces how revolutionaries were able to imagine a revolution and how they invented the very concept as they went. Even as they were hell-bent on breaking the Old Regime, the French revolutionaries were shaped and limited by it; their thinking was ultimately bounded by the concepts and language available to them going in.

I love this book because it provides a stimulating history of ideas and their unintended consequences. It also gave me a transformative insight into the intellectual story of the French Revolution.

By Keith Michael Baker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How did the French Revolution become thinkable? Keith Michael Baker, a leading authority on the ideological origins of the French Revolution, explores this question in his wide-ranging collection of essays. Analyzing the new politics of contestation that transformed the traditional political culture of the Old Regime during its last decades, Baker revises our historical map of the political space in which the French Revolution took form. Some essays study the ways in which the revolutionaries' break with the past was prepared by competition between agents and critics of absolute monarchy to control the cultural resources and political meanings of French…


Book cover of Becoming a Revolutionary: The Deputies of the French National Assembly and the Emergence of a Revolutionary Culture (1789-1790)

Katlyn Marie Carter Author Of Democracy in Darkness: Secrecy and Transparency in the Age of Revolutions

From my list on revolutionary ideas.

Who am I?

I am a historian of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, specializing in the American and French Revolutions. The relationship between ideas and politics has fascinated me since I worked in media relations in Washington, DC. Because I think history can help us better understand our current political controversies and challenges, I write about the origins of representative democracy in the eighteenth century. I’m also an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame where I teach classes on colonial and revolutionary America, the Constitution, and history of the media.

Katlyn's book list on revolutionary ideas

Katlyn Marie Carter Why did Katlyn love this book?

Understanding what turns someone into a revolutionary has always interested me.

Sure, there are ideas floating around and there may be material interests motivating decisions. But what causes someone to go from being a reformer to a revolutionary? Tackett digs into the memoires, diaries, and correspondence of deputies sent to the Estates General in 1789 to illuminate how their perspectives evolved throughout the first years of the French Revolution.

His account captures the pressure of crowds, the fumbling of inexperienced politicians, the fears for family back home, and the un-relenting unpredictability of events in a way that clarifies how people and dynamics radicalized. It made me think about revolutions in a totally new way by bringing in the day-to-day experiences of those who took part shaping the course of events.

By Timothy Tackett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming a Revolutionary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Leo Gershoy Prize from the American Historical Association, 1998, for the best book in Early Modern European History.

Timothy Tackett's Becoming a Revolutionary revisits one of the most controversial moments in history: the beginning of the French Revolution. How did it arise? Why did French men and women become revolutionaries? To answer these questions, Tackett focuses on the experiences of the 1200 members of the first French National Assembly. Drawing upon on a wide range of sources, including contemporary letters and diaries, Tackett shows that the deputies were a group of practical men, whose ideas were governed…


Book cover of Common Sense: A Political History

Katlyn Marie Carter Author Of Democracy in Darkness: Secrecy and Transparency in the Age of Revolutions

From my list on revolutionary ideas.

Who am I?

I am a historian of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, specializing in the American and French Revolutions. The relationship between ideas and politics has fascinated me since I worked in media relations in Washington, DC. Because I think history can help us better understand our current political controversies and challenges, I write about the origins of representative democracy in the eighteenth century. I’m also an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame where I teach classes on colonial and revolutionary America, the Constitution, and history of the media.

Katlyn's book list on revolutionary ideas

Katlyn Marie Carter Why did Katlyn love this book?

Going beyond any one political revolution, this book traces an underlying epistemological convulsion that facilitated the formation of modern democracy in the late eighteenth century.

Common sense is supposed to defy historical analysis; we assume everyone has it, always has had it, and always will. But I love this book because it completely undoes these assumptions; Rosenfeld shows how the concept of common sense was a historical creation of the long eighteenth century.

Perhaps epitomized by Thomas Paine’s famous 1776 pamphlet, common sense was more than an idea; it became a style of politics and justification for free speech and popular sovereignty. Common sense became not only a precondition for democratic politics but a precursor of populism.

By Sophia Rosenfeld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Common sense has always been a cornerstone of American politics. In 1776, Tom Paine's vital pamphlet with that title sparked the American Revolution. And today, common sense-the wisdom of ordinary people, knowledge so self-evident that it is beyond debate-remains a powerful political ideal, utilized alike by George W. Bush's aw-shucks articulations and Barack Obama's down-to-earth reasonableness. But far from self-evident is where our faith in common sense comes from and how its populist logic has shaped modern democracy. Common Sense: A Political History is the first book to explore this essential political phenomenon.

The story begins in the aftermath of…


Book cover of American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence

Joseph D'Agnese Author Of Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence

From my list on the Declaration of Independence that bring the signers to life.

Who am I?

Joseph D’Agnese grew up in the Bicentennial-fueled excitement of the 1970s, and spent 1976 fake-playing a fife and sporting a tricorn hat in various school events. Besides teaching him how to get in and out of Revolutionary-period knickers, this experience awakened in him a love for the Founding Era of American history. He has since authored three history titles with his wife, The New York Times bestselling author Denise Kiernan. 

Joseph's book list on the Declaration of Independence that bring the signers to life

Joseph D'Agnese Why did Joseph love this book?

The U.S. Constitution is the document that spells out the framework of American government. In contrast, the Declaration is something of a “one and done” document; interesting for historical reasons, but not relevant to modern governance.

And yet…of the two documents, the Declaration of Independence has a stronger hold on American emotions. Both documents have their own holiday, but not many Americans celebrate Constitution Day, which falls on each September 17th, reserving fireworks and outdoor meals for the Fourth of July instead.

Why? According to the late MIT historian Pauline Maier, the Declaration has become a kind of sacred artifact that spells out the nation’s moral beliefs, even if those beliefs boil down to a single sentence about equality, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Maier shows us how that transformation occurred. She walks us through many other obscure government documents during the Founding Era to…

By Pauline Maier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked American Scripture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pauline Maier shows us the Declaration as both the defining statement of our national identity and the moral standard by which we live as a nation. It is truly "American Scripture," and Maier tells us how it came to be -- from the Declaration's birth in the hard and tortuous struggle by which Americans arrived at Independence to the ways in which, in the nineteenth century, the document itself became sanctified.

Maier describes the transformation of the Second Continental Congress into a national government, unlike anything that preceded or followed it, and with more authority than the colonists would ever…


Book cover of The Signers: The 56 Stories Behind the Declaration of Independence

Joseph D'Agnese Author Of Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence

From my list on the Declaration of Independence that bring the signers to life.

Who am I?

Joseph D’Agnese grew up in the Bicentennial-fueled excitement of the 1970s, and spent 1976 fake-playing a fife and sporting a tricorn hat in various school events. Besides teaching him how to get in and out of Revolutionary-period knickers, this experience awakened in him a love for the Founding Era of American history. He has since authored three history titles with his wife, The New York Times bestselling author Denise Kiernan. 

Joseph's book list on the Declaration of Independence that bring the signers to life

Joseph D'Agnese Why did Joseph love this book?

This is a great book for kids! With charming illustrations by Michael McCurdy, The Signers tells the personal story of every signer in a way that makes the story behind the Fourth of July engaging for young readers.

Fradin also knows just how to explain complicated issues such as slavery, or matters surrounding 18th-century life that would be lost on most adults, let alone kids. Now yes, the book is intended for readers in grades 4 through 7, but I think it is a fine jumping-off point for teachers and homeschoolers looking for short biographical readings that shed light what life was like for these men and their families during a pivotal time in American history.

By Dennis Brindell Fradin, Michael McCurdy (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Signers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

For more than 225 years these words have inspired men and women in countries the world over to risk everything in pursuit of these lofty ideals. When they first appeared in our nation's birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, they were a call to action for a colony on the brink of rebellion. The 56 men who dared to sign their names to this revolutionary…


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