76 books like The Boston Massacre

By Serena Zabin,

Here are 76 books that The Boston Massacre fans have personally recommended if you like The Boston Massacre. 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 The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

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?

Annette Gordon-Reed’s book introduces readers to the enslaved family of a Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson.

What I love about this book is that it upends the traditional picture of Jefferson while neither vilifying nor excusing him. It’s a full picture of a complicated man and the fascinating people who were part of his life. After all, the historian’s task is not to make heroes or villains but to show the full complexity of human beings.

At the center of the story is Sally Hemings, the half-sister of Jefferson’s wife and the mother of some of Jefferson’s children. The book also shows how a careful historian can interpret and evaluate different kinds of evidence, including documents, oral history, and DNA.

By Annette Gordon-Reed,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Hemingses of Monticello as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This epic work-named a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Times-tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Jefferson's death in 1826.


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.

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?

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 Revolutionary

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?

Alex Myers’s Revolutionary is a novel that conveys the feel of being a soldier in the Continental Army: its hope, its horror, its boredom.

I like to assign novels in my classes, and this is the one I use in my class on the American Revolution. Its central character is Deborah Sampson, a Massachusetts indentured servant who decided to disguise herself as a man and enlist in the Continental Army. The young soldier trained, marched, fought, and made friends, all while pretending to be (and sort of becoming) “Robert Shurtliff.”

As a historian, I’m a fairly harsh judge of historical fiction that misrepresents the past, so I particularly love to find a book like Revolutionary, which is deeply researched and written in a straight-forward prose that fits the eighteenth century.

By Alex Myers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A remarkable novel” (The New York Times) about America’s first female soldier, Deborah Sampson Gannett, who ran away from home in 1782, successfully disguised herself as a man, and fought valiantly in the Revolutionary War.

At a time when rigid societal norms seemed absolute, Deborah Sampson risked everything in search of something better. Revolutionary, Alex Myers’s richly imagined and carefully researched debut novel, tells the story of a fierce-tempered young woman turned celebrated solider and the remarkable courage, hope, fear, and heartbreak that shaped her odyssey during the birth of a nation.

After years of indentured servitude in a sleepy…


Book cover of The Sewing Girl's Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America

Don N. Hagist Author Of The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs

From my list on people in the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent years studying individual people involved in the American Revolution, especially the British soldiers and their wives. These were the people who did the day-to-day work, and their stories deserve to be told. I troll archival collections to find original documents that allow me to piece together the lives of the thousands of individuals who made up the regiments and battalions, focusing not on what they had in common, but on how they were different from each other, part of a military society but each with their own lives and experiences. They made the history happen.

Don's book list on people in the American Revolution

Don N. Hagist Why did Don love this book?

My favorite stories are those of common people, and yet finding much detail on everyday, working-class individuals during the era of America’s founding is quite difficult.

This book is a rare exception, a study of a court case that became a media sensation, leading to a wealth of information about the individuals involved. The author has carefully sifted through the legal documents, newspaper accounts, and other records, and tells the story in a highly readable manner.

It is a tale of one woman’s struggle to prevail against a power structure that was aligned against her, and the influence of society and the media on the case.

By John Wood Sweet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Sewing Girl's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On a moonless night in the summer of 1793 a crime was committed in the back room of a New York brothel - the kind of crime that even victims usually kept secret. Instead, seventeen-year-old seamstress Lanah Sawyer did what virtually no one in US history had done before: she charged a gentleman with rape.

Her accusation sparked a raw courtroom drama and a relentless struggle for vindication that threatened both Lanah's and her assailant's lives. The trial exposed a predatory sexual underworld, sparked riots in the streets, and ignited a vigorous debate about class privilege and sexual double standards.…


Book cover of Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution

Don N. Hagist Author Of The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs

From my list on people in the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent years studying individual people involved in the American Revolution, especially the British soldiers and their wives. These were the people who did the day-to-day work, and their stories deserve to be told. I troll archival collections to find original documents that allow me to piece together the lives of the thousands of individuals who made up the regiments and battalions, focusing not on what they had in common, but on how they were different from each other, part of a military society but each with their own lives and experiences. They made the history happen.

Don's book list on people in the American Revolution

Don N. Hagist Why did Don love this book?

The issues that led to the American Revolution are often oversimplified, and discussion of them can lose the human element, as well as the complexities of the issues and effects they had on real people.

A key example is the quartering of British troops “among the people” in America. The details of this grievance with the British government are widely misunderstood – troops were not quartered in private homes, as is often incorrectly written; instead, the British Quartering Acts constituted an indirect form of taxation.

This book explains the complications and implications of quartering in a wonderfully readable manner, clarifying the perspectives of governments and citizens on both sides. It is a book about people, and how the laws affected them.

By John Gilbert McCurdy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Americans declared independence in 1776, they cited King George III "for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us." In Quarters, John Gilbert McCurdy explores the social and political history behind the charge, offering an authoritative account of the housing of British soldiers in America. Providing new interpretations and analysis of the Quartering Act of 1765, McCurdy sheds light on a misunderstood aspect of the American Revolution.

Quarters unearths the vivid debate in eighteenth-century America over the meaning of place. It asks why the previously uncontroversial act of accommodating soldiers in one's house became an unconstitutional act. In so…


Book cover of The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution

John Gilbert McCurdy Author Of Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution

From my list on the what caused the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the American Revolution. I am interested in the war that created the United States, why it happened, and its lasting effects on the world today. The British government kept meticulous records of the lead-up to American independence and I have scoured these for new and interesting stories that historians have missed. I teach history at Eastern Michigan University, and I am currently completing a book on buggery in the British army that will be out in 2024.

John's book list on the what caused the American Revolution

John Gilbert McCurdy Why did John love this book?

This book, first published seventy years ago, offers an in-depth look at the Parliamentary act that did more than any other to enrage the American colonists: the Stamp Act of 1765. Edmund and Helen Morgan explore the law in depth from what it was (a tax on all paper used in the colonies) and how it was received in America (poorly). The Stamp Act Crisis provides a rich portrayal of the riots that rocked American cities throughout the summer and fall of 1765. I really like the short biographies of the most important people involved, such as Massachusetts governor Francis Bernard, customs collector John Robinson, and pamphleteer Daniel Dulany.

By Edmund S. Morgan, Helen M. Morgan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Impressive! . . . The authors have given us a searching account of the crisis and provided some memorable portraits of officials in America impaled on the dilemma of having to enforce a measure which they themselves opposed.'-- New York Times 'A brilliant contribution to the colonial field. Combining great industry, astute scholarship, and a vivid style, the authors have sought 'to recreate two years of American history.' They have succeeded admirably.'-- William and Mary Quarterly 'Required reading for anyone interested in those eventful years preceding the American Revolution.'-- Political Science Quarterly The Stamp Act, the first direct tax on…


Book cover of The Townshend Moment: The Making of Empire and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century

John Gilbert McCurdy Author Of Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution

From my list on the what caused the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the American Revolution. I am interested in the war that created the United States, why it happened, and its lasting effects on the world today. The British government kept meticulous records of the lead-up to American independence and I have scoured these for new and interesting stories that historians have missed. I teach history at Eastern Michigan University, and I am currently completing a book on buggery in the British army that will be out in 2024.

John's book list on the what caused the American Revolution

John Gilbert McCurdy Why did John love this book?

Revolutionary historians are familiar with the Townshend Acts, import duties approved by Parliament in 1767 that pushed the Americans closer toward independence. Patrick Griffin explores the man for who the taxes were named—Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend—but also his brother George who served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1767 to 1772. By comparing and contrasting these two brothers who ran the British Empire for a brief moment, Griffin invites us to consider the American Revolution within its imperial context. I found the parallels between America where independence efforts succeeded and Ireland where they failed particularly thought-provoking. 

By Patrick Griffin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The captivating story of two British brothers whose attempts to reform an empire helped to incite rebellion and revolution in America and insurgency and reform in Ireland

Patrick Griffin chronicles the attempts of brothers Charles and George Townshend to control the forces of history in the heady days after Britain's mythic victory over France in the mid-eighteenth century, and the historic and unintended consequences of their efforts. As British chancellor of the exchequer in 1767, Charles Townshend instituted fiscal policy that served as a catalyst for American rebellion against the Crown, while his brother George's actions at the same moment…


Book cover of Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America

John Gilbert McCurdy Author Of Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution

From my list on the what caused the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the American Revolution. I am interested in the war that created the United States, why it happened, and its lasting effects on the world today. The British government kept meticulous records of the lead-up to American independence and I have scoured these for new and interesting stories that historians have missed. I teach history at Eastern Michigan University, and I am currently completing a book on buggery in the British army that will be out in 2024.

John's book list on the what caused the American Revolution

John Gilbert McCurdy Why did John love this book?

Also key to the coming of the Revolution was the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, when colonists tossed thousands of pounds of tea into the harbor. Benjamin Carp looks at the Tea Act of 1773, which lowered the duty on tea as a means of convincing Americans to agree to taxation without representation. He also traces the affairs of the East India Company in Asia and asks how its priorities affected America. Carp also investigates the protests against the Tea Act (of which the party in Boston was but one), asking how colonial resistance affected American politics. The defiance of the Patriots detailed here is not just a refutation of British imperial rule, but of a corrupt placemen and political inequality. 

By Benjamin L. Carp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An evocative and enthralling account of a defining event in American history

This thrilling book tells the full story of the an iconic episode in American history, the Boston Tea Party-exploding myths, exploring the unique city life of eighteenth-century Boston, and setting this audacious prelude to the American Revolution in a global context for the first time. Bringing vividly to life the diverse array of people and places that the Tea Party brought together-from Chinese tea-pickers to English businessmen, Native American tribes, sugar plantation slaves, and Boston's ladies of leisure-Benjamin L. Carp illuminates how a determined group of New Englanders…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City

Don N. Hagist Author Of The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs

From my list on people in the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent years studying individual people involved in the American Revolution, especially the British soldiers and their wives. These were the people who did the day-to-day work, and their stories deserve to be told. I troll archival collections to find original documents that allow me to piece together the lives of the thousands of individuals who made up the regiments and battalions, focusing not on what they had in common, but on how they were different from each other, part of a military society but each with their own lives and experiences. They made the history happen.

Don's book list on people in the American Revolution

Don N. Hagist Why did Don love this book?

Books on the war’s campaigns usually aggregate large numbers of people into bland terms like “regiments” and “refugees,” singling out only a few key players as individuals.

This book takes a refreshingly different approach, examining one of the war’s major operations from the level of participants of all sorts, from senior government officials down to the soldiers, civilians, and spies caught up in the fighting. The campaign itself has heretofore been almost entirely overlooked, or seen only in terms of a few of the battles that were part of it.

The result is a vivid account of the many components of a major campaign, and the legions of individuals involved.

By Todd W. Braisted,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grand Forage 1778 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After two years of defeats and reverses, 1778 had been a year of success for George Washington and the Continental Army. France had entered the war as the ally of the United States, the British had evacuated Philadelphia, and the redcoats had been fought to a standstill at the Battle of Monmouth. While the combined French-American effort to capture Newport was unsuccessful, it lead to intelligence from British-held New York that indicated a massive troop movement was imminent. British officers were selling their horses and laying in supplies for their men. Scores of empty naval transports were arriving in the…


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