10 books like The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

By Bernard Bailyn,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787

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

From the 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

Discover why each book is one of Joel's favorite books.

Why did Joel love this book?

This was my favorite book in college and remains a treasured part of my library. It’s a classic that reinterpreted the American Revolution. Gordon Wood examines how the vices of the British parliamentary system led the founding generation to a revolutionary new theory of government and to the formation of the American Constitution. It’s a magisterial work about the character of America.

Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787

By Gordon S. Wood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume describes the evolution of political thought from the Declaration of Independence to the ratification of the Constitution and in the process greatly illuminates the origins of the present American political system. In a new preface, he discusses the debate over republicanism that has developed since the book's original publication by UNC Press in 1969.


Book cover of The Minutemen and Their World

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

From the 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

Discover why each book is one of Joel's favorite books.

Why did Joel love this book?

This is a delightfully engaging book about Concord, Massachusetts, on the eve of the American Revolution. Robert Gross’ writing is a joy to read. It brings to life the ordinary townspeople who became revolutionaries. Gross shows how shifting demographics and social structures shaped the movement towards Independence. When the book first appeared it represented a fresh new approach to writing social history, and it justifiably won the Bancroft Prize.

The Minutemen and Their World

By Robert A. Gross,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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 twenty-fifth anniversary edition with a Foreword by Alan Taylor and a new 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…


Revolutionaries

By Jack N. Rakove,

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 the 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

Discover why each book is one of Joel's favorite books.

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.

Revolutionaries

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.

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 the 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

Discover why each book is one of Joel's favorite books.

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.

A History of the American Revolution

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…


Rise to Rebellion

By Jeff Shaara,

Book cover of Rise to Rebellion

Jean C. O'Connor Author Of The Remarkable Cause: A Novel of James Lovell and the Crucible of the Revolution

From the list on bringing to life the American Revolutionary War.

Who am I?

Growing up in New England, I discovered a passion for the historical landmarks around me. My grandmother’s home in Andover, MA, had a plaque on the front door, declaring Lafayette made a speech from its front steps. In my grandmother’s journal, I discovered the story of the Lovells: Master John Lovell, Loyalist, of the Boston Latin School, and his son James Lovell, teacher at the school and patriot. Imagining the conflicts that must have brewed between them, I knew I had to write The Remarkable Cause: A Novel of James Lovell and the Crucible of the Revolution. An English and history teacher, I wove historical background into study of literature.

Jean's book list on bringing to life the American Revolutionary War

Discover why each book is one of Jean's favorite books.

Why did Jean love this book?

Like a brilliant painting, Jeff Shaara’s novel Rise to Rebellion brings to life the major players in the rising conflict between Britain and her American colonies. Colorful description and details help us see King George, ruling far from his colonies alongside ruthless advisers; Royal Governor Thomas Gage, determined to put down the colonists’ uprising; John Adams, industrious lawyer and farmer; Benjamin Franklin, lively inventor and scientist; and George Washington, ambitious Virginian military leader, as they lead in the saga that results in independence for our nation.

Rise to Rebellion

By Jeff Shaara,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jeff Shaara dazzled readers with his bestselling novels Gods and Generals, The Last Full Measure, and Gone for Soldiers. Now the acclaimed author who illuminated the Civil War and the Mexican-American War brilliantly brings to life the American Revolution, creating a superb saga of the men who helped to forge the destiny of a nation.

In 1770, the fuse of revolution is lit by a fateful command "Fire!" as England's peacekeeping mission ignites into the Boston Massacre. The senseless killing of civilians leads to a tumultuous trial in which lawyer John Adams must defend the very enemy who has assaulted…


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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Jack's favorite books.

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.

A People Numerous and Armed

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,…


1776

By David McCullough,

Book cover of 1776

Dean Snow Author Of 1777: Tipping Point at Saratoga

From the list on the 1777 Saratoga campaign.

Who am I?

I am an archaeologist and ethnohistorian who has carried out major projects in American Indian and Revolutionary War archaeology and history. I have taught at three universities over the course of more than five decades and have authored or edited 17 books.

Dean's book list on the 1777 Saratoga campaign

Discover why each book is one of Dean's favorite books.

Why did Dean love this book?

This beautiful book sets the scene for Saratoga by recounting the conflict between Britain and its American colonies. It broke out in 1775 and led to a wider war, the American Declaration of Independence, Washington’s appointment as commander-in-chief, and the birth of the Continental Army in 1776. Prior to the establishment of a regular army, the rebellion was prosecuted by ad hoc gatherings of state militia regiments. Washington recruited the most effective of these into his new standing army, and authorized the creation of several new regiments from scratch by trusted subordinate officers. The militias have persisted to the present as National Guard units. However, in 1776 the coordinated use of temporary militias and more permanent Continentals was a tricky task.

1776

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked 1776 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

America's most acclaimed historian presents the intricate story of the year of the birth of the United States of America. 1776 tells two gripping stories: how a group of squabbling, disparate colonies became the United States, and how the British Empire tried to stop them. A story with a cast of amazing characters from George III to George Washington, to soldiers and their families, this exhilarating book is one of the great pieces of historical narrative.


Book cover of To The Victor Go The Myths & Monuments: The History of the First 100 Years of the War Against God and the Constitution, 1776 - 1876, and Its Modern Impact

C. D. Baker Author Of The List

From the list on the American Revolution.

Who am I?

Maybe I have a passion for this era because I live outside of Philadelphia, or maybe because so many of my ancestors served in Washington’s militia while others refused to serve. Either way, the connection to the times are personal. Having researched the tensions of my Mennonite past during the Revolution, I found myself intrigued by broader challenges of conscience for the Pennsylvania colonists more generally. Discovering the role it played in British occupied Philadelphia was particularly fascinating. My interest is in the untold story, and what I stumbled upon for this book was downright exciting!

C. D.'s book list on the American Revolution

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Why did C. D. love this book?

The author meticulously follows the globalist movement from its ideological beginnings around the same time as the American Revolution until today. Contrasting the intentions of the founders with the schemes of today’s elites serves to sharpen the reader’s appreciation of why America could be special. If half of this book is correct, we’ve lots to be concerned about.

To The Victor Go The Myths & Monuments

By Arthur R. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To The Victor Go The Myths & Monuments as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*This is the HARDCOVER version- not paperback!*


Washington's General

By Terry Golway,

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Jack's favorite books.

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.

Washington's General

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.…


This Glorious Cause

By Herbert Treadwell Wade, Robert A. Lively,

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 the list on deepening your view of the American Revolution.

Who am I?

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

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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? 

This Glorious Cause

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…


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