100 books like The Townshend Moment

By Patrick Griffin,

Here are 100 books that The Townshend Moment fans have personally recommended if you like The Townshend Moment. 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 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 Boston Massacre: A Family History

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

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

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

Kathleen DuVal Why did Kathleen love this book?

The Boston Massacre: A Family History takes an event that I thought I knew inside and out, an event I teach in my classes, and tells an entirely new story.

The soldiers who shot the protestors in Boston on a wintery day in 1770 are usually the villains—Paul Revere and other Boston revolutionaries labeled the deaths a “massacre,” after all. But by starting a few years earlier, Zabin shows the British soldiers as young men coming to a colonial town that was also, at the time, British.

They lived in colonial houses, made Bostonian friends, and married Bostonian women. So by the time tensions between the protestors and the British government were accelerating into war, it was a community of friends and families that would be torn apart. 

By Serena Zabin,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Boston Massacre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Historical accuracy and human understanding require coming down from the high ground and seeing people in all their complexity. Serena Zabin’s rich and highly enjoyable book does just that.”—Kathleen DuVal, Wall Street Journal

A dramatic, untold “people’s history” of the storied event that helped trigger the American Revolution.

The story of the Boston Massacre—when on a late winter evening in 1770, British soldiers shot five local men to death—is familiar to generations. But from the very beginning, many accounts have obscured a fascinating truth: the Massacre arose from conflicts that were as personal as they were political.

Professor Serena Zabin…


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 The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Phoenix Park Murders That Stunned Victorian England

Kenneth L. Campbell Author Of The History of Britain and Ireland: Prehistory to Today

From my list on British and Irish history with a wide range of topics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a Ph.D. in British history and have taught a variety of courses on the topic for the past 40 years. Since first visiting Scotland on a study tour in 1981, I have been to Britain and Ireland both multiple times and have spent extended periods of time there. From Shakespeare to the Beatles, from the Norman Conquest to the Second World War, from Roman Britain to Brexit, I have found each period of British and Irish history endlessly fascinating and sharing my passion with students and readers has been one of the great joys of my life. 

Kenneth's book list on British and Irish history with a wide range of topics

Kenneth L. Campbell Why did Kenneth love this book?

The late nineteenth century is key to understanding the modern relationship between Britain and Ireland and no book does a better job of defining and exploring that relationship than this one.

The author deftly transitions between Charles Stewart Parnell, the Land War, and the Home Rule movement in Ireland on the one hand and Prime Minister William Gladstone, Queen Victoria, and British parliamentary politics on the other. The central focus, though, is on a murderous conspiracy that had long-range implications for both Britain and Ireland and includes a detective story to solve the murders that could have come straight out of the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle.

The book also includes the story of the informer whose attempts to escape retribution constitute an adventure story in its own right. 

By Julie Kavanagh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ONE OF THE TIMES' BEST HISTORY BOOKS OF 2021

'The tale of the Phoenix Park murders is not unfamiliar, but Kavanagh recounts it with a great sense of drama... Kavanagh's account reminds me of the very best of true crime.' The Times (Book of the Week)

On a sunlit evening in l882, Lord Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Burke, Chief Secretary and Undersecretary for Ireland, were ambushed and stabbed to death while strolling through Phoenix Park in Dublin. The murders were carried out by the Invincibles, a militant faction of republicans armed with specially-made surgeon's blades. They ended what should have…


Book cover of The Dream of the Celt

Shane Joseph Author Of Empire in the Sand

From my list on exposing corporate, political, and personal corruption.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a writer for more than twenty years and have favored pursuing “truth in fiction” rather than “money in formula.” I also spent over thirty years in the corporate world and was exposed to many situations reminiscent of those described in my fiction and in these recommended books. While I support enterprise, “enlightened capitalism” is preferable to the bare-knuckle type we have today, and which seems to resurface whenever regulation weakens. I also find writing novels closer to my lived experience connects me intimately with readers who are looking for socio-political, realist literature.

Shane's book list on exposing corporate, political, and personal corruption

Shane Joseph Why did Shane love this book?

Although a fictionalized autobiography of Sir Roger Casement, martyr of the Irish Revolution, two periods of his life, embedded in this tale, shed light on the evils of capitalism in colonial empires: King Leopold of Belgium’s abuse of the locals in the Congo to profit from their rubber crops, and a similar one in the Peruvian Amazon with a rubber company incorporated in Britain. Casement’s investigations and revelations on these cases lead to his knighthood. However, his belief that colonial nations can only be free if they resist their occupiers with violence, leads him to align with Germany in Ireland’s bid for independence in 1916, following 800 years of colonization. Unfortunately, his secret sexual past is exploited by enemies, and Ireland is liberated in 1922 without its beloved knight. 

By Mario Vargas Llosa, Edith Grossman (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As The Dream of the Celt opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London's Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary…


Book cover of Britain's Orchids: A Field Guide to the Orchids of Great Britain and Ireland

James Lowen Author Of 52 Wildlife Weekends: A Year of British Wildlife-Watching Breaks

From my list on helping you see British wildlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been immersed in nature since I was able to walk, my love for nature initially inspired by a chance encounter as a toddler with a buzzard amid South Devon’s leafy lanes. Upon fledging into adult plumage, I eventually became an award-winning wildlife and travel writer. After returning to Britain after several years leading wildlife tours in South America and Antarctica, I had an irrepressible desire to renew my relationship with British nature. My books 52 Wildlife Weekends, A Summer of British Wildlife (winner, Travel Guidebook of the Year, 2016) and Much Ado About Mothing (a travel narrative longlisted for the 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize) are the result.

James' book list on helping you see British wildlife

James Lowen Why did James love this book?

In my view, this is the finest field guide ever produced for a group of animals or plants.

It is not only the best guide available to identify this most spectacular of floral groups when in flower – but also helps you put names to them when mere leaves growing up or when in seed, and on the way out. Throw in excellent, up-to-date maps, and you have a wonderful field guide that inspires you to explore Britain like never before.

By Sean Cole, Mike Waller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An accessible, comprehensive and beautifully illustrated guide-the only one to cover all the orchids found in Britain and Ireland

Covering all fifty-one native species and twelve of uncertain origin, as well as hybrids and variants, Britain's Orchids is an engaging, intuitive and in-depth identification guide to all the orchids of Britain and Ireland at all stages of development, from first emergence to setting seed. Drawing on the authors' extensive field experience and the latest scientific research, the book uses multiple techniques to help both beginner and more advanced orchid enthusiasts to identify even the most difficult plants. It is beautifully…


Book cover of Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland

Jeff Ollerton Author Of Pollinators and Pollination: Nature and Society

From my list on bees and other pollinators.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid growing up in the northeast of England I became fascinated by the insects, flowers, birds, geology, and seashore life around me. That fascination with natural history never left me and I had the fortune to turn my childhood interests into a professional career as a research scientist, teacher, and writer. My work on pollinators and plants has taken me around the world, from the grasslands of Oxfordshire to the deserts of Namibia and the mountains of Nepal, from the rainforests of Brazil and Australia to the thorny shrublands of Tenerife. The result has been more than 135 articles plus a couple of books. I must get back to writing the next one…

Jeff's book list on bees and other pollinators

Jeff Ollerton Why did Jeff love this book?

This ground-breaking book was the first illustrated field guide to cover all of the more than 270 species of bees that occur in Great Britain and Ireland. It provides a detailed account of the natural history of these fascinating insects, plus photographs and taxonomic keys to help you to determine what they are. Be warned, however, as the author acknowledges, many bees are challenging to identify! Nonetheless, Falk and Lewington’s book is invaluable for anyone interested in the natural history of bees.

By Steven J Falk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a brand new field guide to Britain's bees that for the first time makes this fascinating and important group of insects accessible to the general naturalist. The guide covers over 270 species, and is fully illustrated with stunning photographs and Richard Lewington's beautiful colour artwork.


Book cover of The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland: 1638-1651

Kirsteen MacKenzie Author Of The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union, 1643-1663

From my list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic historian who has had a passion for the wars of the three kingdoms for over three decades. I have been reading books about the civil wars in Britain and Ireland since I was ten years old. I have been a member of the re-enactment society The Sealed Knot and the Cromwell Association. I published my first monograph on the wars of the three kingdoms in 2018. The monograph views the conflict from a three kingdoms perspective through the eyes of the Scottish Covenanters and their English allies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Kirsteen's book list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653

Kirsteen MacKenzie Why did Kirsteen love this book?

Still the best introductory text for students covering all major events in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in a concise and accessible manner.  This book steps away from the more Anglo-centric analyses of the conflict, looking at events in Ireland, Scotland and Wales in some detail.  In contrast with the books above, Bennett also steps away from the experience of political elites and examines the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians during the conflict.  

By Martyn Bennett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book provides a fresh perspective on one of the most complex and turbulent periods in the history of the British Isles. Setting the experience of Wales, Scotland and Ireland alongside England, the author examines the interplay of politics, societies and culture both within and between each of the four nations involved in the political struggles of the mid--seventeenth century.


Book cover of Forging Nations: Currency, Power, and Nationality in Britain and Ireland since 1603

Timothy Alborn Author Of Misers: British Responses to Extreme Saving, 1700-1860

From my list on the strangeness of money.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by money since I was a graduate student when I had even less of it than I do today (as a British historian in the CUNY system). We all carry it in our wallets and have more or less of it in the bank, but it’s also in the air we breathe, suffusing the books we read and the decisions we make. So when I started researching and writing about the British past, money and its associated institutions seemed like an obvious place to start looking. It has yet to let me down, enabling me to discover new things to say about politics, literature, and society.

Timothy's book list on the strangeness of money

Timothy Alborn Why did Timothy love this book?

When I got wind of this book, I had just finished writing a book about gold and money in Britain from the 1750s to the 1850s. Although I knew about the long history of British money prior to the 1750s and also about its complicated history down to the present, I jumped at the chance to read the whole story laid out between two covers. Blaazer deftly accomplishes this task, with a special focus on the strikingly different paths that money took in Britain’s three corners of Ireland, Scotland, and England (not so much on Wales, as is so often the case in such histories!).

How a country manages its money, it turns out, says much about how it governs its people—ranging from willful indifference in Ireland to consistent policies in England and Scotland that favored the wealthy (and especially the bankers) over the middling classes. A final advantage of…

By David Blaazer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Forging Nations, Blaazer studies the relationships between money, power, and nationality in England, Scotland, and Ireland from the first attempts to unify their currencies following the Union of the Crowns in 1603 to the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. Through successive crises spanning four centuries, Forging Nations examines critical struggles over monetary power between the state and its creditors, and within and between nations during the long, multifaceted process of creating the United Kingdom as a monetary as well as a political union. It shows how and why centuries of monetary dysfunction and conflict eventually gave way to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Ireland, politics, and the American Revolution?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Ireland, politics, and the American Revolution.

Ireland Explore 282 books about Ireland
Politics Explore 710 books about politics
The American Revolution Explore 230 books about the American Revolution