100 books like Washington's General

By Terry Golway,

Here are 100 books that Washington's General fans have personally recommended if you like Washington's General. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire

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

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

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

Jack N. Rakove Why did Jack love this book?

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

By Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

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


Book cover of 1776

J. Lawrence Graham Author Of Charlotte's War

From my list on understanding the roots of war and peace.

Who am I?

I spent the 1970s as an officer in the U.S. Navy UDT/SEAL Teams, giving me insight into the military aspects of peacebuilding. I have spent the last forty years researching and teaching international marketing and negotiations at USC and UC Irvine, after receiving a Berkeley PhD. I was also the director of the UC Irvine Center for Citizen Peacebuilding for ten years. I have published four books on international negotiations and all my ten books in print are on the topic of peace in families, neighborhoods, commerce, and international relations.

J.'s book list on understanding the roots of war and peace

J. Lawrence Graham Why did J. love this book?

McCullough documents the great victory of the American Revolutionary War.

Somehow George Washington’s rag-tag army was able to defeat the greatest military power the world had ever seen, the British Army and Navy. It’s our great lesson for the world that coercion does not work. The tyrant King George III failed to defeat freedom in America.

My book examines how these lessons were not applied to the Vietnam War. The key takeaway from a peacebuilding stance is to use the Revolutionary War as an example of the failures of force. Had the British engaged in more effective peacebuilding techniques and negotiated a mutually beneficial relationship with America rather than try to subjugate through force, the war could have been avoided.

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

3 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 General George Washington: A Military Life

John Koopman III Author Of George Washington at War - 1776

From my list on a fresh look into the past.

Who am I?

I have been interested in history and in particular military history for my entire life. Since 2006 I have been a George Washington interpreter. I portray the great man in first person live presentations and in documentary film. I have devoted a great deal of time in study of him. As a result of my studies of Washington, I felt compelled to write a book about him. I wanted to capture aspects of him not covered in most books or in film. Four of the books I reviewed involve George Washington.

John's book list on a fresh look into the past

John Koopman III Why did John love this book?

Washington historian Edward G. Lengel's book focuses only on his life in the military. George Washington begins his military career at age 21 in 1753 with the colonial rank of Major. He was sent by the governor of Virginia to deliver a letter to the French commander of a fort that was on property contested by the King of England. Washington and a small party traveled the wilds of the Ohio Country, modern-day western Pennsylvania. In this epic journey, young Washington almost loses his life twice. Washington is later involved in the first skirmish of the French and Indian War. A great emphasis in the book is of course his time as General in the American Revolution.  

The final chapter is critical. Lengel rates Washington's abilities as a commander. Time and time again, British General Howe defeats him in battle with a surprise flank attack. But Washington always found a…

By Edward G. Lengel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The most comprehensive and authoritative study of Washington’s military career ever written.”
–Joseph J. Ellis, author of His Excellency: George Washington

Based largely on George Washington’s personal papers, this engrossing book paints a vivid, factual portrait of Washington the soldier. An expert in military history, Edward Lengel demonstrates that the “secret” to Washington’s excellence lay in his completeness, in how he united the military, political, and personal skills necessary to lead a nation in war and peace. Despite being an “imperfect commander”–and at times even a tactically suspect one–Washington nevertheless possessed the requisite combination of vision, integrity, talents, and good…


Book cover of Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Ida Flowers Author Of Jessie's Passion

From my list on everyday life in the Southern colonies.

Who am I?

Ever since I started reading the Little House series at the age of ten, I’ve been in love with women’s history. In college I had the opportunity to write a paper on the topic of my choice and I chose women of the American colonial period. I found that while our daily life is now very different, our feelings as women are much the same. The more primary sources I discovered, the more I could feel the fears, sorrows, and joys of the determined women who came before us, unwittingly creating records of their experiences in their correspondence and journals as they built homes and businesses from the raw, wild land.

Ida's book list on everyday life in the Southern colonies

Ida Flowers Why did Ida love this book?

I love reading about women from the past who asserted themselves in a world where there was little was expected from them besides obedience to the men in their lives. Founding Mothers is a story of influential women prior to and after the American Revolution, with many quotes from personal correspondence, from Abigail Adams to Martha Washington. Not only do we read of the activities in which they participated, including births and deaths of their own children, but the emotions that kept them company as well. Touching on the lives of those less renowned as well, Founding Mothers is a springboard for deeper research into the lives of women living in young America. 

By Cokie Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts comes New York Times bestseller Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families—and their country—proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.

While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts brings us…


Book cover of The War of the Revolution

Andrew Waters Author Of To the End of the World: Nathanael Greene, Charles Cornwallis, and the Race to the Dan

From my list on the "Race to the Dan" and the American Revolution.

Who am I?

Although I’ve been an avid reader of histories and biographies all my life, I didn’t become passionate about the American Revolution until moving to South Carolina in 2013. That’s when I began to learn about the South’s rich American Revolution history and become fascinated with Nathanael Greene’s role in it. So far, this fascination has inspired me to write two histories on Nathanael Greene, and I hope to keep going. Today, we tend to think about the American Revolution in terms of its northern battles, but if you want to understand the war’s end game, you need understand what happened in the South. These books are a great place to start.

Andrew's book list on the "Race to the Dan" and the American Revolution

Andrew Waters Why did Andrew love this book?

There have been a lot of comprehensive histories of the American Revolution published since, but Christopher Ward’s The War of the Revolution is still the gold standard.

Want me to prove it? Pick up a Ferling or Philbrick or any other historian writing about the American Revolution today and see how many times they use it in their work.

Expertly documented, with clean, concise writing that can be read end-to-end or used as a reference for specific campaigns and battles, this is my go-to source for everything American Revolution.  

By Christopher Ward,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the first crack of musket fire at Lexington and Concord to the downing of the British colors at Yorktown, Christopher Ward does not tell the whole history of the American Revolution, but rather, illuminates the history of the war caused by that revolution-the military operations on land in the War for Independence. When The War for the Revolution was first published almost sixty years ago, it was instantly recognized as a modern classic of American historical scholarship, as well as a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction Revolutionary War history. Today it is probably the most cited single work on the…


Book cover of A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier: Some Adventures, Dangers, and Sufferings of Joseph Plumb Martin

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

From my 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

Ray Raphael Why did Ray love this book?

If, perchance, you have yet to encounter Private Joseph Plumb Martin’s classic memoir, stop right now and get hold of a copy. With wit, charm, and telling detail, this common soldier from the Continental Army will take you on a personal journey through the Revolutionary War. Lest we forget, “history” is composed of individual experiences, and JPMs are memorable. “Great men get great praise; little men, nothing,” he wrote. “It always was so and always will be.” No, not always. This “little man” earns praise not only for himself, but for all those men and boys who put their lives on the line in the Revolutionary War.

By Joseph Plumb Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a new afterword by William Chad Stanley

Here a private in the Continental Army of the Revolutionary War narrates his adventures in the army of a newborn country.


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

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

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

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

Ray Raphael Why did Ray love this book?

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

By Herbert Treadwell Wade, Robert A. Lively,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

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


Book cover of 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 my 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

C. D. Baker 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.

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!*


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 my 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

Jean C. O'Connor 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.

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 my 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

Jack N. Rakove Why did Jack love this book?

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

By John Shy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

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


5 book lists we think you will like!

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

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the American Revolutionary War, the American Revolution, and the Continental Army.

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