The best American Revolutionary War books 📚

Browse the best books on the American Revolutionary War as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Washington's General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution

Washington's General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution

By Terry Golway

Why 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.

From the list:

The best books about the American Revolutionary War from five different perspectives

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Book cover of General George Washington: A Military Life

General George Washington: A Military Life

By Edward G. Lengel

Why 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.…

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The most transformative history books with a fresh look into the past

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Book cover of The Scent of Death

The Scent of Death

By Andrew Taylor

Why this book?

I can understand why Andrew Taylor is an award-winning writer of historical mysteries. I really enjoyed The Scent of Death which is set in 1778 in the besieged loyalist stronghold of New York in the middle of the War of Independence against Britain. I was particularly fascinated because of our personal connection. Some of our Charlton ancestors emigrated from Northern England to become farmers around New York at this time. When the Yankee rebels won the war, like many loyal to the Crown, they scurried up to Canada. Having now read this vivid description of what life was like at…

From the list:

The best Georgian and Regency mystery books

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Book cover of 1776

1776

By David McCullough

Why 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…

From the list:

The best books about the 1777 Saratoga campaign (American Revolution)

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

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

By Cokie Roberts

Why this book?

“I desire you would Remember the Ladies,” Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John. This well-researched examination of women’s participation in the war alerts readers to another dimension of the Revolution. Proud, assertive women fought the Revolution on many fronts, not the least being to maintain the homes of the men who went off to battle. Their immense contribution has too often been ignored. Journalist Cokie Roberts gave us a readable, eye-opening book that sheds important new light on the Revolution as a whole.

From the list:

The best books about the American Revolutionary War from five different perspectives

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Book cover of Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone

Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone

By Paul Richards

Why this book?

African civil wars are not about ethnicity, diamonds, or foreign aid. They are genuine political conflicts about how society is to be organized, created by grievances and political marginalization and also deeply embedded in local cultures. As such, they stem from the same roots as the English Civil War of the 1640s or the American Revolutionary War of the 1770s-1780s. This is all revealed in this brilliant book on the Sierra Leone civil war.

From the list:

The best books to read to understand Africa

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