Livingston Public Library: “Happy Birthday America” New Revolutionary History Readings 2022
July 1, 2022
While parades, barbecues and fireworks are always on the menu as we come together to celebrate the birth of our nation on the 4th of July, the days around Independence Day can also be a special time to delve into the rich history of the people and places that make this national special.
As patriotic fervor surrounds you and you hunger to learn more about our country’s early days, check out one or more of these new non-fiction titles that shed new light on American revolutionary history and on the war for independent America.
The Cause: The American Revolution and its Discontents, 1773-1783 by Joseph J. Ellis
Ellis takes a fresh look at events between 1773 and 1783, recuperating a war more brutal than any other in American history except the Civil War, and uncovering a strange breed of “prudent” revolutionaries, whose caution proved wise but tragic with regard to slavery, the original sin that still haunts our land.
Total Victory: Saratoga and the American Revolution by Kevin J. Weddle
An in-depth study of the Saratoga Campaign of 1777. The Battle of Saratoga, which took place over three weeks, was really a series of two major battles and many smaller engagements along the Hudson River north of Albany , New York. As Weddle, a former army officer who teaches at the Army War College, shows, the result was a crushing defeat for the British, whose commander, John Burgoyne, had shortly before humiliated the American defenders of Fort Ticonderoga. .
In this historical account, a renowned historian investigates the private financial affairs of the Founding Fathers, revealing how and why the Revolution took place and providing a new understanding of the nation’s core values.
George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father by David O. Stewart
A fascinating and illuminating account of how George Washington became the most dominant force in the creation of the United States of America. Stewart argues that although George Washington did his best to hide it, he was a masterful politician who used his talents to advance the priorities he deemed necessary for the nascent United States.
The Irish played a huge role in the American Revolution, not only on the battlefield, but also in field hospitals and in crafting the Declaration of Independence. O’Dowd takes readers on a journey through the unexplored contributions of the Irish to the American Revolution and behind the scenes of some of these men and women’s relationships with the first President of the United States.
In the Footsteps of the Founders: Landmarks of the American Revolution by Adam Van Doren
A tour through the original Thirteen Colonies in search of historic sites and their stories in the founding of America. Obscure, known, off the beaten path and on bustling city streets, here are taverns, meeting houses, battlefields, forts, monuments, homes that combine to define our country – the places where bold people forged a revolution.
Tells the story of the Marblehead Regiment, led by John Glover, which fought at Lexington; on Bunker Hill, formed the Guard which protected George Washington; and carried Washington’s men across the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776.
Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution by Woody Holton
A famous scholar’s story of the American Revolution, from its origins to its aftermath, which emphasizes the contributions of groups usually omitted from that history: Native Americans, African Americans, and women.
The winter of 1779 to 1780 would mark Washington’s darkest hour when he envisioned the army separating from lack of food, money, six years of war, desertions, mutiny, the threat of a devastating attack by the British and, incredibly, a plot to kidnap him. However, Morristown was to mark a turning point.
A Life to Give: Martyrdom and the Making of the American Revolution by John Fanestil
Fanestil traces the deep history of the tradition of martyrdom from its classical and Christian origins to the start of the War of Independence. Ultimately, it explains how the tradition of American martyrdom animated countless personal commitments to American independence, and thus to war.
Brands offers a fresh and gripping account of the American Revolution that shows it was more than a fight against the British, but also a violent battle between neighbors forced to choose sides, loyalist and patriot.
Rebels At Sea: The Race Into The American Revolution by Eric Jay Dolin
Dolin recovers the daring independent sailors who proved essential to victory in the Revolutionary War. Armed with cannons, swivel guns, muskets and pikes – as well as government documents granting them the right to seize enemy ships – thousands of privateers tormented the British on the wide Atlantic and in bays and harbors on both sides of the ocean.
1774: The long year of the revolution by Mary Beth Norton
Features information about the American Revolution and the revolutionary change that took place from December 1773 to mid-April 1775, including the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress at the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
Thirteen Clocks: How the Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence by Robert G. Parkinson
In his famous account of the origins of American unity, John Adams described July 1776 as the time when thirteen clocks managed to strike at the same time. So how did these American colonies overcome long struggles to create a lasting union capable of declaring independence from Britain? In this powerful new story of the tense fifteen months leading up to the Declaration of Independence. Parkinson’s provides a disturbing answer: racial fear. Parkinson argues that patriot leaders used racial prejudice to persuade Americans to declare independence.
The wild and suspenseful story of one of the most pivotal and least known campaigns of the Revolutionary War, when the disjointed US Navy took the full force of British sea power.
A masterful story of the lesser-known second half of the Revolutionary War. Ferling reminds readers that American patriots, ecstatic after the 1777 victory at Saratoga, did not expect the fighting to continue almost twice as long as before. He argues that American victory at Saratoga and Yorktown was far from guaranteed – chance, as well as military strategy, played an important role in the founding of the United States.
Happy Independence Day!
–Archana, Adult Services and Acquisitions Librarian
This press release was produced by Livingston Public Library. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.