Let’s celebrate America’s independence by remembering the reason for the season. Fourth of July has become a fun summer celebration of cookouts, fireworks and pool parties, but it’s also a remembrance of how America unified and overcame great obstacles to free itself from England to become its own country.
The American Revolution is not a story with one point-of-view, women were involved in the fight for independence, as well as African-Americans and Native Americans. It was a special time in our history when we came together to fight a common enemy, and our Fourth Of July reading list illustrates the diversity of the men and women who fought together.
Take a look at our twelve books about the American Revolutionary War. As you read and share our list with your family and friends, remember why we cherish and celebrate our hard worn independence as Americans.
REVOLUTIONARY MOTHERS: WOMEN IN THE STRUGGLE FOR AMERICA’S INDEPENDENCE by Carol Berkin
The women of the Revolution were most active at home, organizing boycotts of British goods, raising funds for the fledgling nation, and managing the family business while struggling to maintain a modicum of normalcy as husbands, brothers and fathers died. Yet the author, Carol Berkin also reveals that it was not just the men who fought on the front lines, as in the story of Margaret Corbin, who was crippled for life when she took her husband’s place beside a cannon at Fort Monmouth. This comprehensive history illuminates a fascinating and unknown side of the struggle for American independence.
Release date: February 14
THE BRITISH ARE COMING: THE WAR FOR AMERICA, LEXINGTON TO PRINCETON, 1775-1777 by Rick Atkinson
In the initial volume of the Revolution Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounts the first twenty-one months of America’s violent war for independence. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force.
Release date: May 14
In Women Heroes of the American Revolution, these fascinating women step into the spotlight they deserve. You’ll learn about such brave rebels as Martha Bratton, who blew up a supply of gunpowder to keep it out of the hands of approaching British troops. And sixteen year old Sybil Ludington, who rode her horse Star twice as far as the legendary Paul Revere did in order to help her father, Colonel Ludington, muster his scattered troops to fight the British. These and 18 other inspiring stories of women and girls contributing to our nation’s independence are recounted through energetic narrative and revealing letters and documents.
Release date: July 1
The Constitution is the most significant document in America. But do you fully understand what this valuable document means to you? In How to Read the Constitution–and Why, legal expert and educator Kimberly Wehle spells out in clear, simple, and common sense terms what is in the Constitution, and most importantly, what it means. In compelling terms and including text from the United States Constitution, she describes how the Constitution’s protections are eroding—not only in express terms but by virtue of the many legal and social norms that no longer shore up its legitimacy—and why every American needs to heed to this “red flag” moment in our democracy.
Release date: June 25
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. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favoured recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed and Martha Washington.
Release date: February 15
Like the Robin Hood of legend, Francis Marion–the “Swamp Fox”–and his men attacked from secret hideaways before melting back into the forest or swamp, confounding the British. Although Marion bore little resemblance to the fictionalized portrayals in television and film, his exploits were no less heroic, as he and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hopes alive for the patriot cause and helped win the American Revolution. Author John Oller compiles striking evidence and brings together much recent learning to provide a fresh look both at Marion, the man, and how he helped save the American Revolution.
Release date: October 25
At the time of the Revolutionary War, a fifth of the Colonial population was African American. By 1779, 15 percent of the Continental Army were former slaves, while the Navy recruited both free men and slaves. The majority of Indian tribes sided with the British yet some Native Americans rallied to the American cause and suffered heavy losses. This history recounts the sacrifices made by forgotten people of color to gain independence for the people who enslaved and extirpated them.
Release date: December 20
In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. Washington trusted and relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan. In the months leading up to the Revolutionary War, these traitorous soldiers, along with the Governor of New York William Tryon and Mayor David Mathews, launched a deadly plot against the most important member of the military: George Washington himself.
Release date: January 8
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: ANNUAL VOLUME 2018 (JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BOOKS) by John Andrlik & Don N. Hagist
The year’s best articles from the most popular source of the latest research in Revolutionary War studies. The Journal of the American Revolution, Annual Volume 2018, presents 41 of the journal’s best historical research and writing over the past calendar year. The volume is designed for institutions, scholars, and enthusiasts to provide a convenient overview of the latest research and scholarship in American Revolution studies.
Release date: May 15
1776 by David McCullough
Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, this classic read on The Revolutionary War, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.
Release date: June 27
Based on research, acclaimed historian Alexander Rose brings to life the true story of the spy ring that helped America win the Revolutionary War. Rose takes us beyond the battlefront and deep into the shadowy underworld of double agents and triple crosses, covert operations and code breaking, and unmasks the courageous, flawed men who inhabited this wilderness of mirrors—including the spymaster at the heart of it all. Washington’s Spies is the basis for AMC’s television series, TURN. Watch the series.
Release date: March 25
The landmark legal document of the United States, the U.S. Constitution comprises the primary law of the Federal Government. Signed by the members of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, the Constitution outlines the powers and responsibilities of the three chief branches of the Federal Government, as well as the basic rights of the citizens of the United States.
Release date: September 17
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