Read the Revolution

curated collection of excerpts from exciting, thought-provoking books about the American Revolution

Battle of Monmouth
June 23, 2015

The March to Monmouth

When George Washington learned the British planned to evacuate occupied Philadelphia, he had to decide whether or not to aggressively pursue the enemy. In this excerpt from Joseph G. Bilby and Katherine Bilby Jenkins' book Monmouth Court House, Washington receives opposing recommendations from his generals, who disagree on the battle-readiness of the American troops.

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June 9, 2015

Founding Friendships

The American Revolution ushered in a period of increased political importance for elite women, spurred in part by valued friendships between men and women. Women gained political access, influence, and information through their male friends in political office. This adapted essay from Cassandra Good's Founding Friendships shows how crucial these friendships were as a channel for women to be informed and have their voices heard.

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May 26, 2015

A Growing Resistance

After the French and Indian War, tensions began to rise between Great Britain and the American colonies, particularly as the Americans grew resistant to new taxes placed on them by Parliament without American representation. This excerpt from Les Standiford's Desperate Sons describes America's increasing number of grievances with its mother country and Britain's indifference to the colonists' complaints.

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May 12, 2015

Philadelphia on the Defense

As war crept up on Philadelphia in 1776, the city's leaders and residents prepared for a potential invasion by British forces. In this excerpt from Philadelphia: A 300-Year History, we see how the year's events led an uneasy population to shore up their defenses — and eventually flee.

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April 21, 2015

The Revolution's Last Men

In 1864, the Reverend E.B. Hillard published photographs and interviews of six of the last living American Revolution veterans. In The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs, Don N. Hagist updates Reverend Hillard's biographies with comprehensive, primary-source research to provide a richer, more accurate look at these remarkable men's lives.

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April 7, 2015

Paul Revere's Ride

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere set off on his famous midnight ride. While this event is iconic to most Americans, far less attention has been paid to the man himself. David Hackett Fischer set out to remedy this in his book Paul Revere's Ride.

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Treacherous Beauty
March 24, 2015

Treacherous Beauty

Benedict Arnold's treasonous behavior during the American Revolution has earned him widespread notoriety to this day. Rarely mentioned, however, is the role his wife, Peggy Shippen, played in his betrayal. In Treacherous Beauty, authors Mark Jacob and Stephen H. Case share the fascinating story of how the machinations of a Philadelphia society girl impacted the American War of Independence.

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The American Plate
March 10, 2015

The American Plate

In The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, author Libby H. O'Connell shows how the evolution of the country can be understood through changing trends in food and drink. In this excerpt she explains the role patriotism played in leading us towards our now ubiquitous coffee culture.

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Rebels Rising
February 24, 2015

Rebels Rising

Benjamin L. Carp's Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution looks at the important role urban meeting spaces played in igniting the colonists' desire for change in the decades leading up to the War of Independence.

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Age of Homespun by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
February 10, 2015

Age of Homespun

In the decades of resistance leading up to the War of Independence, Americans throughout the colonies began boycotting the importation of British goods in protest of increased taxation on everyday items. Women played a critical role in this effort, as described in Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s The Age of Homespun.

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