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Old 1 April 2011, 12:59
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American Revolutionary War

I've exhausted my stock of nonfiction and got an itch to read up the Revolutionary War. Any suggestions?
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Old 1 April 2011, 13:11
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Here you go, a great historical fiction look at the Revolution. Everything this guy and his father wrote has been great in my opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Rebellion...1677729&sr=8-8
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- "The Dogs of War" by Frederick Forsyth
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Old 1 April 2011, 13:20
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1776 by David McCullough

I like everything I've read bby McCollough and this is one of his best, in my opinion. I'm rereading it right now.

The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley: The Jersey Dutch and the Neutral Ground, 1775-1783 by Adrian C. Leiby

This book gives an account of a little-discussed facet of the Revolution: many neighborhoods were split between loyalists and rebels and they fought among themselves in addition (in some cases) to participating in larger more formal battles. It also fills in a little blank in your knowledge of the Revolution between the Battle of Long Island and the campaigns on Saratoga and Phylidelphia in the summer of 1777.

Arundel by Kenneth Roberts

This book is historical fiction but it's one of the most awesome books I've ever read about the Revolution. It follows Benedict Arnold's expedition up the Kennebeck River to Quebec during the autumn of 1775 and the subsequent battle at Quebec.

You can read parts of it on Google Books to see if it's something you might be interested in:

http://books.google.com/books?id=h8I...page&q&f=false

Also historical fiction:

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.

This is a childrens book but it's an interesting look/interpretation of pre-revolutionary Whig/Tory Boston politics.

These last two are great ways to get kids interested in the history of the Revolution and since they were both written in the 1940s you don't get a lot of the touchy-feely bullshit that comes standard in todays history books.

I've got more at home and I'll post later if anything jjumps off the shelf at me but these are all really interesting books.
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Old 1 April 2011, 13:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massgrunt View Post
Here you go, a great historical fiction look at the Revolution. Everything this guy and his father wrote has been great in my opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Rebellion...1677729&sr=8-8
Good call. Those are great books.

I like his WWII series too.
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Old 1 April 2011, 22:35
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"This Glorious Struggle" - letters by George Washington.

Amazing insight into the life of the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army...
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Old 2 April 2011, 19:41
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Good call. Those are great books.

I like his WWII series too.
I didn't even know he'd written about WW2 until now, I'll be ordering those for sure! I need to get going on Cornwell's Sharpe series too.
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"The real problem was being able to stick it out, to sit in an office under the orders of a wee man in a dark gray suit and look out of the window and recall the bush country, the waving palms, the smell of sweat and cordite, the grunts of the men hauling jeeps over the river crossings, the copper-tasting fears just before the attack, and the wild, cruel joy of being alive afterward. To remember, and then go back to the ledgers and the commuter train, that was impossible. He knew he would eat his heart out if it ever came to that."

- "The Dogs of War" by Frederick Forsyth
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Old 3 April 2011, 20:07
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Hessian primary source

For your primary sources, you must find and enjoy this:

Johann von Ewald, Diary of the American War. A Hessian Journal, Volume I: First and Second Campaigns, 1776 and 1777, translated and edited by Joseph P. Tustin, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979)

_____________________________

This Hessian soldier's candor illuminates the stark indifference of the contract fighter of the era; no hard feelings, rather, an open acceptance of the people he's fighting, and an admiration of their land. Yes, there was actually a time when the world didn't think Americans were made of nothing but greed.

After the war, Ewald awaits his transport back to Germany. He is out and about, touring the American countryside, and runs into . . .

"an American officer who related to me that his brother had been shot by the jägers at Elizabethtown in the Jerseys. I regretted this and steered the conversation to the question of whom I shoud turn to for permission to see the fortifications at West Point."

The American acquiesced this request, and eventually the German officer was touring our famed fort on the water. The following is Ewald's account of the garrison's muster of its 3,200 men:

"The men looked haggard and pallid and were poorly dressed. Indeed, very many stood quite proudly under arms without shoes and stockings. Although I shuddered at the distress of these men, it filled me with awe for them, for I did not think there was an army in the world which could be maintained as cheaply as the American army. It was not even permitted to requisition straw during the campaigns, since the country could not have borne the expense. The barracks at West Point as well as those at all permanent places had to be built by the soldiers with their own hands, without compensation. Shoemakers and tailors who are assigned to regiments must work for nothing for their officers and regiments; their only benefit being exemption from guard duty. --What army could be maintained in this manner? None certainly, for the whole army would gradually run away. --This, too, is a part of that "Liberty and Independence" for which these poor fellows had to have their arms and legs smashed. --But to what cannot enthusiasm lead a people!"

________________________________

Sometimes primary sources from such a different time can really bore. But Ewald's story is a real treat. Tustin's editing is helpful, with good guidance and notes. I, myself, have always had a fascination for the Hessian story. Have fun with this volume.
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Old 5 April 2011, 13:48
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Wayne E. Lee’s Crowds and soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina is good. The Sixty Years’ War for the Great Lakes, 1754–1814 is a collection of essays which includes the Revolution within the discussion of a broader conflict.
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Old 5 April 2011, 14:36
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Cool thanks. I'll have to add a note to my iPhone with these. Except the hessian journal, at $130 to 400, I'll pass till I can find a library with a couple to borrow from.
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Old 5 April 2011, 15:23
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Originally Posted by pirana View Post
Sometimes primary sources from such a different time can really bore. But Ewald's story is a real treat. Tustin's editing is helpful, with good guidance and notes. I, myself, have always had a fascination for the Hessian story. Have fun with this volume.
The archives at the Morristown National Historical Park have a manuscript journal in their collection written by a Hessian lower enlisted (don't know their rank structure) who sailed to Canada in 1776, cooled his heels there for a while, made the march south to Saratoga and fought there with Burgoyne, and was captured following the battle. The journal ended while he was in captivity, I don't know if he began a subsequent edition but if he did it's been lost to history. So far as I know this journal has neither been published in whole nor cited in any published works (at least that was the case four years ago when I took it out of the box it had been stored in for the previous 60 years and cataloged it).

Anyhow, if you're ever in NJ you might want to stop by and check out the journal. There's also a pretty nice (albeit small) museum on the site and the Jockey Hollow winter encampment (1779/80) is only a few miles down the road.
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Old 5 April 2011, 16:31
pirana pirana is offline
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Except the hessian journal, at $130 to 400, I'll pass till I can find a library with a couple to borrow from.
Damn, dude. I didn't realize this is already this expensive. I have access to it locally. I did a WorldCat search on it, and there's a shit-ton of them in California, but none out your way.


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The archives at the Morristown National Historical Park have a manuscript journal in their collection written by a Hessian lower enlisted (don't know their rank structure) who sailed to Canada in 1776, cooled his heels there for a while, made the march south to Saratoga and fought there with Burgoyne, and was captured following the battle. The journal ended while he was in captivity, I don't know if he began a subsequent edition but if he did it's been lost to history. So far as I know this journal has neither been published in whole nor cited in any published works (at least that was the case four years ago when I took it out of the box it had been stored in for the previous 60 years and cataloged it).

Anyhow, if you're ever in NJ you might want to stop by and check out the journal. There's also a pretty nice (albeit small) museum on the site and the Jockey Hollow winter encampment (1779/80) is only a few miles down the road.
Sounds great. I need to get up there - another repository in the area that's on my hitlist is the David Library of the American Revolution at Washington's Crossing. The Hessian activity was conspicuous in that area, and the writings of Ewald, himself, is packed with interesting accounts of it.

An ideal week in the summertime would be to visit these libraries and have at it.
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Old 5 April 2011, 16:44
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Damn, dude. I didn't realize this is already this expensive. I have access to it locally. I did a WorldCat search on it, and there's a shit-ton of them in California, but none out your way.




Sounds great. I need to get up there - another repository in the area that's on my hitlist is the David Library of the American Revolution at Washington's Crossing. The Hessian activity was conspicuous in that area, and the writings of Ewald, himself, is packed with interesting accounts of it.

An ideal week in the summertime would be to visit these libraries and have at it.
Rutgers also has a pretty nice collection of RevWar manuscripts and the llibrary is located in New Brunswick about halfway between Morristown and Trenton:

http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul..._rev_war.shtml

Drop me a line if you do get to come up. I'd love to go check out David Library and I know the librarian and the currator at Morristown so we may be able to play in the "things the mooks arren't allowed to touch" box.
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Old 5 April 2011, 19:19
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Also historical fiction....
John Jakes' The Bastard. Even the late 1970s miniseries based upon it was good.
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Old 6 April 2011, 05:22
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For an overview I dont have a good recomendation, Im so focused on the material culture that that is what makes a book good in my opinion.

If any of yall Know Pat O'Kelly from Regiment or 3d Group he has written a whole bunch on the Southern Campaigns and I can highly recomend all his books
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Old 6 April 2011, 19:04
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Damn, dude. I didn't realize this is already this expensive. I have access to it locally. I did a WorldCat search on it, and there's a shit-ton of them in California, but none out your way.
I'll keep an eye ball out for it. Sometimes books pop up on amazon and EBay for alot less then normal.
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Old 8 April 2011, 20:21
pirana pirana is offline
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I'd love to go check out David Library and I know the librarian and the currator at Morristown so we may be able to play in the "things the mooks arren't allowed to touch" box.
Something else cool about DLAR, you go there on a fellowship or other sanction, they can work out lodging there at the old barracks. It looks pretty classy.

I think they did the same thing at Jumonville, too. That is, they recycled some of the fort's remains, and assembled lodging there.

Perfect world, I'll be doing a research trip soon. But I may have a decent opportunity at a local collection soon, if so, I may have to tie myself down to it for a period. They're only giving so many fellowships out.
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Old 14 April 2011, 11:47
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The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763-1789- Don Higginbotham

I once became totally absorbed in this war, and think the aforementioned is the definitive text. For fictional accounts, especially if you live on the East Coast, believe it or not:

The Hornet's Nest, by Jimmy Carter
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Old 14 April 2011, 12:22
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I need to get going on Cornwell's Sharpe series too.

An excellent read, (read just about everything he has in the public domain) the Sharpe series of books and videos are some of the best, fun reading/entertainment that I have come across. I found the video series at the public library long ago, guess it's time to buy it online.

Great historical references in a fictional series that can lead to a ton of good non-fiction reading.
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Old 14 April 2011, 12:39
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I was reading Sharpe's "Waterloo" while walking the ground. I loved the video as well, as it showed a great portrayal of the square defending against cavalry. Yes, I know, not American Revolution...
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Old 14 April 2011, 13:17
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1776 by David McCullough

I like everything I've read bby McCollough and this is one of his best, in my opinion. I'm rereading it right now.
X 2

I read this in January. Great book. Lots of research, presented in what I consider to be a refreshingly unbiased light.

Paints Washington to be very human.
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