American Revolution/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about American Revolution.
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Reference books

  • Jack P. Greene and J. R. Pole, eds. A Companion to the American Revolution. (2000). 778pp.
  • Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, and Richard A. Ryerson, eds. The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO, 2006) 5 volume paper and online editions; 1000 entries by 150 experts, covering all topics
  • Boatner III, Mark M. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1966); excellent guide to details; expanded 3 vol edition (2006)
  • Barnes, Ian and Charles Royster. The Historical Atlas of the American Revolution (2000)
  • Cappon, Lester. Atlas of the American Revolution (1976); best coverage of society, economics and politics; thin on military
  • 146 online books from Internet Archive


  • Alden, John R. A History of the American Revolution (1989), general survey; strong on military (ISBN: 0306803666)
  • Alden, John R. American Revolution: 1775-1783 (1976), shorter survey with more on military
  • Brown, Richard D. ed. Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution 1992, excerpts from primary and secondary sources
  • Ferling; John. Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution Oxford University Press, 2002 online edition
  • Ferling, John ed., The World Turned Upside Down: The American Victory in the War of Independence (1988).
  • Higginbotham, Don. The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763–1789 (1971, 1983). an analytical history of the war online via ACLS Humanities E-Book.
  • Lancaster, Bruce. The American Revolution (American Heritage Library) (ISBN: 0828102813) (1985), heavily illustrated
  • Martin, James Kirby. In the Course of Human Events: An Interpretive Exploration of the American Revolution (1979), short survey (ISBN: 0882957953)
  • Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789 (2nd ed 2007) online edition
  • Miller, John C. Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783. (1946) online edition
  • Royster, Charles. A Revolutionary People at War: The Continental Army and American Character, 1979.
  • Weintraub, Stanley. Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783. Free Pr., 2005. 375 pp.

British perspective

  • Black, Jeremy. War for America: The Fight for Independence, 1991. military emphasis
  • Harvey, Robert. A Few Bloody Noses (2004). Even handed account by British MP.
  • Lecky, William Edward Hartpole. The American Revolution, 1763-1783 (1898) older study by leading British scholar; online edition; Google edition
  • Marston, Daniel. The American Revolution, 1774-1783. (2003). 95 pp short survey online edition
  • Mackesy, Piers. War for America, (2nd ed. 1993). military emphasis
  • Thomas, Peter D. G. Revolution in America: Britain and the Colonies, 1763-1776 (1992) 101 pages
  • Trevelyan, George Otto. The American Revolution: A Condensation Into One Volume of the Original Six Volumes (1965)
  • Trevelyan, George Otto. The American Revolution (6 vol 1899-1905)online edition vol 1-6
  • Trevelyan, George Otto. The American Revolution: Saratoga and Brandywinem Valley Forge, England and France at War (1912) vol 4full text
  • Trevelyan, George Otto. George the Third and Charles Fox: The Concluding Part of The American Revolution (1914) full text
  • Wrong, George M. Canada and the American Revolution: The Disruption of the First British Empire. 1935. by Canadian scholar online edition

Coming of Revolution

  • Becker, Carl. The Eve of the Revolution: A Chronicle of the Breach with England. (1918) online edition short survey by leading scholar
  • Gipson, Lawrence Henry; The Coming of the Revolution, 1763-1775 (1954) online edition
  • Jensen, Merrill. The Founding of a Nation: A History of the American Revolution 1763-1776. (2004)
  • Labaree, Benjamin Woods. The Boston Tea Party (1964).
  • Maier, Pauline. From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765–1776 (1972).
  • Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution (1943) online edition
  • Rossiter, Clinton. The First American Revolution;: The American Colonies on the eve of independence (1966)
  • Ray, Raphael. The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord. (2002) emphasis on rural Massachusetts
  • John C. Wahlke; ed. The Causes of the American Revolution 1967 short excerpts. online edition

Atlantic and Empire

  • Brooke, John. George III (1972) pp 267-349
  • Flavell, Julie and Conway, Stephen, eds. Britain and America Go to War: The Impact of War and Warfare in Anglo-America, 1754-1815. U. Press of Florida, 2004. 284 pp.
  • Gould, Eliga H. and Onuf, Peter S., eds. Empire and Nation: The American Revolution in the Atlantic World. Johns Hopkins U. Pr., 2005. 381 pp.
  • Gruber, Ira D. "Lord Howe and Lord George Germain: British Politics and the Winning of American Independence." William and Mary Quarterly 1965 22(2): 225-243. Issn: 0043-5597 in Jstor
  • Hay, Carla H. "Catharine Macaulay and the American Revolution." The Historian. 56#2 1994. pp 301+. online edition; she was an English writer and friend of America
  • Marshall, P. J. ed., The Eighteenth Century, vol. 2 of Oxford History of the British Empire, (1998)
  • Marshall, Peter and Glyn Williams; The British Atlantic Empire before the American Revolution (1980) onine edition
  • Morrison, Michael A. and Zook, Melinda S., eds. Revolutionary Currents: Nation Building in the Transatlantic World. (2004). 224 pp.
  • Nelson, Paul David. "British Conduct of the American Revolutionary War: A Review of Interpretations," The Journal of American History, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Dec., 1978), pp. 623-653 in JSTOR
  • Thomas, Peter D. G. British Politics and the Stamp Act Crisis: The First Phase of the American Revolution (1975) 403 pp; The Townshend Duties Crisis: The Second Phase of the American Revolution (1987) 282 pp; Tea Party to Independence: The Third Phase of the American Revolution, 1773-1776, (1991), 357 pages excerpts and text search vol 3
  • Thomas, Peter D. G. Lord North (1976), 176pp
  • Watson, J. Steven. The Reign of George III, 1760-1815. 1960. standard history of British politics. online edition
  • Wrong, George M. Canada and the American Revolution: The Disruption of the First British Empire. 1935. online edition

Ideology and Republicanism

  • Breen, T. H. "Ideology and Nationalism on the Eve of the American Revolution: Revisions Once More in Need of Revising," Journal of American History 84 (1997), 13–39. in JSTOR
  • Foner, Eric. Tom Paine and Revolutionary America. (2nd ed 2005). 326 pp.
  • Kloppenberg, James T. "The Virtues of Liberalism: Christianity, Republicanism, and Ethics in Early American Political Discourse," Journal of American History 74 (1987), 9–33. in JSTOR
  • Larkin, Edward. Thomas Paine and the Literature of Revolution. Cambridge U. Pr., 2005. 215 pp.
  • Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1997)
  • Moses Coit Tyler; The Literary History of the American Revolution, 1763-1783 (1897) online edition
  • Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992).
  • Wood, Gordon S. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (1969), a dense but highly influential study
  • Wood, Gordon S. "Rhetoric and Reality in the American Revolution," The William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Ser., Vol. 23, No. 1 (Jan., 1966), pp. 3-32 in JSTOR

African Americans

  • Kaplan, Emma Nogrady, and Sidney Kaplan. The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution. (1989) online edition.
  • Nash, Gary B. The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America. (2005). 512 pp.
  • Pybus, Cassadra. "Jefferson's Faulty Math: the Question of Slave Defections in the American Revolution." William and Mary Quarterly 2005 62(2): 243-264. Issn: 0043-5597 Fulltext: in History Cooperative
  • Quarles, Benjamin. The Negro in the American Revolution (1961)


  • Berkin, Carol. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence. Knopf, 2005. 197 pp.
  • De Pauw, Linda Grant. "Women in Combat: the Revolutionary War Experience," Armed Forces and Society 7 (1981) 209-26
  • Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic (1980)
  • Kerber, Linda K. “History Will Do It No Justice: Women’s Lives in Revolutionary America” (1987) online at [1]
  • Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty's Daughters The Revolutionary Experience of American Women 1750-1800 (2nd ed. 1996)
  • Young, Alfred F. Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier. (2004). 417 pp.

Social and economic history

  • Baller, William. "Farm Families and the American Revolution." Journal of Family History (2006) 31(1): 28-44. Issn: 0363-1990 Fulltext: online in Ebsco
  • Breen, T. H. The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence Oxford U.P. 2004 online edition
  • Doerflinger, Thomas M. A Vigorous Spirit of Enterprise: Merchants and Economic Development in Revolutionary Philadelphia (1986), 197-250; businessmen at war
  • Jameson, J. Franklin. The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement (1926) online edition emphasis on class warfare
  • McDonnell, Michael A. "Class War: Class Struggles During the American Revolution in Virginia." William and Mary Quarterly 2006 63(2): 305-344. Issn: 0043-5597 Fulltext: online at History Cooperative
  • Nettels, Curtis. The Emergence of a National Economy, 1775-1815 (1962); best overview of economic history
  • Tiedemann, Joseph S. "Presbyterianism and the American Revolution in the Middle Colonies." Church History 2005 74(2): 306-344. Issn: 0009-6407 Fulltext: in Ebsco
  • Volo, Dorothy Denneen, and James M. Volo; Daily Life during the American Revolution Greenwood Press, 2003 online edition


  • Brown, Wallace. The King's Friends: The Composition and Motives of the American Loyalist Claimants (1965); says Loyalists comprised only 8 to 18% of the whites; included all socio-ecoomic backgrounds, esp urban, commercial, office-holding, professional, and Anglican
  • Calhoon, Robert. The Loyalists in Revolutionary America (1965)
  • Nelson, William H. The American Tories (1961) psychohistory; not so much loyalty as weakness--weak because of lack of organization; many were ethnic or religious minorities who looked to London for protection
  • Smith, Paul H. Loyalists and Redcoats: A Study in British Revolutionary Policy, 1964.
  • Van Tyne, Claude Halstead. The Loyalists in the American Revolution (1929) online edition

Loyalist Indians

  • Calloway, Colin G. The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (1995)
  • Graymont, Barbara. The Iroquois in the American Revolution (1972)
  • O'Donnell, James H. The Southern Indians in the American Revolution (1973)
  • Washburn, Wilcomb E. "Indians and the American Revolution," online

State, regional and local studies

  • Countryman, Edward. A People in Revolution: The American Revolution and Political Society in New York, 1760–1790 (1981)
  • Crow, Jeffrey J., Larry E. Tise, eds; The Southern Experience in the American Revolution (1978) online edition
  • Gross, Robert A. The Minutemen and their World (1976). re Massachusetts
  • Hawke, David. In the Midst of a Revolution. (1961) on Philadelphia. online edition
  • Isaac, Rhys. The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 (1982); highly influential study
  • Mitnick, Barbara J., ed. New Jersey in the American Revolution. (2005). 268 pp.
  • Nevins, Allan. The American States during and after the Revolution, 1775-1789 (1927) online edition, highly detailed coverage of each state
  • Selby, John E. The Revolution in Virginia, 1775-1783 (1988)
  • Tiedemann, Joseph S. and Fingerhut, Eugene R., eds. The Other New York: The American Revolution beyond New York City, 1763-1787. (2005). 246 pp.
  • Wilson, David K. The Southern Strategy: Britain's Conquest of South Carolina and Georgia, 1775-1780. (2005). 341 pp.

Military history

see American Revolution, military history

  • Alden, John R. American Revolution: 1775-1783 (1976)
  • Black, Jeremy. War for America: The Fight for Independence, 1991. British perspective
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing (2004), Pulitzer prize winner; study of 1776-77 online excerpt
  • Higginbotham, Don. The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763–1789 (1971, 1983). an analytical history of the war online via ACLS Humanities E-Book.
  • McCullough, David. 1776. 386 pp.
  • Martin, James Kirby, and Mark E. Lender, A Respectable Army: The Military Origin of the Republic, 1763–1789 (1982), short
  • Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution, 2 vols., 1952, a good narrative of all the major battles.
  • West Point Atlas
  • Shy, John. A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence, 1976.


see American Revolution, naval history

  • Mahan, Alfred Thayer. The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 (1890) 557 pages; probably the most influential history book ever written Google version
  • Syrett, David. The Royal Navy in American Waters, 1989.

Diplomacy & France

  • Bemis, Samuel Flagg. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution (1935) online edition
  • Brown, John L. "Revolution and the Muse: the American War of Independence in Contemporary French Poetry." William and Mary Quarterly 1984 41(4): 592-614. Issn: 0043-5597 Fulltext in : Jstor
  • Brecher, Frank W. Securing American Independence: John Jay and the French Alliance. Praeger Publishers, 2003. Pp. xiv, 327 online
  • Chartrand, René, and Back, Francis. The French Army in the American War of Independence Osprey; 1991.
  • Corwin, Edward S. French Policy and the American Alliance of 1778 Archon Books; 1962.
  • Dull, Jonathan. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution, 1985.
  • Dull, Jonathan R. The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy 1774-1787 (1975)
  • Ferling, John. “John Adams: Diplomat,” William and Mary Quarterly 51 (1994): 227–52. in JSTOR
  • Gottschalk, Louis. Lafayette Comes to America 1935 online
  • Gottschalk, Louis. Lafayette Joins the American Army (1937)
  • Hoffman, Ronald and Albert, Peter J., ed. Peace and the Peacemakers: The Treaty of 1783. U. Press of Virginia, 1986. 263 pp.
  • Hoffman, Ronald and Albert, Peter J., ed. Diplomacy and Revolution: The Franco-American Alliance of 1778. U. Press of Virginia, 1981. 200 pp.
  • Hudson, Ruth Strong. The Minister from France: Conrad-Alexandre Gérard, 1729-1790. Lutz, 1994. 279 pp.
  • Hutson, James H. John Adams and the Diplomacy of the American Revolution (1980)
  • Kaplan, Lawrence S. "The Diplomacy of the American Revolution: the Perspective from France." Reviews in American History 1976 4(3): 385-390. Issn: 0048-7511 Fulltext in Jstor; review of Dull (1975)
  • Kennett, Lee. The French Forces in America, 1780-1783. Greenwood, 1977. 188 pp.
  • Kramer, Lloyd. Lafayette in Two Worlds: Public Cultures and Personal Identities in an Age of Revolutions. (1996). 355 pp.
  • Newman, Simon, ed. Europe’s American Revolution. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. isbn 1-4039-8997-4.)
  • Perkins, James Breck. France in the American Revolution 1911 online
  • Popofsky, Linda S. and Sheldon, Marianne B. "French and American Women in the Age of Democratic Revolution, 1770-1815: a Comparative Perspective." History of European Ideas1987 8(4-5): 597-609. Issn: 0191-6599
  • Pritchard, James. "French Strategy and the American Revolution: a Reappraisal." Naval War College Review 1994 47(4): 83-108. Issn: 0028-1484
  • Schaeper, Thomas J. France and America in the Revolutionary Era: The Life of Jacques-Donatien Leray de Chaumont, 1725-1803. Berghahn Books, 1995. 384 pp. He provided military supplies.
  • Unger, Harlow Giles. Lafayette (2002)online

The Civilian Founders: biographies

  • Brodsky, Alyn. Benjamin Rush: Patriot and Physician. 2004. 404 pp.
  • Burnard, Trevor. "The Founding Fathers in Early American Historiography: a View from Abroad." William and Mary Quarterly (2005) 62(4): 745-764. Issn: 0043-5597 Fulltext: in History Cooperative
  • Ellis, Joseph. Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (2001) online edition
  • Ellis, Joseph. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (2002)
  • Irvin, Benjamin H. Sam Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution. Oxford University Press, 2002. 176pp.
  • Ferling, John. John Adams: A Life (1992).
  • Ketcham, Ralph L. Benjamin Franklin. (1966). 228pp online edition
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson and His Time (vol 1-2 1948),
  • Peterson, Merrill D. Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation: A Biography (1970). online edition
  • Withey, Lynn. Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams (1981)

George Washington

  • Alden, John. George Washington: A Biography (1984);
  • Cunliffe, Marcus. George Washington: Man and Monument (1958), classic short biography
  • Ellis, Joseph. His Excellency: George Washington (2005), interpretive essay
  • Freeman, Douglas Southall George Washington: A Biography (7 vols., New York, 1948–1957); also one-vol abridged edition
  • Lengel, Edward G. General George Washington: A Military Life. Random House, 2005. 450 pp.

Primary sources

  • Library of America. The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence (1995) 850pp table of contents
  • Commager, Henry Steele, and Richard Morris, eds. The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six: The Story of the American Revolution as Told by Participants (1967); excellent collection of primary ources; highly recommended
  • Morison, S. E. ed. Sources and Documents Illustrating the American Revolution, 1764-1788, and the Formation of the Federal Constitution (1923) online edition
  • Lafayette, Marquis de. Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776-1790. Vol. 2: April 10, 1778-March 20, 1780. Cornell U. Press, 1979. 518 pp.
  • Kierner, Cynthia A. ed. Southern Women in Revolution, 1776-1800: Personal and Political Narratives, 1998. 253 pp.
  • Washington, George. Writings (1988) (Library of America edition) 440 letters and key documents. online table of contents
  • Washington, George. The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series. University Press of Virginia. Latest volume is Vol. 14: March-April 1778. ed by Philander D. Chase, 2004. 832 pp.
  • Documents of the American Revolution, 1770-1783 Ed. by K.G. Davies. 21 vols. (Irish Academic University Press, 1972), all the important British documents

External links