Bibliography of the American Revolution

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The history of the American Revolution has been one of the two or three most important topics studied by historians in the U.S. since the 1780s. The quality of scholarship keeps improving, so that few books published before 1950 are mentioned here.

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Contents

Reference books

  • Blanco, Richard L., ed. The American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Encyclopedia. 2 vol. Garland, 1993. 1857 pp.; 800 articles by 129 experts
  • Boatner III, Mark M. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1966); excellent guide to details
  • Faragher, John Mack, ed. The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America. 1990.
  • 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
    • American Revolutionary War: A Student Encyclopedia (5 vol. 2006), shorter version, 800 articles
  • Greene, Jack P. and J. R. Pole, eds. A Companion to the American Revolution (2nd ed. 2003) 778pp; 90 very good short essays by scholars excerpt and text search
    • The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1st edition under different title, 1994)
  • Purcell, L. Edward, ed. Who Was Who in the American Revolution. 1993.

Atlases

  • 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
  • Marshall, Douglas W. and Peckham, Howard H. Campaigns of the American Revolution: An Atlas of Manuscript Maps. 138 pp. High quality reproductions of 58 original maps (50 of them British)
  • Symonds, Craig L. A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution (1986); good on battles
  • West Point Atlas excellent coverage of major battlesonline

Causes

  • Christie, Ian R. and Labaree, Benjamin W. Empire or Independence, 1760-1776: A British-American Dialogue on the Coming of the American Revolution. (1976). 332 pp.
  • Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution (1943) online edition
  • Thomas, Peter D. G. The Townshend Duties Crisis: The Second Phase of the American Revolution, 1767-1773. (1987). 282 pp.
  • Tucker, Robert W. and Hendrickson, David C. The Fall of the First British Empire: Origins of the War of American Independence. (1982). 450 pp.

Interpretations

  • Ferling, John ed., The World Turned Upside Down: The American Victory in the War of Independence (1988).
  • Higginbotham, Don. Revolution in America: Considerations and Comparisons. U. of Virginia Pr., 2005. 230 pp.
  • Martin, James Kirby. In the Course of Human Events: An Interpretive Exploration of the American Revolution (1979), short survey (ISBN: 0882957953)

Surveys

  • Alden, John R. A History of the American Revolution (1989), general survey; strong on military
  • Higginbotham, Don. The war of American independence: military attitudes, policies, and practice, 1763-1789(1971) best scholarly overview; online through ACLS History E-Book
  • Lancaster, ed. Bruce. The American Revolution (American Heritage Library) (1985), heavily illustrated
  • Martin, James Kirby, and Mark E. Lender, A Respectable Army: The Military Origin of the Republic, 1763–1789 (1982), short
  • Matloff, Maurice. American Military History (1989) US Army textbook online
  • Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789 (1982) online edition
  • Miller, John C. Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783 (1948) online edition
  • Stokesbury, James L. A Short History of the American Revolution 304p.
  • Weintraub, Stanley. Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783. (2005). 375 pp.

Surveys: British perspective

  • Bicheno, H. Rebels and Redcoats, The American Revolutionary War, London 2003
  • Black, Jeremy. War for America: The Fight for Independence, 1991. British perspective
  • Dupuy, R. Ernest, Gay Hammerman and Grace P. Hayes. The American Revolution: A Global War (1976)
  • 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.
  • Goodwin, A. ed. The American and French Revolutions, 1763-1793 (The New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. VIII). (1965),
  • Lecky, William Edward Hartpole. The American Revolution, 1763-1783 1898 by leading British scholar; online edition
  • Marston, Daniel. The American Revolution, 1774-1783. Routledge. 2003. 95 pp survey online edition
  • Mackesy, Piers. War for America, 2nd edition, 1993. British perspective
  • 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
  • Robson, Eric. The American Revolution in Its Political and Military Aspects, 1763-1783 (1972)
  • Wrong, George M. Canada and the American Revolution: The Disruption of the First British Empire. 1935. by Canadian scholaronline edition

Canada


Politics and states

  • Eckenrode, H.J. The Revolution in Virginia (1916) full text online
  • Frantz, John B. and William Pencak. Beyond Philadelphia: The American Revolution in the Pennsylvania Hinterland (1998)
  • Gross, Robert A. The Minutemen and their World (1976). re Massachusetts
  • Jensen, Merrill; The New Nation: A History of the United States during the Confederation, 1781-1789 (1950), a standard scholarly survey
  • Miller, John C. Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783 (1948) online edition
  • Mitnick, Barbara J., ed. New Jersey in the American Revolution. (2005). 268 pp.
  • Morris, Richard. The Forging of the Union, 1781-1789 (1788), a standard scholarly survey
  • Nevins, Allan. The American States During and After the Revolution, 1775-1789 (1923)
  • Rakove, Jack N. The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretive History of the Continental Congress (1979)
  • Selby, John E. Revolution in Virginia (2nd ed. 2007)

Military: North

  • Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing (2004), Pulitzer prize winner; study of 1776-77 online excerpt
  • Ketchum, Richard M. Winter Soldiers: The Battles for Trenton and Princeton (1973)
  • McCullough, David. 1776. 386 pp. best-seller
  • Moomaw, W. H. "The Denouement of General Howe's Campaign of 1777," The English Historical Review, Vol. 79, No. 312. (Jul., 1964), pp. 498-512. in JSTOR
  • Reed, John F. Campaign to Valley Forge: July 1, 1777–December 19, 1777 (1965)
  • Savas, Theodore P., and Dameron, J. David. A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution. 2006.
  • Taaffe, Stephen R. The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777–1778 (2003).
  • Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution, 2 vols., 1952, a good narrative of all the major battles.
  • Wallace, Willard M. Appeal to Arms (1951); good on battles full text online
  • Wrong, George M. Washington and His Comrades in Arms: A Chronicle of the War of Independence (1921) by a Canadian scholar online edition
  • West Point Atlas online

Saratoga

  • Clark, Jane. "Responsibility for the Failure of the Burgoyne Campaign," The American Historical Review, Vol. 35, No. 3. (Apr., 1930), pp. 542-559. in JSTOR
  • Creasy, Sir Edward; The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World 1908 online
  • Ketchum, Richard M.; Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War; 1997, ISBN 0-8050-6123-1
  • Mintz, Max M.; The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates; 1990, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-04778-9;
  • Nickerson, Hoffman; The Turning Point of the Revolution: Or, Burgoyne in America (1928) online
  • Patterson, Samuel White; Horatio Gates: Defender of American Liberties Columbia University Press, 1941 online
  • Stone, W. L. The Campaign of Burgoyne, (1877) online

Military: South

  • Crow, Jeffrey C. and Larry E. Tise, eds. The Southern Experience in the American Revolution (1978)
  • Gordon, John W. South Carolina and the American Revolution: A Battlefield History (2003)
  • Higgins, W. Robert ed. The Revolutionary War in the South: Power, Conflict, and Leadership (1979)
  • Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South (1981)
  • Pancake, John S. This Destructive War: The British Campaign in the Carolinas, 1780-1782 (1985)
  • Thayer, Theodore. Nathanael Greene: Strategist of the American Revolution (1960) online edition
  • Weigley, Russell F. The Partisan War: The South Carolina Campaign of 1780-1782 (1970); portrays guerrilla war, like Vietnam
  • Wallace, Willard M. Appeal to Arms (1951); good on battles
  • Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution, 2 vols., 1952, a good narrative of all the major battles.
  • Wilson, David K. The Southern Strategy: Britain's Conquest of South Carolina and Georgia, 1775-1780. U. of South Carolina Pr., 2005. 341 pp.

Yorktown

Lord Charles Cornwallis
  • Adams, Randolph G. "A View of Cornwallis's Surrender at Yorktown." American Historical Review 1931 37(1): 25-49. Issn: 0002-8762 online at Jstor
  • Clement, R: “The World Turned Upside down At the Surrender of Yorktown”, Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 92, No. 363 (Jan. - Mar., 1979), pp. 66-67 (available on Jstor)
  • Greene, Jerome. Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 (2005)
  • Ketchum, Richard M. Victory at Yorktown: The Campaign That Won the Revolution (2004)
  • Morrissey, Brendan and Adam Hook. Yorktown 1781: The World Turned Upside Down (1994) British perspective
  • Tuchman, Barbara W. The First Salute 1988, chapter on battle
  • Willcox, Walter. “The British Road to Yorktown: A Study in Divided Command”, The American Historical Review, Vol. 52, No. 1. (Oct., 1946), pp. 1-35 in JSTOR
  • Wood, W. J. Battles of the Revolutionary War, 1775–1781. ISBN 0-306-81329-7 (2003)
  • Wright, J: “Notes on the Siege of Yorktown in 1781 with Special Reference to the Conduct of a Siege in the Eighteenth Century”, William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd Ser., Vol. 12, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 229-249, ONLINE AT jstor
Washington at Valley Forge, William B.T. Trego, 1883

Soldiers: American

  • Bodle, Wayne. Valley Forge Winter: Civilians and Soldiers in War (2002)
  • Buchanan, John. The Road to Valley Forge: How Washington Built the Army That Won the Revolution. (2004). online edition
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride (1995)
  • Gross, Robert A. The Minutemen and their World (1976). re Massachusetts
  • Kennett, Lee. French Forces in America, (1977).
  • Neimeyer, Charles P. America Goes to War: A Social History of the Continental Army (1996) 244p. online review
  • Rankin, Hugh. The North Carolina Continentals (1971)
  • Royster, Charles. A Revolutionary People at War: The Continental Army and American Character, 1775–1783 (1979)
  • Shy, John. A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence, (1976).

British army & Loyalists

  • Atwood, R. The Hessians, 1980.
  • Billias, George A. ed., George Washington's Opponents (1969) essays on the chief British generals
  • Frey, Sylvia. The British Soldier in America: A Social History of Military Life in the Revolutionary Period (1981)
  • 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

Indians and the West

  • Calloway, Colin G. The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (1995)
  • Fischer, Joseph R. A Well-Executed Failure: The Sullivan Campaign against the Iroquois, July-September 1779. 1997. 265 pp.
  • Graymont, Barbara. The Iroquois in the American Revolution (1972)
  • O'Donnell, James H. The Southern Indians in the American Revolution (1973)
  • Sosin, Jack. The Revolutionary Frontier: 1763-1783 (1967)
  • Washburn, Wilcomb E. "Indians and the American Revolution," online

Generals

  • Billias, George A. ed. George Washington's Generals and Opponents: Their Exploits and Leadership (1994); combined edition of two books by Billias.
    • Billias, George A. ed. George Washington's Generals (1964)
  • Blanco, Richard L., ed. The American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Encyclopedia. (1993)
  • Boatner III, Mark M. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1966)
  • Higginbotham, Don. Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman (1961)
  • Mintz, Max M. The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates. 1990. 278 pp.
  • Rankin, Hugh. Francis Marion: The Swamp Fox (1973)
  • Thayer, Theodore. Nathanael Greene: Strategist of the American Revolution (1960) online edition

George Washington

  • Alden, John. George Washington: A Biography (1984)
  • 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.
  • Lodge, Henry Cabot. Washington (1889) older biography online edition
  • Palmer, Dave. The Way of the Fox: American Strategy in the War of Independence (1975)

British

  • Billias, George A. ed., George Washington's Opponents (1969), essays by scholars on the chief British generals
  • Bass, Robert D. The Green Dragoon (2003) Col Tarleton
  • Brooke, John. George III (1972), the King supervised the war closely
  • Gruber, Ira. Howe Brothers and the American Revolution (1975), the standard biography of Admiral Howe and his brother General Howe
  • Guttridge, George H. "Lord George Germain in Office, 1775-1782," The American Historical Review, Vol. 33, No. 1. (Oct., 1927), pp. 23-43. in JSTOR
  • Hargrove, Richard J., Jr. General John Burgoyne. 1983. 294 pp.
  • Mintz, Max M. The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates. 1990. 278 pp.
  • Valentine, Alan. Lord George Germain (1962), civilian head of British war effort
  • Wickwire, Franklin B. Cornwallis: The American Adventure (1970)
  • Willcox, William B. Portrait of A General: Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence (1964)

Naval

  • Dull, Jonathan. The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy, 1775-1787, 1975.
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot. John Paul Jones (1959)
  • Syrett, David. The Royal Navy in American Waters, 1989.

Dipolomacy

  • Bemis, Samuel Flagg. The Diplomacy Of The American Revolution (1935)
  • Brands, H. W. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Dull, Jonathan R. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (1985).
  • Ferling, John. "John Adams: Diplomat," William and Mary Quarterly 51 (1994): 227–52.
  • Hutson, James H. John Adams and the Diplomacy of the American Revolution (1980).
  • Hoffman, Ronald, and Peter J. Albert, eds. Diplomacy and Revolution: The Franco-American Alliance of 1778 (1981)
  • Hoffman, Ronald, and Peter J. Albert, eds. Peace and the Peacemakers:The Treaty of Paris of 1783 (1986).
  • Kaplan, Lawrence S., ed. The American Revolution and “A Candid World (1977)
  • Lint, Gregg L. "John Adams on the Drafting of the Treaty Plan of 1776," Diplomatic History 2 (1978): 313–20.
  • Perkins, James Breck. France in the American Revolution (1911) full text online
  • Schiff, Stacy. A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2006)
  • Stinchcombe, William E. The American Revolution and the French Alliance (1969)

Weapons

  • Christopher Duffy, The Military Experience in the Age of Reason (1988), on European methods
  • Peterson, Harold L. The Book of the Continental Soldier (1968); uniforms, weapons, gear
  • Peterson, Harold L. Arms and Armor in Colonial America, 1526-1783 (1956)

Prisoners

  • Brunswicker (Hessian) prisoners online
  • Naval prisoners (1913) online
  • Dandridge, Danske. American Prisoners of the Revolution (1910) online at Google
  • Knight, Betsy. "Prisoner Exchange and Parole in the American Revolution," " online at JSTOR

Medical

  • Bell, Jr. Whitfield. John Morgan: Continental Doctor (1965)
  • Blanco, Richard L. Physician of the American Revolution: Jonathan Potts (1979)
  • Peckham, Howard H. The Toll of Independence (1974), casualties by battle
  • Reiss, Oscar. Medicine and the American Revolution: How Diseases and Their Treatments Affected the Colonial Army (278p.) (1982)
  • Saffron, Morris Harold. Surgeon to Washington, Dr. John Cochran, 1730-1807 (1977)

Logistics

  • Carp, E. Wayne. To Starve the Army at Pleasure: Continental Army Administration and American Political Culture, 1775-1783 (1984); best study of supply problems
  • Risch, Erna. Supplying Washington's Army (GPO, 1981)

Intelligence

  • CIA, "Intelligence in the War of Independence" online edition
  • Rose, Alexander. Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring (2007)

Historiography

  • Archdeacon, Thomas J. "American Historians and the American Revolution: A Bicentennial Overview." Wisconsin Magazine Of History 1980 63(4): 278-298. 0043-6534. A leading conservative historian classifies the recent historiography along the traditional lines of neo-Whigs, emphasizing the rational reaction of colonists to perceived infringements on their rights by a repressive British government and king, and neo-Progressives. Edmund S. Morgan, Benjamin W. Labaree, John Shy, Jack P. Greene, Gordon Wood, and especially Bernard Bailyn and his students are representative of the neo-Whig school. The neo-Progressives, mostly on the left, stress the internal divisions within the colonies along socioeconomic and ethnoreligious lines. Leading proponents of the neo-Progressive school include Merrill Jensen, Jackson Turner Main, James Kirby Martin, Joseph Ernst, Marc Egnal, Jesse Lemisch, and Staughton Lynd.
  • Greene, Jack P., "The American Revolution," The American Historical Review 105.1 (2000): online version
  • Higginbotham, Don. "The Early American Way of War: Reconnaisance and Appraisal," William and Mary Quarterly 44 (1987) 230-73; valuable overview in JSTOR
  • Higginbotham, Don. "American Historians and the Military History of the American Revolution," The American Historical Review, 70#1 (Oct., 1964), pp 18-34. in JSTOR
  • 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
  • Syrett, David. "The British Armed Forces in the American Revolutionary War: Publications, 1875-1998," The Journal of Military History, Vol. 63, No. 1. (Jan., 1999), pp. 147-164. in JSTOR

Primary sources

  • Burgoyne, John. Life and Correspondence of Field Marshal Sir John Burgoyne, (1873) online edition
  • 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 sources
  • Dann, John C. ed. The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence (1980); statements from pension applications
  • Force, Peter. American Archives: 1774-1776 massive compilation of primary sources, online version, easily searched
  • Hibbert, Christopher, ed. Rebels and Redcoats: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, (2001)
  • Library of America. The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence (1995) 850pp table of contents
  • Martin, J. P. Private Yankee Doodle (1962); fascinating autobiography of an ordinary soldier who was in numerous campaigns
  • Morison, S. E. Sources and Documents Illustrating the American Revolution, 1764-1788, and the Formation of the Federal Constitution (1923) online edition
  • 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. 16: July – September 1778 (2006)online synopsis
  • Documents of the American Revolution, 1770-1783 Ed. by K.G. Davies. 21 vols. (Irish Academic University Press, 1972), all the important British documents; available in large research libraries
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