This being the Fourth of July, I’d like to run through my favorite books about the Revolution. Here goes:
The First Salute by Barbara W. Tuchman, 1989. You really get a picture of how inept the Brits were, and how much we owe to the Dutch and the French. It culminates with Washington confronting Cornwallis at Yorktown.
Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner, 1969. I was assigned to read this in college and found myself reciting parts of it aloud. Flexner brings Washington alive.
Decisive Day: The Battle for Bunker Hill by Richard M. Ketchum, 1962. This is a terrific narrative of a critical stand-off with the Brits.
The Winter Soldiers: The Battles for Trenton and Princeton by Richard M. Ketchum, 1973. After reading this, I drove to Washington Crossing to stand on the riverbank where our rag-tag army gathered.
John Adams by David McCullough, 2001. I loved this awesome biography of the hard-driving founding father.
1776 by David McCullough, 2005. McCullough does it again. The book jacket aptly describes this as a stirring narrative. I couldn’t put it down.
The Battle of Paoli by Thomas J. McGuire, 2000. I have a particular interest in
this, because I grew up near Malvern, Pa., where the battle was fought.
We got slaughtered there, but it rallied more soldiers to the cause.