Happy first day of July!

Just a reminder, and an obvious one too, the library will be closed this Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

And speaking of Independence Day, as we’re celebrating the 243rd anniversary of the founding our country this Thursday, the recommended reading titles for this week all focus on events, fiction-wise and otherwise, of the Revolutionary War era.

And as there are many terrific books, audiobooks and DVDs that focus on the American Revolutionary Era, loosely from the start of the French & Indian War in 1754 through the end of George Washington’s second term as president in 1797, I’m going to offer more suggestions in more formats than usual: eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, print books and DVDs.

EBooks:

April Morning by Howard Fast:

Howard Fast’s bestselling coming-of-age novel about one boy’s introduction to the horrors of war amid the brutal first battle of the American Revolution

On April 19, 1775, musket shots ring out over Lexington, Massachusetts. As the sun rises over the battlefield, fifteen-year-old Adam Cooper stands among the outmatched patriots, facing a line of British troops.

Determined to defend his home and prove his worth to his disapproving father, Cooper is about to embark on the most significant day of his life. The Battle of Lexington and Concord will be the starting point of the American Revolution—and when Cooper becomes a man.

Sweeping in scope and masterful in execution, April Morning is a classic of American literature and an unforgettable story of one community’s fateful struggle for freedom.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Howard Fast including rare photos from the author’s estate.

Book of Ages The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore:

National Book Award Finalist

From one of our most accomplished and widely admired historians, a revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister and a history of history itself. Like her brother, Jane Franklin was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator. Unlike him, she was a mother of twelve.

Benjamin Franklin, who wrote more letters to his sister than he wrote to anyone else, was the original American self-made man; his sister spent her life caring for her children. They left very different traces behind. Making use of an amazing cache of little-studied material, including documents, objects, and portraits only just discovered, Jill Lepore brings Jane Franklin to life in a way that illuminates not only this one woman but an entire world—a world usually lost to history. Lepore’s life of Jane Franklin, with its strikingly original vantage on her remarkable brother, is at once a wholly different account of the founding of the United States and one of the great untold stories of

American history and letters: a life unknown.

The Fort: A Novel by Bernard Cornwell:

In a slight departure from his usual sword and musket epics, Cornwell (Agincourt) delivers a straightforward fictionalized account of a disastrous 1779 American military campaign in today’s Maine (then Massachusetts) that’s heavy on historical figures and tense battle scenes. After the British establish a fort on the Penobscot River, the Massachusetts patriots mount an expedition to oust the redcoats. Unfortunately, the campaign is poorly planned and ineptly executed, pitting an ill-trained and undisciplined force against experienced British soldiers and the Royal Navy. The commander of the American land force is Gen. Solomon Lovell, a useless and dithering Boston politician, and the American navy is led by Cmdr. Dudley Saltonstall, an obstinate officer who refuses to risk his ships. Then there’s Paul Revere, artillery commander and shameful yellow belly. In fact, the only American officer with any spirit for a fight is a former schoolteacher, Gen. Peleg Wadsworth. This is a rousing yarn of clashing personalities, crashing cannons, and lively musket and bayonet work, along with spies, cowardice, and moments of incredible bravery. Cornwell presents a fascinating, accurate, and exciting history lesson enlivened with a generous blast of gun smoke and grapeshot. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Glorious Cause: A Novel of the American Revolution by Jeff Shaara:

It was never a war in which the outcome was obvious. Despite their spirit and stamina, the colonists were outmanned and outfought by the brazen British army. General George Washington found his troops trounced in the battles of Brooklyn and Manhattan and retreated toward Pennsylvania. With the future of the colonies at its lowest ebb, Washington made his most fateful decision: to cross the Delaware River and attack the enemy. The stunning victory at Trenton began a saga of victory and defeat that concluded with the British surrender at Yorktown, a moment that changed the history of the world.

The despair and triumph of America’s first great army is conveyed in scenes as powerful as any Shaara has written, a story told from the points of view of some of the most memorable characters in American history. There is George Washington, the charismatic leader who held his army together to achieve an unlikely victory; Charles Cornwallis, the no-nonsense British general, more than a match for his colonial counterpart; Nathaniel Greene, who rose from obscurity to become the finest battlefield commander in Washington’s army; The Marquis de Lafayette, the young Frenchman who brought a soldier’s passion to America; and Benjamin Franklin, a brilliant man of science and philosophy who became the finest statesman of his day.

From Nathan Hale to Benedict Arnold, William Howe to “Light Horse” Harry Lee, from Trenton and Valley Forge, Brandywine and Yorktown, the American Revolution’s most immortal characters and poignant moments are brought to life in remarkable Shaara style. Yet, The Glorious Cause is more than just a story of the legendary six-year struggle. It is a tribute to an amazing people who turned ideas into action and fought to declare themselves free.

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott

As the daughter of a respected general, Elizabeth Schuyler is accustomed to socializing with dignitaries and soldiers. But no visitor to her parents’ home has affected her so strongly as Alexander Hamilton, a charismatic, ambitious aide to George Washington. They marry quickly, and despite the tumult of the American Revolution, Eliza is confident in her brilliant husband and in her role as his helpmate. But it is in the aftermath of war, as Hamilton becomes one of the country’s most important figures, that she truly comes into her own.

In the new capital, Eliza becomes an adored member of society, respected for her fierce devotion to Hamilton as well as her grace. Behind closed doors, she astutely manages their expanding household, and assists her husband with his political writings. Yet some challenges are impossible to prepare for. Through public scandal, betrayal, personal heartbreak, and tragedy, she is tested again and again. In the end, it will be Eliza’s indomitable strength that makes her not only Hamilton’s most crucial ally in life, but also his most loyal advocate after his death, determined to preserve his legacy while pursuing her own extraordinary path through the nation they helped shape together.

Lacemaker by Laura Frantz 

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution by Richard Beeman:

In May 1787, in an atmosphere of crisis, delegates met in Philadelphia to design a radically new form of government. Distinguished historian Richard Beeman captures as never before the dynamic of the debate and the characters of the men who labored that historic summer. Virtually all of the issues in dispute—the extent of presidential power, the nature of federalism, and, most explosive of all, the role of slavery—have continued to provoke conflict throughout our nation’s history. This unprecedented book takes readers behind the scenes to show how the world’s most enduring constitution was forged through conflict, compromise, and fragile consensus. As Gouverneur Morris, delegate of Pennsylvania, noted: “While some have boasted it as a work from Heaven, others have given it a less righteous origin. I have many reasons to believe that it is the work of plain, honest men.”

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph Ellis:

In The Quartet, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Joseph Ellis tells the unexpected story of America’s second great founding and of the men most responsible—Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Jay, and James Madison: why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew. These men, with the help of Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris, shaped the contours of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation, manipulating the political process to force the calling of the Constitutional Convention, conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia, orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions, and, finally, drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settlement, created the new republic. Ellis gives us a dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government.

The Quartet unmasks a myth, and in its place presents an even more compelling truth—one that lies at the heart of understanding the creation of the United States of America.

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow:

A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.

Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America’s first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods.

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen:

Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston.

But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel’s parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City.

Downloadable Audiobooks:

1776 by David McCullough:

America’s beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation’s birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America’s survival in the hands of George Washington.

In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.

American Creation written by Joseph Ellis & read by John H. Mayer:

From the first shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Joseph J. Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically, an evolution–and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government was eventually embraced by the American people, and details the emergence of the two-party system, which stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy.

Ellis is equally incisive about their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is an audiobook that delineates an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more

The American Revolution, Part I written by George H. Smith & Wendy McElroy, read by George C. Scott and Pat Child:

In 1773, Britain was the greatest power on earth, but the Seven Years War with France had doubled her national debt. To ease this burden, Britain made a fateful blunder: to impose special taxes upon the American colonies. On April 17, 1775, British and American Forces first clashed at the Battle of Lexington. The war continued for seven years, complicated by the fact that some Americans wished to remain British subjects. The colonies won their independence, but their conflicts with Britain were not over.

The American Revolution, Part II written by George Smith & Wendy McElroy, read by George C. Scott and Pat Child:

In 1776, the thirteen American colonies, refusing to pay unjust taxes, declared their independence from Britain. The resulting years of war are called the American Revolution, but many founding fathers believed the real American Revolution was not the war with Britain but the revolution in ideas which preceded and caused the war. From 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years, many Americans were transformed from loyal subjects into rebels against Britain. Together, the thirteen colonies set out to create something new under the sun, a government which derived its just authority from the consent of the governed.

To understand this unparalleled event, it is necessary to examine the character and ideas of eighteenth-century Americans, such as what vision caused them to rebel and how faithfully they followed this vision.

The American Spirit by David McCullough:

A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles.

“Insightful and inspirational, The American Spirit summons a vexed and divided nation to remember—and cherish—our unifying ideas and ideals” (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Over the course of his distinguished career, McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following the bitter 2016 election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that celebrates the important principles and characteristics that are particularly American.

“The American Spirit is as inspirational as it is brilliant, as simple as it is sophisticated” (Buffalo News). McCullough reminds us of the core American values that define us, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.”

The Bill of Rights and Additional Amendments written by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel & narrated by Walter Cronkite:

The Constitution of the United States created a nation with a strong centralized government. In 1791, the Constitution was amended to include ten amendments, commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. These were guarantees of individual liberty upon which critics of the Constitution had insisted.

Changing times raise changing questions. What of black rights—the right of former slaves to vote? And do women not share in that privilege? How many terms should a president serve? These and other issues were resolved through additional amendments to the Constitution. Throughout America’s history, the Constitution has remained a living document. Here, each of the twenty-six amendments is presented in the unique historical context that gave it birth.

The Course of Human Events written and read by David McCullough:

On May 15th, 2003 David McCullough presented The Course of Human Events as The 2003 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities in Washington, DC. The Jefferson Lecture is a tribute to McCullough’s lifetime investigation of history.

In this short speech, this master historian tracks his fascination with all things historical to his early days in Pittsburgh where he “learned to love history by way of books” in bookshops and at the local library.

McCullough eloquently leads us through the founding fathers’ attraction to history, letting us in on his composition of 1776 as well as the Pulitzer Prize winning John Adams. His obvious affection for history is inspiring, because it encompasses the whole reach of the human drama. In McCullough’s able hands, history truly “is a larger way of looking at life.”

The Glorious Cause: A Novel of the American Revolution written by Jeff Shaara and read by Grover Gardner:

In Rise to Rebellion, bestselling author Jeff Shaara captured the origins of the American Revolution as brilliantly as he depicted the Civil War in Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure. Now he continues the amazing saga of how thirteen colonies became a nation, taking the conflict from kingdom and courtroom to the bold and bloody battlefields of war.

It was never a war in which the outcome was obvious. Despite their spirit and stamina, the colonists were outmanned and outfought by the brazen British army. General George Washington found his troops trounced in the battles of Brooklyn and Manhattan and retreated toward Pennsylvania. With the future of the colonies at its lowest ebb, Washington made his most fateful decision: to cross the Delaware River and attack the enemy. The stunning victory at Trenton began a saga of victory and defeat that concluded with the British surrender at Yorktown, a moment that changed the history of the world.

The despair and triumph of America’s first great army is conveyed in scenes as powerful as any Shaara has written, a story told from the points of view of some of the most memorable characters in American history. There is George Washington, the charismatic leader who held his army together to achieve an unlikely victory; Charles Cornwallis, the no-nonsense British general, more than a match for his colonial counterpart; Nathaniel Greene, who rose from obscurity to become the finest battlefield commander in Washington’s army; The Marquis de Lafayette, the young Frenchman who brought a soldier’s passion to America; and Benjamin Franklin, a brilliant man of science and philosophy who became the finest statesman of his day.

From Nathan Hale to Benedict Arnold, William Howe to “Light Horse” Harry Lee, from Trenton and Valley Forge, Brandywine and Yorktown, the American Revolution’s most immortal characters and poignant moments are brought to life in remarkable Shaara style. Yet, The Glorious Cause is more than just a story of the legendary six-year struggle. It is a tribute to an amazing people who turned ideas into action and fought to declare themselves free. Above all, it is a riveting novel that both expands and surpasses its beloved author’s best work.

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda:

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country’s origins for a diverse new generation. Hamilton: The Revolution gives listeners an unprecedented insight into both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages—”since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda—traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Emmy– and Gold Globe–winning actor Mariska Hargitay lends her voice to the audiobook and Miranda reads more than 300 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is included on the PDF with this audiobook. The audiobook does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don’t throw away their shot.

Songs of America by Jon Meacham:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A celebration of American history through the music that helped to shape a nation, by Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham and music superstar Tim McGraw

“Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw form an irresistible duo—connecting us to music as an unsung force in our nation’s history.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin

Through all the years of strife and triumph, America has been shaped not just by our elected leaders and our formal politics but also by our music—by the lyrics, performers, and instrumentals that have helped to carry us through the dark days and to celebrate the bright ones.

From “The Star-Spangled Banner” to “Born in the U.S.A.,” Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw take readers on a moving and insightful journey through eras in American history and the songs and performers that inspired us. Meacham chronicles our history, exploring the stories behind the songs, and Tim McGraw reflects on them as an artist and performer. Their perspectives combine to create a unique view of the role music has played in uniting and shaping a nation.

Beginning with the battle hymns of the revolution, and taking us through songs from the defining events of the Civil War, the fight for women’s suffrage, the two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and into the twenty-first century, Meacham and McGraw explore the songs that defined generations, and the cultural and political climates that produced them. Readers will discover the power of music in the lives of figures such as Harriet Tubman, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and will learn more about some of our most beloved musicians and performers, including Marian Anderson, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, Carole King, Bruce Springsteen, and more.

Songs of America explores both famous songs and lesser-known ones, expanding our understanding of the scope of American music and lending deeper meaning to the historical context of such songs as “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” “God Bless America,” “Over There,” “We Shall Overcome,” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.” As Quincy Jones says, Meacham and McGraw have “convened a concert in Songs of America,” one that reminds us of who we are, where we’ve been, and what we, at our best, can be.

Thomas Jefferson written by Jon Meacham & read by Edward Herrmann:

In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity—and the genius of the new nation—lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the undiscovered and seeking the unknown. From the writing of the Declaration of Independence to elegant dinners in Paris and in the President’s House; from political maneuverings in the boardinghouses and legislative halls of Philadelphia and New York to the infant capital on the Potomac; from his complicated life at Monticello, his breathtaking house and plantation in Virginia, to the creation of the University of Virginia, Jefferson was central to the age. Here too is the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion.

The Jefferson story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and also because he embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world.

“This is probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written.”—Gordon S. Wood

“A big, grand, absorbing exploration of not just Jefferson and his role in history but also Jefferson the man, humanized as never before.”—Entertainment Weekly

“[Meacham] captures who Jefferson was, not just as a statesman but as a man. . . . By the end of the book . . . the reader is likely to feel as if he is losing a dear friend. . . . [An] absorbing tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be…

PRINT BOOKS

FICTION TITLES

April Morning: A Novel by Howard Fast:

A short novel about the first days of the American Revolution as experienced by a 15-year-old boy. Adam Cooper has a little brother who annoys him and a father who fails to appreciate him. Adam dares to sign the muster roll of the Lexington militia. When you read this novel about April 19, 1775, you will see the British redcoats marching in a solid column through your town. Your hands will be sweating and you will shake a little as you grip your musket because never have you shot with the aim of killing a man. But you will shoot, and shoot again and again while your shoulder aches from your musket’s kick and the tight, disciplined red column bleeds and wavers and breaks and you begin to shout at the top of your lungs because you are there, at the birth of freedom — you’re a veteran of the Battle of Lexington, and you’ve helped whip the King’s best soldiers.

Blood of the Oak by Eliot Pattison:

The fourth entry in the Bone Rattler series advances the protagonist Duncan McCallum to 1765 and into the throes of the Stamp Tax dissent, which marked the beginning of organized resistance to English rule. Duncan follows ritualistic murders that are strangely connected to both the theft of an Iroquois artifact and a series of murders and kidnappings in the network of secret runners supporting the nascent committees of correspondence-which are engaged in the first organized political dissent across colonial borders. He encounters a powerful conspiracy of highly placed English aristocrats who are bent on crushing all dissent, is captured by its agents, and sent into slavery in Virginia beside the kidnapped runners. Inspired by an aged native American slave and new African friends Duncan decides not just to escape but to turn their own intrigue against the London lords. Included in the novel’s cast of characters are figures from our history who have their own destinies to fulfill in the next decade, including Benjamin Franklin (writing from London), Samuel Adams, the early Pennsylvania rebel James Smith, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and, very briefly, a soft spoken militia officer named Washington. The Song of the Oak takes a fresh view on the birth of the new American nation, suggesting that the “freedom” that became the centerpiece of the Revolution was uniquely American, rising not just from unprecedented political discourse but also from the extraordinary bond with the natural world experienced by frontier settlers and native tribe.

Death at the Boston Tea Party by Deryn Lake:

A business opportunity in America leads to a case of cold-blooded murder for Apothecary John Rawlings in this “highly entertaining adventure” (Booklist).

America, 1773. Following a long and perilous journey, John Rawlings has arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, to pursue a new business venture. He finds the place riven with tension and unrest. There are many who feel it’s time the colonies sought freedom from British rule, and the seething resentment erupts into outright rebellion during the notorious Boston Tea Party. But has someone taken advantage of the chaos to commit cold-blooded murder?

Called in to examine a body fished out of Boston Harbor, Rawlings recognizes one of his fellow travelers from England. If he could unearth the truth about the victim’s past, he would be one step closer to catching the killer. But has Rawlings become a pawn in a bigger, even more sinister game?

Death at the Boston Tea Party is the sixteenth book in the John Rawlings Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

“Features a fast-paced plot, plenty of action, authentic period ambience, historical detail, and intriguing characters.” —Booklist

Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero by Christian Di Spigna:

A rich and illuminating biography of America’s forgotten Founding Father, the patriot physician and major general who fomented rebellion and died heroically at the battle of Bunker Hill on the brink of revolution

Little has been known of one of the most important figures in early American history, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, and a man who might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston area for a decade, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, and his incendiary writings included the famous Suffolk Resolves, which helped unite the colonies against Britain and inspired the Declaration of Independence. Yet after his death, his life and legend faded, leaving his contemporaries to rise to fame in his place and obscuring his essential role in bringing America to independence.

Christian Di Spigna’s definitive new biography of Warren is a loving work of historical excavation, the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed primary-source documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew. Following Warren from his farming childhood and years at Harvard through his professional success and political radicalization to his role in sparking the rebellion, Di Spigna’s thoughtful, judicious retelling not only restores Warren to his rightful place in the pantheon of Revolutionary greats, it deepens our understanding of the nation’s dramatic beginnings.

The Hornet’s Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Jimmy Carter:

In his ambitious and deeply rewarding novel, Jimmy Carter brings to life the Revolutionary War as it was fought in the Deep South; it is a saga that will change the way we think about the conflict. He reminds us that much of the fight for independence took place in that region and that it was a struggle of both great and small battles and of terrible brutality, with neighbor turned against neighbor, the Indians’ support sought by both sides, and no quarter asked or given. The Hornet’s Nest follows a cast of characters and their loved ones on both sides of this violent conflict—including some who are based on the author’s ancestors.

At the heart of the story is Ethan Pratt, who in 1766 moves with his wife, Epsey, from Philadelphia to North Carolina and then to Georgia in 1771, in the company of Quakers. On their homesteads in Georgia, Ethan and his wife form a friendship with neighbors Kindred Morris and his wife, Mavis. Through Kindred and his young Indian friend Newota, Ethan learns about the frontier and the Native American tribes who are being continually pressed farther inland by settlers. As the eight-year war develops, Ethan and Kindred find themselves in life-and-death combat with opposing forces.

With its moving love story, vivid action, and the suspense of a war fought with increasing ferocity and stealth, The Hornet’s Nest is historical fiction at its best, in the tradition of such major classics as The Last of the Mohicans.

King’s Mountain by Sharyn McCrumb:

In 1780 the United States is in danger of losing the Revolutionary War. After defeating George Washington’s army in Pennsylvania, British troops are sent to the Carolinas to split the fledgling country, recruiting affluent Tories to help fight the rebels. The effort begins on the coastal plain, and then troops are sent inland. When settlers beyond the Blue Ridge hear that the dreaded generals Patrick Ferguson and “Butcher” Tarleton are bringing their forces westward, they decide not to wait for Redcoats to reach their homes. The Overmountain Men form militias and trudge across the Appalachians, intent on stopping Ferguson’s army.

Fortunate readers will already know that Sharyn McCrumb has brought this crucial battle to life in this novel. Ms. McCrumb uses ancestral legends and solid history to introduce us to John Sevier, one of the Overmountain militia leaders. Virginia Sal, seamstress and bed-warmer of General Ferguson, slips us into British army councils and lends a touch of humanity to the reviled Ferguson. Vivid storytelling at its finest! Reviewed by Jo Ann butler, Historical Novel Society

Love And Honor by Randall Wallace:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Pearl Harbor and Oscar-nominated writer of Braveheart comes an epic historical page-turner: the gripping, unforgettable story of a patriot’s secret mission in Russia to save America from certain defeat on the eve of the Revolutionary War.

A brilliant soldier and passionate patriot, Virginia cavalryman Kieran Selkirk is summoned to a clandestine meeting in the winter of 1774. There he finds none other than Benjamin Franklin, who reveals that the British have asked Catherine the Great, the ruthless and mysterious ruler of Russia, to provide twenty thousand of her soldiers to help stamp out the revolution brewing in America. Such a force, fresh from brutal warfare with the Turks, would crush all hope of American independence. Selkirk’s assignment is straightforward — and astounding. He is to travel to Russia disguised as a British mercenary, offer his services to the Tsarina in putting down a Cossack rebellion that threatens her throne, and convince her not to join the British in their war with America. To succeed, he must cross savage terrain, battle starving wolves, avoid secret assassins, fight marauding Cossacks, and contend with a court of seductive young women. In a narrative full of passion and peril, of battles on horseback and wars within the human soul, Selkirk’s mission meets with thrilling surprises, including a romantic face-off with the legendary Catherine herself.

Told with the hand of a master storyteller, Love and Honor is perhaps Wallace’s most ambitious project yet, taking readers back to the eighteenth century in a patriotic novel brimming with romance and heroism on the grandest scale. Exotically transporting yet deeply American, Love and Honor captures the fight for good over evil, integrity and compassion over cruelty, and true love over all.

Rebels, Turn Out Your Dead by Michael Drinkard:

In his cannabis-infused pipe dreams, Salt imagines himself a man of independent means, rather than a Yankee hemp farmer under the thumb of his Tory father-in-law. Then Salt’s teenage son shoots a British officer, and the Revolutionary War comes home, bringing both danger and unexpected freedoms.

Forced to flee his farm and family, Salt is taken captive on a prison ship off the shore of Brooklyn, where he finds himself in unplanned pursuit of something that might just be happiness. With her husband on this odyssey, Molly embarks upon her own war of independence, from the chronic disappointments and long-rehearsed roles of marriage. And under the unlikely wing of the British army, son James begins to come of age along with his country.

Based on real events, Rebels, Turn Out Your Dead is a historical novel with a decidedly contemporary sensibility and a fresh take on the many meanings of liberty.

Revolutionary: A Novel by Alex Myers:

In 1782, during the final clashes of the Revolutionary War, one of our young nation’s most valiant and beloved soldiers was, secretly, a woman.

When Deborah Samson disguised herself as a man and joined the Continental Army, she wasn’t just fighting for America’s independence—she was fighting for her own. Revolutionary, Alex Myers’s richly imagined and meticulously researched debut novel, brings the true story of Deborah’s struggle against a rigid colonial society back to life—and with it the courage, hope, fear, and heartbreak that shaped her journey through a country’s violent birth.

After years as an indentured servant in a sleepy Massachusetts town, chafing under the oppressive norms of colonial America, Deborah can’t contain her discontent any longer. When a sudden crisis forces her hand, she decides to finally make her escape. Embracing the peril and promise of the unknown, she cuts her hair, binds her chest, and, stealing clothes from a neighbor, rechristens herself Robert Shurtliff. It’s a desperate, dangerous, and complicated deception, and becomes only more so when, as Robert, she enlists in the Continental Army.

What follows is an inspiring, one-of-a-kind journey through an America torn apart by war: brutal winters and lethal battlefields, the trauma of combat and the cruelty of betrayal, the joy of true love and the tragedy of heartbreak. In his brilliant Revolutionary, Myers, who himself is a descendant of the historical Deborah, takes full advantage of this real-life heroine’s unique voice to celebrate the struggles for freedom, large and small, like never before.

Seven Locks: A Novel by Christine Wade:

The Hudson River Valley, 1769: A man mysteriously disappears without a trace, abandoning his wife and children on their farm at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. At first many believe that his wife, who has the reputation of being a scold, has driven her husband away, but as the strange circumstances of his disappearance circulate, a darker story unfolds. And as the lines between myth and reality fade in the wilderness, and an American nation struggles to emerge, the lost man’s wife embarks on a desperate journey to find the means to ensure her family’s survival . . .

Shadow Patriots by Lucia St. Clair Robson:

In July of 1776, the American colonies are ablaze with passion. In the streets, those who would be free boldly read aloud the newly written Declaration of Independence. It is a cry of freedom, but it is also a time of critical confrontation, both on the battlefield and off as the people of a new nation choose between their king and an uncertain future.

It is a choice which is not easily made. As Commander-in-chief George Washington declares a major victory in New York, the rest of the colonies separate into Patriots and Tories. Kate Darby never expected to be swept up in this political storm. The Darbys are Quakers who have pledged their allegiance to God first–but that soon changes. Kate’s younger brother, Seth, can no longer deny his soul’s cry against tyranny. Fleeing from his Loyalist parents’ house to join General Washington’s ragtag forces, Seth enters a life he never expected.

With the influx of British soldiers, Philadelphia soon becomes a temporary base camp for the English forces. When the Darbys find themselves forced to take in Major Jonathan Andre, Kate falls quickly for his charm.

Despite her warring affections, Kate finds herself drawn deep into the war. As she attempts to follow her brother, she risks her life and her family’s reputation by becoming a spy for the patriot forces, a role which quickly transforms the once-timid Quaker girl. With a world of danger and political upheaval thrown before them, Kate and Seth face incredible danger in the hopes of shaping one of the single most important events in American history: the war for freedom.

Told with historical accuracy and incredible attention to period detail, Shadow Patriots recreates America at its youngest and describes with vivid intensity the men and women who bravely did their part to deliver it from tyranny.

NON-FICTION TITLES:

1776 by David McCullough:

America’s beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation’s birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America’s survival in the hands of George Washington.

In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.

Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough’s 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.

American Dialogue: The Founders and Us by Joseph Ellis:

The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question “What would the Founding Fathers think?” He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today’s political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions–and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice–Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.

A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution by Carol Berkin:

A rich narrative portrait of post-revolutionary America and the men who shaped its political future

Though the American Revolution is widely recognized as our nation’s founding story, the years immediately following the war—when our government was a disaster and the country was in a terrible crisis—were in fact the most crucial in establishing the country’s independence. The group of men who traveled to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 had no idea what kind of history their meeting would make. But all their ideas, arguments, and compromises—from the creation of the Constitution itself, article by article, to the insistence that it remain a living, evolving document—laid the foundation for a government that has surpassed the founders’ greatest hopes. Revisiting all the original historical documents of the period and drawing from her deep knowledge of eighteenth-century politics, Carol Berkin opens up the hearts and minds of America’s founders, revealing the issues they faced, the times they lived in, and their humble expectations of success.

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 by Rick Atkinson:

From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves to be the wiliest of diplomats; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. The story is also told from the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling.

Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.

Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters by Diane Jacobs:

For readers of the historical works of Robert K. Massie, David McCulough, and Alison Weir comes the first biography on the life of Abigail Adams and her sisters.

“Never sisters loved each other better than we.”—Abigail Adams in a letter to her sister Mary, June 1776

Much has been written about the enduring marriage of President John Adams and his wife, Abigail. But few know of the equally strong bond Abigail shared with her sisters, Mary Cranch and Elizabeth Shaw Peabody, accomplished women in their own right. Now acclaimed biographer Diane Jacobs reveals their moving story, which unfolds against the stunning backdrop of America in its transformative colonial years.

Abigail, Mary, and Elizabeth Smith grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the close-knit daughters of a minister and his wife. When the sisters moved away from one another, they relied on near-constant letters—from what John Adams called their “elegant pen”—to buoy them through pregnancies, illnesses, grief, political upheaval, and, for Abigail, life in the White House. Infusing her writing with rich historical perspective and detail, Jacobs offers fascinating insight into these progressive women’s lives: oldest sister Mary, who became de facto mayor of her small village; youngest sister Betsy, an aspiring writer who, along with her husband, founded the second coeducational school in the United States; and middle child Abigail, who years before becoming First Lady ran the family farm while her husband served in the Continental Congress, first in Philadelphia, and was then sent to France and England, where she joined him at last.

This engaging narrative traces the sisters’ lives from their childhood sibling rivalries to their eyewitness roles during the American Revolution and their adulthood as outspoken wives and mothers. They were women ahead of their time who believed in intellectual and educational equality between the sexes. Drawing from newly discovered correspondence, never-before-published diaries, and archival research, Dear Abigail is a fascinating front-row seat to history—and to the lives of three exceptional women who were influential during a time when our nation’s democracy was just taking hold.

Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis:

In this landmark work of history, the National Book Award—winning author of American Sphinx explores how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed individuals–Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison–confronted the overwhelming challenges before them to set the course for our nation.

The United States was more a fragile hope than a reality in 1790. During the decade that followed, the Founding Fathers–re-examined here as Founding Brothers–combined the ideals of the Declaration of Independence with the content of the Constitution to create the practical workings of our government. Through an analysis of six fascinating episodes–Hamilton and Burr’s deadly duel, Washington’s precedent-setting Farewell Address, Adams’ administration and political partnership with his wife, the debate about where to place the capital, Franklin’s attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery and Madison’s attempts to block him, and Jefferson and Adams’ famous correspondence–Founding Brothers brings to life the vital issues and personalities from the most important decade in our nation’s history.

Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution by Thomas P. Slaughter:

“What do we mean by the Revolution?” John Adams asked Thomas Jefferson in 1815. “The war? That was no part of the Revolution. It was only an effect and consequence of it.” As the distinguished historian Thomas P. Slaughter shows in this landmark book, the long process of revolution reached back more than a century before 1776, and it touched on virtually every aspect of the colonies’ laws, commerce, social structures, religious sentiments, family ties, and political interests. And Slaughter’s comprehensive work makes clear that the British who chose to go to North America chafed under imperial rule from the start, vigorously disputing many of the colonies’ founding charters.

When the British said the Americans were typically “independent,” they meant to disparage them as lawless and disloyal. But the Americans insisted on their moral courage and political principles, and regarded their independence as a great virtue, as they regarded their love of freedom and their loyalty to local institutions. Over the years, their struggles to define this independence took many forms, and Slaughter’s compelling narrative takes us from New England and Nova Scotia to New York and Pennsylvania, and south to the Carolinas, as colonists resisted unsympathetic royal governors, smuggled to evade British duties on imported goods (tea was only one of many), and, eventually, began to organize for armed uprisings.

Britain, especially after its victories over France in the 1750s, was eager to crush these rebellions, but the Americans’ opposition only intensified, as did dark conspiracy theories about their enemies—whether British, Native American, or French. In Independence, Slaughter resets and clarifies the terms in which we may understand this remarkable evolution, showing how and why a critical mass of colonists determined that they could not be both independent and subject to the British Crown. By 1775–76, they had become revolutionaries—going to war only reluctantly, as a last-ditch means to preserve the independence that they cherished as a birthright.

In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick:

The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Valiant Ambition.

In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army’s movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake–fought without a single American ship–made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.

In a narrative that moves from Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette’s brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane’s Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell:

Chronicling General Lafayette’s years in Washington’s army, Vowell reflects on the ideals of the American Revolution versus the reality of the Revolutionary War. Riding shotgun with Lafayette, Vowell swerves from the high-minded debates of Independence Hall to the frozen wasteland of Valley Forge, from bloody battlefields to the Palace of Versailles, bumping into John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Lord Cornwallis, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette and various kings, Quakers and redcoats along the way.

Drawn to the patriots’ war out of a lust for glory, Enlightenment ideas and the traditional French hatred for the British, young Lafayette crossed the Atlantic expecting to join forces with an undivided people, encountering instead fault lines between the Continental Congress and the Continental Army, rebel and loyalist inhabitants, and a conspiracy to fire George Washington, the one man holding together the rickety, seemingly doomed patriot cause.

While Vowell’s yarn is full of the bickering and infighting that marks the American past—and present—her telling of the Revolution is just as much a story of friendship: between Washington and Lafayette, between the Americans and their French allies and, most of all between Lafayette and the American people. Coinciding with one of the most contentious presidential elections in American history, Vowell lingers over the elderly Lafayette’s sentimental return tour of America in 1824, when three fourths of the population of New York City turned out to welcome him ashore. As a Frenchman and the last surviving general of the Continental Army, Lafayette belonged to neither North nor South, to no political party or faction. He was a walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the revolutionary generation and what the founders hoped this country could be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved Americans it was a reunion for Americans with their own astonishing, singular past.

Vowell’s narrative look at our somewhat united states is humorous, irreverent and wholly original.

Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution through Painters’ Eyes by Paul Staiti:

A vibrant and original perspective on the American Revolution through the stories of the five great artists whose paintings animated the new American republic.

The images accompanying the founding of the United States–of honored Founders, dramatic battle scenes, and seminal moments–gave visual shape to Revolutionary events and symbolized an entirely new concept of leadership and government. Since then they have endured as indispensable icons, serving as historical documents and timeless reminders of the nation’s unprecedented beginnings.

As Paul Staiti reveals in Of Arms and Artists, the lives of the five great American artists of the Revolutionary period–Charles Willson Peale, John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart–were every bit as eventful as those of the Founders with whom they continually interacted, and their works contributed mightily to America’s founding spirit. Living in a time of breathtaking change, each in his own way came to grips with the history being made by turning to brushes and canvases, the results often eliciting awe and praise, and sometimes scorn. Ever since the passing of the last eyewitnesses to the Revolution, their imagery has connected Americans to 1776, allowing us to interpret and reinterpret the nation’s beginning generation after generation. The collective stories of these five artists open a fresh window on the Revolutionary era, making more human the figures we have long honored as our Founders, and deepening our understanding of the whirlwind out of which the United States emerged.

DVDs:

1776 (1972/2002):

When 1776 debuted in 1972, the filmgoing public’s thirst for musicals appeared to be slackening. Still, with songs and staging polished in 1776’s successful Broadway run, and the country’s bicentennial on the horizon, director Peter H. Hunt’s screen adaptation performed moderately well at the box office. Years have added luster to this musical celebration of the Founding Fathers, and the restored director’s cut now available on DVD is a truly delightful experience. Adapted from the Sherman Edwards/Peter Stone Broadway show, 1776 recounts events in Congress during the hot and stormy Philadelphia month leading up to the July 4th signing of the Declaration of Independence. A versatile cast — led by William Daniels as the fiery John Adams and Howard Da Silva as the cagey Ben Franklin — breathes life and humanity into the nation’s defining moment. The film deftly mingles a variety of tones. The spellbinding political debates over the Declaration’s text, for instance, remain mostly true to the historical record while benefiting from sharpened dialogue and dollops of wit. There is also whimsy and even romance, as the yearning, long-distance romance between John and Abigail Adams (Virginia Vestoff) is dramatized in split screens, as they act out their daily letters back and forth. Interspersed into the narrative are rousing refrains such as “But, Mr. Adams” and “The Egg,” and tender tunes like “Till Then.” For fans of the original film, or anyone interested in a playful interpretation of American history, this DVD release marks the triumphant return of a true musical classic .Barnes & Noble Review

The Adams Chronicles (1976/2008):

Four generations of a founding family

Winner of four Emmys® and a Peabody, The Adams Chronicles created a sensation when it debuted in 1976. Lauded by contemporary critics as “the best and highest-rated series in the history of American public television,” its vitality and historical integrity now prove timeless. This lavish series dramatizes four generations of Adamses and 150 years of American history from the birth of the Revolution through the Gilded Age. You meet John Adams — passionate revolutionary and second president; John Quincy Adams — proud son of a famous father and sixth president; Charles Francis Adams — skillful minister to Great Britain during the Civil War; and Henry and Charles Francis Adams, Jr. — historian and railroad magnate, respectively.

Going well beyond politics, this television masterpiece portrays these men as husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, as well as leaders. Based on the family’s personal diaries and correspondence, The Adams Chronicles not only educates as a true historical epic, but also captivates as a fully human family saga.

All For Liberty (2009/2012):

It is 1775. Henry Felder, a Swiss-German colonist, lives with his family in the Back-country of the British colony of South Carolina. However, he and his community are suffering under British injustice. After many years of struggling with corrupt British rulers, Felder is urged by the new patriot governor to write Articles of Separation from the English King. Felders old Indian fighting comrade, Bill Jenkins forms a Tory militia to assist the Crown as the fight heats up. Felder raises his own militia, including a woman tavern owner who gathers a patriot spy right. In the ensuing struggles Felder and his family discover the cost of freedom.

Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor (2003):

Starring Aidan Quinn and Kelsey Grammer, this A&E original movie tells the story of the fall and rise of Benedict Arnold. Arnold’s (Quinn) marriage to a loyalist woman causes huge controversy, forcing him to reexamine where his allegiances lie. One of the key figures (and perhaps the most infamous) in the Revolution, Arnold must decide whether he loves his wife enough to defect. This drama comes from Band of Brothers director Mikael Salomon.

The Crossing (1999/2003):

It is Dec. 17, 1776. Hounded by superior British forces, his army decimated by disease, desertion and lack of funds, General George Washington faces the unthinkable: he is losing the war for American Independence. A week later, on Christmas Eve, Washington will make one of the most courageous decisions in military history. Staking everything on a risky surprise attack against a garrison of battle-hardened Hessian mercenaries, Washington sets out across the ice-choked Delaware River.


Drums Along The Mohawk (1939):

Lawless frontier. Indian attacks. Settlers protecting themselves the only way they know how-with guns and courage. In the years before the Revolutionary War, the East was as wild as the West would be one hundred years later. Henry Fonda delivers one of his most memorable performances ever as a young frontier leader protecting his family in the backwoods of New York state. Claudette Colbert so-stars as his spirited wife. With a fine supporting cast that also includes Edna May Oliver and John Carradine, this is one of John Ford’s most exciting historical dramas.

Founding Brothers (2002): 

The “self-evident” truths were intensely debated. In America’s first years, Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Burr struggled to transform their disparate visions into an enduring government.

Based on Joseph Ellis’ Pulitzer Prize winning book, Founding Brothers examines six moments when the collisons and collusions of these towering figures left an indelible imprint on the nation: the secret dinner that determined the site of the capital and America’s financial future; Benjamin Franklin’s call for an end to slavery; George Washington’s farewell address to the nation; John Adams’s term as president; Hamilton and Burr’s famous and fatal duel, and the final reconciliation between Adams and Jefferson.

Drawing on the words of the founders and incisive commentary from leading scholars, Founding Brothers is an elegant and engaging portrait of America’s origins in personal conflict and compromise.

John Adams (2008):

Emmy Award-winning director Tom Hopper takes the helm for this epic, seven-part miniseries produced by Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and presenting American history as seen from the perspective of fiercely independent founding father John Adams (Paul Giamatti). Based on author David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, the film tells the tale of a leader whose remarkable vision helped to guide a burgeoning republic through an especially tumultuous period. Thanks to the tireless support of his loving wife Abigail (Laura Linney), and lifelong friendship with political rivalry Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane), John Adams rose to prominence as the spokesman for the American independence movement before moving on to become America’s first ambassador to Holland and England, the first American Vice President, the second American President, and the father of the sixth American President. As with McCullough’s best-selling biography, the film draws on a comprehensive collection of letters, diaries, and family papers in order to create the most accurate representation of Adams’ life and achievements ever captured on film.

Lafayette: The Lost Hero (2010):

The Marquis de Lafayette was once, the most famous man in the world. Today, few people know who he was or what he accomplished. This historical detective story follows Lafayette’s descendent Sabine Renault Sabloniere as she revisits the life and legend of this intriguing, neglected, and controversial figure who left France at the age of 19 to play a crucial role in the fight for America’s democracy.

Liberty! The American Revolution

LIBERTY! The American Revolution is a dramatic documentary about the birth of the American Republic and the struggle of a loosely connected group of states to become a nation. The George Foster Peabody award-winning series brings the people, events, and ideas of the revolution to life through dramatic reenactments performed by a distinguished cast. LIBERTY! is hosted by ABC news anchor Forrest Sawyer and narrated by Edward Herrmann.

The Revolution (2006):

They came of age in a new world amid intoxicating and innovative ideas about human and civil rights, diverse economic systems, and self-government. In a few short years, these men and women would transform themselves into architects of the future through the building of a new nation unlike any that had ever come before. From the roots of the rebellion and the signing of the Declaration of Independence to victory on the battlefield at Yorktown and the adoption of The United States Constitution, THE REVOLUTION tells the remarkable story of this important era in history. Venturing beyond the conventional list of generals and politicians, HISTORY introduces the full range of individuals who helped shape this great conflict, including some of the war s most influential unsung heroes. Through cinematic recreations, intimate biographical investigations, and provocative political, military, and economic analysis, THE REVOLUTION breathes new life into one of the most pivotal periods in American history.

Turn: Washington’s Spies, Season 1 (2015):

(All three seasons may be requested through StarCat)

Based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, AMC’s TURN tells the untold story of America’s first spy ring. A historical thriller set during the Revolutionary War, TURN centers on Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island who bands together with his childhood friends to form The Culper Ring — an unlikely team of secret agents who not only went on to help George Washington turn the tide of the war but also gave birth to modern spycraft.

References

Historical Movies & TV Series: 4th of July, Willow And Thatch,  https://www.willowandthatch.com/american-revolution-independence-set-movies/

Historical Novel Society, https://historicalnovelsociety.org

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Freegal Music Service

This music service is free to library card holders and offers the option to download, and keep, three free songs per week and to stream three hours of commercial-free music each day:

RBDigital

*Magazines are available for free and on demand! You can check out magazines and read them on your computer or download the RBDigital app from your app store and read them on your mobile devices.

ABOUT LIBRARY APPS:

You can access digital library content on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For mobile devices simply download the OverDrive, Freegal or RB Digital app from your app store to get started. If you have questions call the library at 607-936-3713 and one of our tech coaches will be happy to assist you.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s