Best American Revolution Biographies Books
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1. Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier
Author: by Bob Drury English 400 pages 1250247136
The Instant New York Times BestellerNational Bestseller”[The] authors’ finest work to date.” Wall Street JournalThe explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America’s frontier by two bestselling authors at the height of their writing power-Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.
It is the mid-eighteenth century, and in the 13 colonies founded by Great Britain, anxious colonists desperate to conquer and settle North America’s First Frontier beyond the Appalachian Mountains commence a series of bloody battles. These violent conflicts are waged against the Native American tribes whose lands they covet, the French, and finally against the mother country itself in an American Revolution destined to reverberate around the world.
This is the setting of Blood and Treasure, and the guide to this epic narrative is America’s first and arguably greatest pathfinder, Daniel Boonenot the coonskin cap-wearing caricature of popular culture but the flesh-and-blood frontiersman and Revolutionary War hero whose explorations into the forested frontier beyond the great mountains would become the stuff of legend.
Author: by David McCullough Simon & Schuster English 386 pages
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 Independencewhen 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.
3. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
Author: by Joseph J. Ellis 0375705244 Vintage (February 5, 2002) English
In this landmark work of history, the National Book Awardwinning author of American Sphinx explores how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed individualsHamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madisonconfronted 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 Fathersre-examined here as Founding Brotherscombined 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 episodesHamilton 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 correspondenceFounding Brothers brings to life the vital issues and personalities from the most important decade in our nation’s history.
4. First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country
Author: by Thomas E. Ricks English 416 pages 0062997459
New York Times BestsellerEditors’ Choice New York Times Book Review”Ricks knocks it out of the park with this jewel of a book. On every page I learned something new. Read it every night if you want to restore your faith in our country.” James Mattis, General, U.S.Marines (ret.
& 26th Secretary of Defense The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author offers a revelatory new book about the founding fathers, examining their educations and, in particular, their devotion to the ancient Greek and Roman classicsand how that influence would shape their ideals and the new American nation.
On the morning after the 2016 presidential election, Thomas Ricks awoke with a few questions on his mind: What kind of nation did we now have? Is it what was designed or intended by the nation’s founders? Trying to get as close to the source as he could, Ricks decided to go back and read the philosophy and literature that shaped the founders’ thinking, and the letters they wrote to each other debating these crucial worksamong them the Iliad, Plutarch’s Lives, and the works of Xenophon, Epicurus, Aristotle, Cato, and Cicero.
5. Washington: A Life
Author: by Ron Chernow English 928 pages 0143119966
From the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical, comes a gripping portrait of the first president of the United States. Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for BiographyTruly magnificent … [a] well-researched, well-written and absolutely definitive biography Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street JournalUntil recently, I’d never believed that there could be such a thing as a truly gripping biography of George Washington …Well, I was wrong.
I can’t recommend it highly enoughas history, as epic, and, not least, as entertainment. Hendrik Hertzberg, The New YorkerCelebrated 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.
6. Alexander Hamilton
Author: by Ron Chernow B000QJLQZI March 29, 2005 English
The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton! Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.”Grand-scale biography at its bestthorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written …
A genuinely great book.” David McCulloughA robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.” Joseph EllisFew figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton.
Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time.
To repudiate his legacy, Chernow writes, is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world. Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.
7. The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
Author: by Annette Gordon-Reed English 816 pages 0393337766
Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: “[A] commanding and important book.” Jill Lepore, The New YorkerThis epic worknamed a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Timestells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently.
Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family’s dispersal after Jefferson’s death in 1826.37 illustrations
8. Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945
Author: by Barbara W. Tuchman B00KUQITNE Random House January 24, 2017
Barbara W.Tuchman won her second Pulitzer Prize for this nonfiction masterpiecean authoritative work of history that recounts the birth of modern China through the eyes of one extraordinary American.General Joseph W. Stilwell was a man who loved China deeply and knew its people as few Americans ever have.Barbara W.
Tuchman’s groundbreaking narrative follows Stilwell from the time he arrived in China during the Revolution of 1911, through his tours of duty in Peking and Tientsin in the 1920s and ’30s, to his return as theater commander in World War II, when the Nationalist government faced attack from both Japanese invaders and Communist insurgents.
Peopled by warlords, ambassadors, and missionaries, this classic biography of the cantankerous but level-headed Vinegar Joe sparkles with Tuchman’s genius for animating the people who shaped history. Praise for Stilwell and the American Experience in China Tuchman’s best book … So large in scope, so crammed with information, so clear in exposition, so assured in tone that one is tempted to say it is not a book but an education.
9. Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Author: by Gordon S. Wood Penguin Press English 512 pages
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017From the great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times-bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, comes a majestic dual biography of two of America’s most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy’s champion, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England’s rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government.
They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence and leading, with Franklin, the diplomatic effort that brought France into the fight. But ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis, in their friendship and in the nation writ large, as they became the figureheads of two entirely new forces, the first American political parties.
10. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Author: by Walter Isaacson 074325807X English 586 pages
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America’s founders helped define our national character. Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble.
In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin’s life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders.
He explores the wit behind Poor Richard’s Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nation’s alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution. In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin’s amazing life, showing how he helped to forge the American national identity and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.
11. Napoleon: A Life
Author: by Andrew Roberts 0143127853 Penguin Books English
The definitive biography of the great soldier-statesman by the acclaimed author of Churchill and The Last King of Americawinner of the LA Times Book prize, finalist for the Plutarch prize, winner of the Fondation Napoleon prize and a New York Times bestseller A thrilling tale of military and political genius Roberts is an uncommonly gifted writer.
The Washington PostAusterlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times.
Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.
12. John Adams
Author: by David McCullough Simon & Schuster English 752 pages
The Pulitzer Prizewinning, bestselling biography of America’s founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough. In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as out of his senses; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.
This is history on a grand scalea book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
13. Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
Author: by Erica Armstrong Dunbar 37 Ink English 288 pages
A startling and eye-opening look into America’s First Family, Never Caught is the powerful story about a daring woman of extraordinary grit (The Philadelphia Inquirer). When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital.
In setting up his household he brought along nine slaves, including Ona Judge. As the President grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn’t abide: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state.
Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire. Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, she was denied freedom.
So, when the opportunity presented itself one clear and pleasant spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property.
14. Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring
Author: by Alexander Rose Bantam
English 384 pages
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Turn: Washington’s Spies, now an original series on AMC Based on remarkable new research, acclaimed historian Alexander Rose brings to life the true story of the spy ring that helped America win the Revolutionary War. For the first time, Rose takes us beyond the battlefront and deep into the shadowy underworld of double agents and triple crosses, covert operations and code breaking, and unmasks the courageous, flawed men who inhabited this wilderness of mirrorsincluding the spymaster at the heart of it all.
In the summer of 1778, with the war poised to turn in his favor, General George Washington desperately needed to know where the British would strike next. To that end, he unleashed his secret weapon: an unlikely ring of spies in New York charged with discovering the enemy’s battle plans and military strategy.
Washington’s small band included a young Quaker torn between political principle and family loyalty, a swashbuckling sailor addicted to the perils of espionage, a hard-drinking barkeep, a Yale-educated cavalryman and friend of the doomed Nathan Hale, and a peaceful, sickly farmer who begged Washington to let him retire but who always came through in the end.
15. The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America
Author: by Winston Groom English 416 pages 1426221495
When the Revolutionary War ended in victory, there remained a stupendous problem: establishing a workable democratic government in the vast, newly independent country. Three key founding fathers played significant roles: John Adams, the brilliant, dour New Englander; Thomas Jefferson, the aristocratic Southern renaissance man; and Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean island of Nevis.
In this riveting narrative, best-selling author Winston Groom illuminates these men as the patriots fundamentally responsible for the ideas that shaped the emerging United States. Their lives could not have been more different, and their relationships with each other were often rife with animosity.
And yet they led the charge-two of them creating and signing the Declaration of Independence, and the third establishing a national treasury and the earliest delineation of a Republican party. The time in which they lived was fraught with danger, and their achievements were strained by vast antagonisms that recall the intense political polarization of today.