American Revolutionary Era History Reading List

The American Revolutionary Era Study Group Reading List

  1. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff
  2. From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776 by Pauline Maier
  3. The American Revolution: Revised Edition by Edward Countryman
  4. The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood
  5. The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution by Alan Taylor
  6. Liberty Men and Great Proprietors: The Revolutionary Settlement on the Maine Frontier, 1760-1820 by Alan Taylor
  7. Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 by Fred Anderson
  8. The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor
  9. The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution by Michael J. Klarman
  10. Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 by Pauline Maier
  11. American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 by Alan Taylor
  12. The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies by Alan Taylor
  13. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence by Carol Berkin
  14. Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions by Caitlin Fitz 
  15. West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 by Claudio Saunt
  16. An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean by Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
  17. The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 by Edmund S. Morgan and Rosemarie Zagarri
  18. Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll
  19. Rough Crossings: The Slaves, the British, and the American Revolution by Simon Schama
  20. Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775 by Derek W. Beck and The War Before Independence: 1775-1776 by Derek W. Beck
  21. The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities by Colin G. Calloway
  22. Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America’s Revolution at Sea by Tim McGrath
  23. The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence by T. H. Breen
  24. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 by Gordon S. Wood
  25. The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America by Gary B. Nash

Some other books we might read if there is interest

Suggestions If You Are Getting Started Studying The American Revolutionary Period History

The six titles listed below will provide a solid foundation in American Revolutionary Era History and prepare you to meaningfully read the other books on this list or move on to study the American Early Republic Period.

  1. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff
  2. The American Revolution by Edward Countryman
  3. From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier
  4. The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood
  5. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 by Gordon S. Wood
  6. Ratification by Pauline Maier

General Books On The American Revoutionary Period

  1. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff
  2. The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89, by Edmund S. Morgan and Rosemarie Zagarri
  3. The American Revolution by Edward Countryman
  4. From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier
  5. The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood
  6. The Varieties of Political Experience in Eighteenth-Century America by Richard R. Beeman
  7. Revolutionary America, 1763-1815: A Political History by Francis D. Cogliano
  8. An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean by Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
  9. The Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America by Steven Johnson
  10. Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America by Jack Rakove
  11. A New Age Now Begins: A People’s History of the American Revolution (2 Volumes) by Page Smith
  12. A History of the American Revolution by John Alden
  13. The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America by Gary B. Nash
  14. Race and Revolution by Gary B. Nash
  15. The Urban Crucible: The Northern Seaports and the Origins of the American Revolution by Gary B. Nash
  16. American Heritage History of the American Revolution by Bruce Landcaster
  17. Colonies to Nation, 1763-1789: A Documentary History of the American Revolution by Jack P. Greene (Editor)
  18. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis
  19. The American Revolution: A History by Gordon S. Wood
  20. Negotiated Empires: Centers and Peripheries in the Americas, 1500-1820 by Christine Daniels and Michael V. Kennedy
  21. Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 by John Thornton
  22. Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free by John Ferling
  23. A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic by John Ferling
  24. Whirlwind: The American Revolution and the War That Won It by John Ferling
  25. Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution by John Ferling
  26. Revolutionary Mothers: Women and the Struggle For American Independence by Carol Berkin
  27. The Economy of British America, 1607-1789 by John J. McCusker and Russell R. Menard
  28. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution by Jonathan R. Dull
  29. God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution by Thomas S. Kidd
  30. The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence by T. H. Breen
  31. American Insurgents, American Patriots by T.H. Breen
  32. Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff
  33. Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War by Thomas B. Allen
  34. The Revolutionary War in the Southern Backcountry by James Swisher
  35. Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 1760-1791: Documents and Essays by Richard D. Brown (Editor)
  36. The Long Road to Change: America’s Revolution, 1750-1820 by Eric Nellis
  37. Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution by Benjamin L. Carp
  38. Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution by A.J. Langguth
  39. The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution by Alfred F. Young
  40. Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 by Mary Beth Norton
  41. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America by Linda K. Kerber
  42. Forged in Faith: How Faith Shaped the Birth of the Nation 1607-1776 by Rod Gragg
  43. The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies 1760-1785 by Don Cook
  44. Those Damned Rebels: The American Revolution As Seen Through British Eyes by Michael Pearson
  45. Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes by Christopher Hibbert
  46. Amid a Warring World: American Foreign Relations, 1775–1815 by Robert Smith
  47. The Moral Culture of the Scottish Enlightenment: 1690–1805 by Thomas Ahnert

The American Revolution (C.1760-1776)

  1. The Founding of a Nation: A History of the American Revolution, 1763-1776 by Merrill Jensen
  2. Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775 by Derek W. Beck
  3. The American Revolution: Writings from the Pamphlet Debate, Multiple Volumes (Library of America)
  4. Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence by Richard Beeman
  5. Clothed in Robes of Sovereignty: The Continental Congress and the People Out of Doors by Benjamin H. Irvin Volume One:1764-1772 | Volume Two: 1773-1776 | Volume Three: War of Independence 1775-1783
  6. The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon by John Ferling
  7. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution by Bernard Bailyn
  8. The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America by Colin G. Calloway
  9. The Minutemen and Their World by Robert A. Gross
  10. 1776 by David McCullough
  11. 1775: A Good Year for Revolution by Kevin Phillips
  12. Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts: The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Towns, 1772-1774 by Richard D. Brown
  13. The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding by Eric Nelson
  14. An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America by Nick Bunker
  15. Desperate Sons: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and the Secret Bands of Radicals Who Led the Colonies to War by Les Standiford
  16. The Sons of Liberty: The Lives and Legacies of John Adams, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and John Hancock by Charles River Editors
  17. Revolutionary Summer The Birth of American Independence by Joseph Ellis
  18. Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard R. Beeman
  19. Clothed in Robes of Sovereignty: The Continental Congress and the People Out of Doors by Benjamin H. Irvin
  20. The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution by Edmund S. Morgan and Helen M. Morgan
  21. Defiance of the Patriots by Benjamin Carp
  22. American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution by Harlow Giles Unger
  23. As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution by Richard Archer
  24. American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution by Walter R. Borneman
  25. A Great and Necessary Measure: George Grenville and the Genesis of the Stamp Act, 1763-1765 by John Bullion
  26. The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord by Ray Raphael 

The War For Independence (C.1775-1783)

  1. The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence (Library of America)
  2. A Narrative of a Revolutionary Solider by Joseph Plumb Martin
  3. Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling
  4. With Fire and Sword: The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution by James L. Nelson
  5. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution by Jonathan R. Dull
  6. The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas by John Buchanan
  7. A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens by Lawrence E. Babits
  8. Swamp Fox: General Francis Marion and his Guerrilla Fighters of the American Revolutionary War by William Dobein James
  9. A Revolutionary People At War: The Continental Army and American Character, 1775-1783 by Charles Royster
  10. The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire by Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
  11. Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence by Jack Kelly
  12. Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America’s Revolution at Sea by Tim McGrath
  13. Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll
  14. Victory at Yorktown: The Campaign That Won the Revolution by Richard M. Ketchum
  15. Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War by Richard M. Ketchum
  16. George Washington’s Surprise Attack: A New Look at the Battle That Decided the Fate of America by Phillip Thomas Tucker
  17. Paul Revere’s Ride by David Hackett Fischer
  18. Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer
  19. Lexington and Concord: The Beginning of the War of the American Revolution by Arthur Bernon Tourtellot
  20. Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader by Robert Middlekauff
  21. Henry Knox and the Revolutionary War Trail in Western Massachusetts by Bernard A. Drew
  22. Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence by Jack Kelly
  23. American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution by Walter R. Borneman
  24. Spies, Patriots, and Traitors by Kenneth A. Daigler
  25. George Washington’s Generals and Opponents: Their Exploits and Leadership by George Athan Billias
  26. The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates by Max M. Mintz
  27. Through a Howling Wilderness: Benedict Arnold’s March to Quebec by Thomas A. Desjardin
  28. A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution by Craig L. Symonds
  29. An Illustrated History of Uniforms from 1775-1783: The American Revolutionary War by Kevin F. Kiley and Digby Smith
  30. Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois by Glenn F. Williams
  31. Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin
  32. The Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of the American Revolution by Sam Willis

National Formation Period (C.1777-1800)

  1. The Debate on the Constitution (Library of America) – Volume One | Volume Two
  2. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 by Gordon S. Wood
  3. The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis
  4. American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis
  5. After the Revolution: Profiles of Early American Culture by Joseph J. Ellis
  6. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence by Pauline Maier
  7. The Declaration of Independence: A Global History by David Armitage
  8. Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation by John Ferling
  9. Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 by John Ferling
  10. Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle by Leonard L. Richards
  11. Shays’ Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection by David Szatmary
  12. Ratification by Pauline Maier
  13. Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America by David O. Stewart
  14. The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation by Thomas Fleming
  15. The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution by David O. Stewart
  16. The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government by Fergus M. Bordewich

Native Americans And The American Revolutionary Period

  1. Three Peoples, One King: Loyalists, Indians, and Slaves in the American Revolutionary South, 1775-1782 by Jim Piecuch
  2. The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities by Colin G. Calloway
  3. The Victory with No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway
  4. Race and Revolution by Gary B. Nash
  5. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia by Woody Holton
  6. The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution by Alan Taylor
  7. The Iroquois in the American Revolution by Barbara Graymont
  8. Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois by Glenn F. Williams
  9. Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin

Slavery In The American Revolutionary Period

  1. Three Peoples, One King: Loyalists, Indians, and Slaves in the American Revolutionary South, 1775-1782 by Jim Piecuch
  2. The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor
  3. Enjoy the Same Liberty: Black Americans and the Revolutionary Era by Edward Countryman
  4. The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution by Gary B. Nash
  5. Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 by John Thornton
  6. Race and Revolution by Gary B. Nash
  7. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia by Woody Holton

Women And The American Revolution

  1. Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 by Mary Beth Norton
  2. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America by Linda K. Kerber
  3. Revolutionary Mothers: Women and the Struggle For American Independence by Carol Berkin
  4. Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts

State And Regional Histories

  1. George Clinton: Master Builder of the Empire State by John Lee
  2. The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas by John Buchanan
  3. Rise of the Planter Class in the South Carolina Backcountry, 1760-1808 by Rachel N. Klein
  4. The Revolutionary War in the Southern Backcountry by James Swisher
  5. The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772–1832 by Alan Taylor
  6. Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts: The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Towns, 1772-1774 by Richard D. Brown
  7. Generous Enemies: Patriots and Loyalists in Revolutionary New York by Judith L. Van Buskirk
  8. An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean by Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
  9. Henry Knox and the Revolutionary War Trail in Western Massachusetts by Bernard A. Drew
  10. New Hampshire and the Revolutionary War by Bruce D. Heald
  11. The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution by Alan Taylor

Biographies

For more biographies on American Presidents, Vice Presidents and First Ladies please click here

  1. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  2. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
  3. Washington (4 volumes) by James Thomas Flexner
  4. His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis
  5. Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
  6. First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
  7. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis
  8. The First of Men: A Life of George Washington by John E. Ferling
  9. John Adams by David McCullough
  10. John Adams: A Life by John Ferling
  11. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
  12. Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution by Charles Rappleye
  13. Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution by Richard Brookhiser
  14. Gouverneur Morris: An Independent Life by William Howard Adams
  15. George Mason, Forgotten Founder by Jeff Broadwater
  16. Edmund Randolph by John J Reardon
  17. Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots by Thomas S. Kidd
  18. Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll
  19. Thomas Hutchinson and the Origins of the American Revolution by Walmsley,Andrew Stephen
  20. Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman by Don Higginbotham
  21. Washington’s General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution by Terry Golway
  22. Nathanael Greene: A Biography of the American Revolution by Gerald M. Carbone
  23. Ethan Allen: His Life and Times by Willard Sterne Randall
  24. Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor by Willard Sterne Randall
  25. Light-Horse Harry Lee and the Legacy of the American Revolution by Charles Royster
  26. Abigail Adams by Woody Holton
  27. Dr. Joseph Warren: The Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, and the Birth of American Liberty by Samuel A. Forman
  28. Betsy Ross and the Making of America by Marla R. Miller
  29. Martha Washington: An American Life by Patricia Brady
  30. Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution by Mark Puls
  31. John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy by Evan Thomas
  32. John Paul Jones: America’s First Sea Warrior by Joseph Callo
  33. Lafayette by Harlow Giles Unger
  34. Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation by Harlow Giles Unger
  35. John Jay: Founding Father by Walter Stahr
  36. Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution by Mark Puls
  37. George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father by Thomas S. Kidd
  38. George Grenville: A Political Life by Philip Lawson
  39. William Pitt the Younger by William Hague
  40. A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III by Janice Hadlow
  41. George Rogers Clark: I Glory in War by William R. Nester
  42. William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest by William Heath
  43. George Clinton: Master Builder of the Empire State by John Lee