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October 13, 2008 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend books (not overly scholarly, but in-depth, if possible) dealing with the causes and issues surrounding the rise of the American Independence movement prior to July 4, 1776.

Those dealing with the movement in a holistic manner ( eg: discussing the cultural, economic, and political undercurrents which fed and popularized the movement) would be most appreciated....
posted by Chrischris to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Benson Bobrick's Angel in the Whirlwind spends the first hundred pages or so on a summary of the beginning of the independence movement. It is reasonably in-depth for a popular history book.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 3:23 PM on October 13, 2008


The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies 1760-1785, by Don Cook.

http://www.amazon.com/Long-Fuse-American-Colonies-1760-1785/dp/0871136619
posted by acrasis at 3:27 PM on October 13, 2008


The book you want to read is Gordon Wood's The Radicalism of the American Revolution.

Also good: Bernard Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.
posted by saslett at 3:29 PM on October 13, 2008


Seconding Wood's Radicalism of the American Revolution. Bailyn is a classic, too, but it's drier than Wood's book.
posted by craichead at 3:54 PM on October 13, 2008


1776 by david mccoullaugh is a great book. easy to read, engaging, and a really great look at that critical year
posted by Flood at 4:14 PM on October 13, 2008



here's some ideas:

The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America by Gary Nash - here's a review - here's another review

also, please check out Liberty Tree: Ordinary People and the American Revolution by Alfred Young - review

for deeper historical roots, please see the amazing Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh & Marcus Rediker - the kind of history that turns the world upside down - here's a review - another review

and, of course, there's Zinn (chapters 2-6)

lastly, even though it's fiction, I must recommend the extraordinary novel The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation - a powerful and provocative interrogation of the contradictions of a fight for liberty in a land where the enslavement of African-Americans was the norm & accepted without question - review

that said, have fun! this is a rich & challenging period of history to be exploring...
posted by jammy at 4:31 PM on October 13, 2008


The American Revolution: Explorations in the History of American Radicalism is a good collection of essays edited by Alfred Young that contains his work, Nash's and others. Here's some more info from the publisher. We used it in a college class I took and it was a great way to read about the different pieces that were brewing in the years leading up to the Revolution.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 6:15 PM on October 13, 2008


Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:54 PM on October 13, 2008


You might want to go back in time to the Seven Years War and read Fred Anderson's Crucible of War.
posted by billtron at 5:28 AM on October 14, 2008


Second Gary Nash and Fred Anderson (who I was coming here to recommend).
posted by languagehat at 8:52 AM on October 14, 2008


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