Shared booklist

BKLYN BookMatch: Adult Non-Fiction on the American Revolution & Founding Fathers

Recommendations for an adult looking to read non-fiction about the American Revolution and biographies of the founding fathers. This list was created by a librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library for a reader.

20 items


McCullough, David G. |

The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian draws on personal correspondence and period diaries to present a landmark history of the American Revolution that ranges from the siege of Boston, to the American defeat at Brooklyn and retreat across New Jersey, to the stunning American victory at Trenton, capturing the people and events that transformed American history.

The American revolution : a history

Wood, Gordon S. |

The distinguished, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian presents a concise history of the American Revolution and the birth of the American republic, from the earliest hints of revolt and unrest through the ratification of the Constitution.

The glorious cause : the American Revolution, 1763-1789

Middlekauff, Robert. |

The first book to appear in the illustrious Oxford History of the United States, this critically acclaimed volume--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--offers an unsurpassed history of the Revolutionary War and the birth of the American republic.

Angel in the whirlwind : the triumph of the American Revolution

Bobrick, Benson, 1947- |

Grounded in the latest research, this comprehensive volume explores the frequently overlooked fact that, despite charismatic leadership and eventual success, the revolutionary movement never garnered the support of more than half the American colonists.

The radicalism of the American Revolution

Wood, Gordon S. |

In a grand and immemsely readable synthesis of historical, political, cultural, and economic analysis, a prize-winning historian describes the events that made the American Revolution. Gordon S. Wood depicts a revolution that was about much more than a break from England, rather it transformed an almost feudal society into a democratic one, whose emerging realities sometimes baffled and disappointed its founding fathers.

Whirlwind : the American Revolution and the war that won it

Ferling, John E., author. |

A comprehensive, single-volume history of the American Revolution shares fast-paced, narrative coverage of key events from a scholarly perspective while offering detailed insights into period social and political issues.

Bunker Hill : a city, a siege, a revolution

Philbrick, Nathaniel. |

The best-selling author of Mayflower presents a book inspired by the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution, tracing the experiences of Patriot leader Dr. Joseph Warren, a newly recruited George Washington and British General William Howe.

The battle for New York : the city at the heart of the American revolution

Schecter, Barnet. |

Provides a dramatic account of the seminal role played by New York City during the American Revolution, from its September 1776 fall to the British under General William Howe, through years of occupation, and beyond, interweaving illuminating profiles of the individuals on both sides of the conflict with a study of the cultural, political, social, and economic events of the eighteenth century.

The idea of America : reflections on the birth of the United States

Wood, Gordon S. |

A Pulitzer Prize-winning author evaluates the American Revolution as the nation's most definitive event, presenting a series of essays that explores the ideological origins of the war, the founders' attempt to create an American democracy and the gap between the views of the founders and present-day citizens.

American scripture : making the Declaration of Independence

Maier, Pauline, 1938-2013. |

A history professor reveals the origins of the Declaration's ideas and phrases, unravels the story of its drafting, follows its role in the nineteenth century, and explores the implications of its treatment as a sacred text.

American dialogue : the Founding Fathers and us

Ellis, Joseph J., author. |

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers presents an insightful examination of the relevance of the views of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Adams to some of the most divisive issues in today's America.

John Adams

McCullough, David G. |

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, 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.

The Great divide : the conflict between Washington and Jefferson that defined a nation

Fleming, Thomas J., author. |

A new perspective on the clash between Washington and Jefferson during the nation's formative years explores how the differing characters and leadership styles of these Founding Fathers shaped two opposing views of the presidency and the nation.

George Washington : a biography

Irving, Washington, 1783-1859. |

Washington Irving's Life of George Washington (published in five volumes in 1856-59) was the product of his last years and remains his most personal work. Christened with the name of the great general, Irving was blessed by Washington while still a boy of seven, and later came to know many of the prominent figures of the Revolution. In these pages he describes them using firsthand source material and observation. The result is a book which is fascinating not only for its subject (the American Revolution), but also for how it reveals in illuminating detail the personality and humanity of a now remote, towering icon.

Friends divided : John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

Wood, Gordon S., author. |

A dual portrait of the second and third presidents shares insights into their disparate backgrounds, the partnership decisions that helped establish America's foundation and the unexpected ways their subsequent falling out and reconciliation corrected the course of a young republic. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire of Liberty.

My dearest friend : letters of Abigail and John Adams

Adams, John, 1735-1826. |

Presents a collection of letters between John and Abigail Adams that chronicle their lives and the events that surrounded them.

Paul Revere's ride

Fischer, David Hackett, 1935- |

Cutting away the misconceptions of legend, a fresh analysis of the historical events leading up to and following the midnight ride of Paul Revere develops many hitherto unfamiliar ideas about the early days of the Revolution.

The colored patriots of the American Revolution.

Nell, William C. (William Cooper), 1816-1874. |

"William Cooper Nell, a nineteenth century abolitionist, wished to reexamine our understanding of this famous war and highlight to the world the black soldiers who fought and died for the cause of American independence."

Liberty's daughters : the Revolutionary experience of American women, 1750-1800.

Norton, Mary Beth. |

"First published in 1980 and recently out of print, Liberty's Daughters is widely considered a landmark book on the history of American women and on the Revolution itself."

Patriots : the men who started the American Revolution

Langguth, A. J., 1933-2014. |

A narrative history of the figures and drama of the American Revolution offers portraits of George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry