Recommended Reading List

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Suggested Revolutionary War Reads by category. For additional information regarding this list, contact Craig Whiting at or look these up on the net. There are several links on these pages which lead to reviews.

Here is Craig’s updated list of Revolutionary Reads in PDF format.


The Boston Massacre – A Family History by Serena Zabin (2020) The British and the Americans in Boston.

Defiance of the Patriots by Benjamin L. Carp (2010) The Boston Tea Party & the Making of America

The Boston Campaign (April 1775-March 1776) by Victor Brooks (1999)

History of the Siege of Boston, and the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill by Richard Frothingham (1849) reprint. One of the best books on the early days of the revolution in/near Boston. Digital copy at:

The Boston Tea Party by Benjamin W. Labaree (1964)

Boston Under Military Rule (1936) complied by Oliver M. Dickerson. Reprint 1971. Published articles day to day 1768 to 1769.

Lexington & Concord

Lexington and Concord by Arthur B. Tourtellot (1963)

The Day the American Revolution Began 19 April 1775, By Wm H. Hallahan (2000)

The Road to Concord by J.L. Bell (2016) How four stolen cannon ignited the Revolutionary War.

History of the Battle of Lexington on the morning of the 19th of April, by Elias Phinney (1825 reprint by Forgotten Books)

April 19, 1775 by Douglas Sabin (2011) A historiographical study.

The Battle of April 19, 1775 by Frank W. Coburn (1922. reprint by Forgotten Books)

West Cambridge 1775 by Samuel A. Smith (1865. reprint 1955) an address to the ladies Historical Society, W. Cambridge

Bunker Hill

History of Bunker Hill Battle by Samuel Swett (1827, reprint)

Now we are Enemies, by Thomas J. Fleming (1960) the story of Bunker Hill

Decisive Day, by Richard M. Ketchum (1962,1974,1999) The battle for Bunker Hill

Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick (2013) A city, a siege, a revolution

The Whites of Their Eyes by Paul Lockhart (2011) Warning: Liberal anti-military, anti-patriot leaning. Has some good points when author’s politics are put aside.

The People, Society, Communities

Sacred Scripture Sacred War, by James P. Byrd (2013) The bible, sermons, preachers and their influence on the Revolution.

War & Society in the American Revolution, ed by John Resch and Walter Sargent. A modern liberal approach to previous historians and to Mobilization and the home front. [My least favorite of all]

The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century by Richard L. Bushman (2018) a social and cultural history. and-cultural-history/

Occupied America by Donald F. Johnson (2020) Life in areas occupied by the British. The author criticizes “patriotism” following the revolution as being contrived. Disdain for previous historians.

Political and Philosophical Thought

The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, by Bernard Bailyn (1967,1992,2017) The thought process and transformation of the meaning of rights.

Cato: A Tragedy, and selected Essays (1713-1716) Vol.3,4 by Joseph Addison (republished

Cato’s Letters or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, by Trenchard and Gordon. Essays on
rights and liberty published in England 1721 thru 1723. Roman and Greek philosophy applied in the 18th century. These were popular on both sides of the Atlantic and had an influence on Political thought leading to independence.

America’s Revolutionary Mind by C. Bradley Thompson (2019) What and why people thought of a revolution and the Declaration that defined it,

The Will of the People, by T.H. Breen (2019) The thought process of ordinary people that
resulted in a successful revolution. How rights became defined.

First Principles by Thomas Ricks (2020) What founders learned from Greeks and

The Cause, by Joseph Ellis, 2021. An excellent study with a bottom up perspective of what lead to the revolution, what made the outcome with a look at the times and not a historical perspective tainted by current popular social and political perspectives. This is not a step by step review of battles and events but, again, the causes and effects. One of the best. See review at:


Diary of Captain Benjamin Warren on the Battlefield of Saratoga (1909) first hand account

Decision on the Hudson by John Luzader (2002)

Saratoga 1777 by Brendan Morrissey (2000)

Saratoga by Richard M. Ketchum (1997)

1777 by Dean Snow (2016) Tipping point at Saratoga

Boys and Teens at War

Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution by Caroline Cox, (2016)

I Was a Teenager in the American Revolution by Elizabeth Ryan Metz (2006) 23 teenagers tell their stories of service.

A Young Patriot in the American Revolution by John Greenwood (1809) published by Westvaco 1981, limited edition

The Generals

Henry Knox – Visionary General of the American Revolution by Mark Puls (2008)

Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution by David Mattern (1995)

Washington’s General – Nathaniel Green and the Triumph of the AmRev. by Terry Golway (2006)

The Swamp Fox-How Francis Marion Saved the Am. Revolution by John Oller (2016)

George Washington and his Generals (guide to exhibition by Society of the Cincinnati) by Emily Schwartz and Laura Simo (2009)

His Excellency George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis (2004)

Major General Israel Putnam-Hero of the Am Revolution by Robert Hubbard (2017)

Valiant Ambition ,by Nathaniel Philbrick (2016) the relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold, the politics, military leadership and self-serving generals and politicians.

Memoirs & Journals

From Redcoat to Rebel: The Thomas Sullivan Journal by Joseph Lee Boyle (1997)

Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn 1775-1783 ed. by L. Brown & H. Beckham 1939

Memoirs…General John Stark,also biography of Capt Phineas Stevens and of Col Robert Rogers By Caleb Stark (1860) reprinted 2007

Military Journal of the American Revolution by James Thacher (1861) re-print

A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, James Seaver (1824) life as a captive of Indians reprint

Memoirs of Major General William Heath by M.G. Wm Heath (1798. reprint 1901) incl An Account of the Battle of Bunker Hill by Generals Dearborn, Lee and Wilkinson.

The Revolution Remembered edited by John. C. Dann (1980) “Eyewitness accounts of the war for Independence” from pension files.

Narratives of the American Revolution edited by Hugh Rankin (1976) Stories from a sailor, a surgeon, a French volunteer and a German General’s wife.

A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier by Joseph Plumb Martin (1830) reprint. His service from 1776 to 1783. Considered by many a primary source on the American Revolution.

Privateers & Making of a Navy

Give Me a Fast Ship by Tim McGrath (2014) The Continental Navy and the revolution at sea.

The Soldiers Life

Becoming Men of Some Consequence by John H. Ruddiman (2014)

Band of Giants by Jack Kelly (2014) Amateur soldiers, civilians, supply, hardships; becoming an army

Times of Brother Jonathan by Dudley C. Gould (2001) what he ate,drank,wore, believed in, medicine

Forgotten Army by Dudley C. Gould (2007) 68 pgs The Abandonment of American Rev War Soldiers

A Proper Sense of Honor by Caroline Cox (2004) Training, educating officers, life as a Continental….. Officer, social world of the army, sickness, burial etc.

The First American Army by Bruce Chadwick (2005) what it was like to serve, incl personal accounts

The Minutemen and Their World by Walter A. Gross (1976)

The Minutemen by John R. Galvin (1967) Myths and Realities

Revolutionary War Drill Manual by Baron von Steuben (1779) reprinted (1794) Facsimile reprint 1985.

The Revolutionary War Soldier by C. Keith Wilbur (1969) illustrated source book of soldier’s everyday life.

Noble Volunteers by Don N. Hagist (2020) The British Soldiers who fought in the American Revolution

Founding Figures and Forming a Government

John Adams by David McCullough (2001)

The Patriots – Legends and Lies by David Fisher (2016) companion to Bill O’Reilly’s series

Founding Rivals by Chris DeRose (2011) Madison vs Monroe & Bill of Rights.

The Summer of 1787 by David Stewart (2007) “The men who invented The Constitution” An excellent study of why our Constitution was written the way it was.

The Naked Constitution by Adam Freedman (2012) “What the Founders said and why it still matters.” Original-ism vs living constitution.

The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution by Brion McClanahan (2012) the original understanding of the Constitution. What was meant and what was intended.

The Bill of Rights – A Users Guide by Linda R. Monk (2018) The Bill of Rights explained in the meanings of their time and tests of such in the following times.

Independence by John Ferling (2011)The push to declare Independence; the people, events and arguments pro and con.

Campaigns & Battles

The Battle of Pell’s Point (or Pelham) October 18, 1776 by William Abbatt (1901) reprint

The Battle of Bennington by Michael Gabriel (2012)

Eutaw Springs by Robert Dunkerly and Irene Boland (2017) Final battle of the Southern Campaign

A Devil of a Whipping by Lawrence E. Babits (1998) The battle of Cowpens

Kings Mountain and Cowpens by Robert W. Brown Jr. (2009)

Battles of the Revolutionary War by W.J. Wood (1990) Overview of major battles; who, what, where,

The British Are Coming by Rick Atkinson (2019) The beginning: Lexington to Princeton 1775-1777

Dunmore’s War by Glenn F. William; 1774 campaign against Indian confederation in Ohio country.

The Long Retreat by Arthur Lefkowitz (1999) Washington’s retreat through New Jersey and the defense of New Jersey Nov 20 ’76 to Trenton Dec 25 ’76.

Monmouth Courthouse by Brendan Morrissey (London 2004) The last great battle in the North.

Grand Forage 1778 by Todd Braisted (2016) Battleground around New York City; Britain’s last push.

Victory at Yorktown by Richard Ketchum (2004) “The campaign that won the revolution.”

In the Hurricane’s Eye by Nathaniel Philbrick (2018) “The genius of Geo Washington and the victory at Yorktown”

After Yorktown by Don Glickstein (2015) Between Yorktown and peace, the war is continued at home and around the world.


Captives of Liberty by T. Cole Jones (2020) : Prisoners of War and Politics of Vengeance

Dangerous Guests by Ken Miller (2014) : Enemy Captives and Revolutionary Communities

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn by Rbt P. Watson (2017): American prisoners on prison ship Jersey

Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society Vol V: 1860-1862 (1873) pgs 325-347 report on exchanges


The Martyr and the Traitor, by Viriginia DeJohn Anderson (2017): Nathan Hale and Moses Dunbar

The Life and Times of Joseph Warren by Richard Frothingham (1865) reprint Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation by Geo Washington (1989)

George Washington’s War – the Saga of the American Revolution by Robert Leckie (1992)

George Washington’s Secret Six – the Spy Ring that Saved the Am. Rev. by Brian Kilmeade (2013)

Journal of the American Revolution Annual Editions by various authors (2013 on) 7 annual volumes of the best articles covering many subjects.

The Papers of George Washington (Revolutionary War Series) Volumes 1-28 daily correspondence in print U of Virginia or online

The Fires of Liberty, compiled by Esmond Wright (London,1983) , Letters, newspaper articles, journal entries, etc.

The Spirit of ’74 by Ray and Marie Raphael (2015) From resistance to revolution; the time between the Tea Party and Lexington.

1775 A Good Year for Revolution by Kevin Phillips (2012) Political climate, economic structure and military preparations were the harbinger of revolution.

Washington’s Secret War by Thomas Fleming (2005) Valley Forge and Washington’s struggle with a cabal working to remove him from command.

Liberty Without Anarchy by Minor Myers Jr. (1983) History of the Society of the Cincinnati

A Few Bloody Noses by Robert Harvey (2002) “Realities and Mythology of the American Revolution” Pro-British.

Best Little Stories of the American Revolution by C. Brian Kelly (1999) 125 true stories of people

George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade (2013) Washington’s spy ring.

Desperate Sons by Les Standish (2012) About the Sons of Liberty. [contains contemporary politically liberal views]

Contest For Liberty (2019) by Seanegan Sculley. Military leadership in the Continental Army.

Winning Independence by John Ferling (2021) The decisive years 1778-1781. the economy,
strategies, mindsets of the people and the military, France becomes involved, army strengths,
weaknesses. War in the south. An excellent source, well researched and well presented. A must read for serious students of the Revolution.

Founding Myths by Ray Raphael (2004) Rather than a clear Myth/Truth approach, this is a politically based attack with snide comments and a progressive view of the struggle for independence. Fit for Cancel Culture enthusiasts. A trash-can book.

A Respectable Army, The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789. By James Martin and Mark
Lender, edited by John Frannklin. 1982. Another misleading 20th century approach to the struggle for Independence. Full of snide observations and theories submitted as the Truth (that only U-Types can discover), this book (intended as one of a series of history reference books for high school and college students) fits right into the cancel culture, 1619 Project and progressive propaganda. Another liner for the trash can.

Military Units

General Ward’s Colonial Army (Mass. Militia and Cont. Army Regiments) Keith Brough, ed. (2015)

Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army by Francis Heitman (1914) reprint & net

The Continental Army by Robert Wright Jr. (2000): Army Lineage and history

Barefoot, Bare Leg’d, Bare Breech’d by Andrew McKenzie (1995) History of the Mass. Continental Line

The Northern Campaign and Wilderness Wars

With Musket and Tomahawk, Vols 1,2,3 by Michael Logusz (2009-2016)

The Wilderness War, by Allen Eckert (1978)

An Original, Complied and Corrected Account of Burgoyne’s Campaign, and the Memorable
Battles of Bemis Heights Sept; 19 and Oct 7, 1777 by Charles Neilson (1844) reprint

Indian Atrocities: narratives of the perils and sufferings of Dr. Knight and John Slover among the
Indians during the Revolutionary War, by Dr. Knight (1843) reprint

The Cherry Valley Massacre, by David Goodnough (1968)

Five Days in November; The Cherry Valley Massacre, by Susan Murray-Miller (2003)

Cherry Valley Massacre November 11, 1778 In the Words of Those Who Served , Compiled by A.J. Berry (2013)

General Sullivan’s Indian Exhibition 1779 [journals], by Secretary of State of New York Frederick
Cook (1887) [available online and some antique book dealers or auctions]

The War in the South

Ninety Six by Robert D. Bass (1978) The struggle for the South Carolina back country.

Fourteenth Colony by Mike Bunn (2020) The Gulf South during the Revolutionary War.

Winnning Independence, by John Ferling (2021) a great study of what is greatly overlooked in the war in the south. One of the (if not THE) best book(s) on the subject. See review at:

March to Independence by Michael Cecere (2021) The revolution in the southern colonies 1775-1776 Review at:

Women & Children

Belonging to the Army by Holly A. Mayer (1996); Camp followers and community during the Rev.

Child Life in Colonial Times, by Alice Morse Earle, (1899, republished 2009)

A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, by John Newberry (1744. reprint) Instruction and amusement of children. A primer for children.

The New England Primer (1777) reprint 2012 A child’s book for learning to read.

Women in the American Revolution (2019) editor Barbara Oberg. [Essays mostly presented for
support of womens’ lib movement of the 20th century. Another look at the past from today’s perspective.]


Rabble In Arms by Kenneth Roberts (1933) reprint

Cannons For the Cause by Martin Ganzglass (2014)

The Fort by Bernard Cornwell (2012)

The Call of Fife and Drum by Howard Fast (1939,1942,1950) Three novels on the Revolution.

Brothers and Warriors by Goeff Baggett (2016) Book 1 of the series Patriots of the Revolution

Partisans and Refugees by Goeff Baggett (2016) Book 2 of the series Patriots of the Revolution

Frenchmen and Long Knives by Goeff Baggett (2017) Book 3 of the series Patriots of the Revolution

Soldiers and Martyrs by Goeff Baggett (2018) Book 4 of the series Patriots of the Revolution

Immigrants and Patriots by Goeff Baggett (2019) Book 5 of the series Patriots of the Revolution

Tories and Turncoats by Goeff Baggett (2017) Book 6 of the series Patriots of the Revolution

[ Note about Goeff Baggett: He has published a 5 book series of historical fiction books for young readers (ages 9-13) which are similar to his series Patriots of the Revolution.]

For online reading covering a variety of subjects of the Revolution, visit

See also their book list of writers for Journal of the American Revolution and their list of what the editors consider the 100 best books on the Revolution. See also the J.A.R. Listing of best Revolutionary War historical fiction at

For older out-of-print books, visit, google books, Alibris, Haiti Trust Digital
Library or .