Here is a brisk, accessible, and vivid introduction to arguably the most important event in the history of the United States--the American Revolution. Between 1760 and 1800, the American people cast off British rule to create a new nation and a radically new form of government based on the idea that people have the right to govern themselves. In this lively account, RobertHere is a brisk, accessible, and vivid introduction to arguably the most important event in the history of the United States--the American Revolution. Between 1760 and 1800, the American people cast off British rule to create a new nation and a radically new form of government based on the idea that people have the right to govern themselves. In this lively account, Robert Allison provides a cohesive synthesis of the military, diplomatic, political, social, and intellectual aspects of the Revolution, paying special attention to the Revolution's causes and consequences. The book recreates the tumultuous events of the 1760s and 1770s that led to revolution, such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, as well as the role the Sons of Liberty played in turning resistance into full-scale revolt. Allison explains how and why Americans changed their ideas of government and society so profoundly in these years and how the War for Independence was fought and won. He highlights the major battles and commanders on both sides--with a particular focus on George Washington and the extraordinary strategies he developed to defeat Britain's superior forces--as well as the impact of French military support on the American cause. In the final chapter, Allison explores the aftermath of the American Revolution: how the newly independent states created governments based on the principles for which they had fought, and how those principles challenged their own institutions, such as slavery, in the new republic. He considers as well the Revolution's legacy, the many ways its essential ideals influenced other struggles against oppressive power or colonial systems in France, Latin America, and Asia. Sharply written and highly readable, The American Revolution offers the perfect introduction to this seminal event in American history....more
Hardcover, 106 pages
February 1st 2011
by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 17th 2011)
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a clear, concise and easy read about the American Revolution. It provided me a good point of departure for additional research. I was able to read the book easily in one day, which is a definite advantage for those of us with busy lives and suspenses to meet.
The American Revolution is probably the historical event I studied most from elementary school to college. As an American, I've always been seduced by the story of our nation's founding and didn't mind going over the same ground every couple years. Still, it's sometimes challenging to remember all the details when I've not formally studied the events of 1754 to 1782 in several years. I felt a short, well written history of the Revolution would be a welcome addition to my bookshelf and Robert AllThe American Revolution is probably the historical event I studied most from elementary school to college. As an American, I've always been seduced by the story of our nation's founding and didn't mind going over the same ground every couple years. Still, it's sometimes challenging to remember all the details when I've not formally studied the events of 1754 to 1782 in several years. I felt a short, well written history of the Revolution would be a welcome addition to my bookshelf and Robert Allison has delivered just such a book.
History can be a daunting subject to write about. People can find it dry and as years go by the major events of the time can be challenging for contemporary readers to fully understand. Authors generally have to either highlight the major points and hope the reader has done enough supplementary reading to understand what is happening, or an extensive (and sometimes tedious) history needs to be presented to put events into proper context.
By its very title, "A Concise History" is unable to go into exhaustive detail, but I think Allison did a fine job making the book easily readable while still building a bridge for readers who are not as familiar with the subject. In fact, Allison's greatest success is giving us a book that just about anyone can read through in a day or two. All the major events are presented and discussed briefly and in an interesting way. The larger than life characters (Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Lafayette, John Adams, etc.) are all presented as human, and their flaws are discussed along with their great qualities. There is a genuine feeling to the way the subject is presented, and that resonated with me.
While this is a strong history of the American Revolution the book is not entirely without flaws. For example, I felt that an additional page or two should have been added to stress the importance of Saratoga, and some of the little details were left out (such as talking about Francis Marion but not mentioning the "Swamp Fox" nickname Tarleton bestowed on him). Also, the last chapter of the book felt somewhat unfocused and went into detail about the process for ratifying the Constitution, the French Revolution, Jefferson's presidency, and few pages on slavery. These are not unworthy subjects but for a book that is supposed to be a concise history on the American Revolution, I think Allison should have stopped at the ratification process of the Constitution at an absolute maximum.
Despite these few issues I feel "A Concise History" is a very good book overall. Anyone high school age and up would benefit from reading it, but it is particularly good for casual history fans or people who want to brush up on their knowledge of the American Revolution....more
A useful aid to refresh the memory, or for somebody very unfamiliar with the period. It briskly covers the key events of the Revolution, analysis is nearly non-existent - but there is a decent 'Further Reading' section.
I loved this book. This one little book condensed down so much information and cut it up into tinier sections that it gave me a starting place for the research I need to do for a personal project. Before the first chapter was timeline that I simple marked and kept turning back to in order to get events straight in my mind. Instead of using long sections of quotations like a lot of authors do, Robert J. Allison cut it down to a base level of information and made history more intriguing for it!
This book is exactly what it says-- a concise history. Writing is clear, logical and interesting. There are a few excellent nuggets here and if you want to refresh yourself on some aspects of the Revolution this is where you start.
I wish the author had a longer more detailed work, because his style and judgement in presentation is very good.
This one definitely lives up to the "concise" in it's subtitle. It moves along quickly and is pretty short on any kind of detail or analysis. Still, it does its job and is a good place to start if you need an overview before diving more deeply into a particular portion of the war. You can knock it out in a single evening.
A quick easy-read, concise history of the American War of Independence. More narrative than analysis and occasionally short of describing the key players and attempting to explain the era but a good introduction to the subject.