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American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution
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American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A vibrant new look at the American Revolution's first months, from the author of the bestseller The Admirals When we reflect on our nation's history, the American Revolution can feel almost like a foregone conclusion. In reality, the first weeks and months of 1775 were very tenuous, and a fractured and ragtag group of colonial militias had to coalesce rapidly to have even...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2014)
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Kristen
First, I should disclose that I received an advance uncorrected proof of "American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution" as part of a Goodreads first-reads giveaway.

American Spring is a highly readable account of the first months of the American Revolution, roughly the first six months of 1775. The book begins with the seldom-told story of a little-know ride that Paul Revere made in December 1774 to warn New Hampshire that "The regulars are coming!" This ride, made four months...more
Bob Price

In American Spring, Walter Borneman intends to give a history of the events of spring 1775 that helped launch the American Revolution. This tumultuous time sparked the incidents that would go down in history as the start of the War of Independence.

In his epilogue, Borneman says that he set out to tell a story, and that is exactly what he did. He narrowed his narrative down to the events between March and June, with giving only a little bit of the pre- and post history.

In this, Borneman should b...more
Rick
There seems to be a lot of books discussing the opening salvos of the American Revolution. Nathanial Philbrick's book is much more interesting and tells the exact same story with some attention payed to the larger deliberations and a stronger back story. Paul Lockhart wrote a book a few years back which in my mind is a much better book about the Battles of Lexington and Concord even thought it's true focus is on Bunker Hill. While Bornerman does a decent enough job he doesn't add anything new to...more
A
In the spirit of full disclosure - I won this book as a Goodreads first read. Okay now for the review.

On one level this book gets the full five stars. The research is exhaustive and the attention to detail is focused. Walter Borneman clearly spent hours and hours researching all the expected sources to find information for this book and double that time searching the unexpected sources to learn the little "extra" details; or help debunk some errors in previous histories on the subject. The docum...more
Jonathan
I found the initial chapters of American Spring setting the background of division in colonial America did not engage me and it was slow going at first, but I am glad I stuck with it. Once Borneman reached February 1775 when General Gage really began to struggle to take positive action to survey the countryside about Boston by dispatching spies, and to try and seize arms at Salem. Then, of course come April we have the attempt to seize the arms held at Concord... Even though we all know how that...more
Joe
Written like a long newspaper article, here’s another recap of the the tumultuous heart-tearing conflicts of 1775 that lead to and lit the American Revolution. What I liked most were the first-hand reports from ordinary people — not just the Reveres, Adamses, Hancocks, and other celebrities who risked ALL for their belief that the Colonies should be free of British dominance — but the “man in the street” citations that demonstrated the fear and disruption (not to mention loss of loved ones) in o...more
Kristi Richardson
This was a good book on the first year of the American Revolution. There is some very in depth details on the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord and the Battle at Bunker Hill is told in explicit detail.

There are some little known people that are used as observers in this book. Mercy Otis Warren was a female poet and political satirist that I had never heard of before this book. She was a very interesting person for that time period.

I enjoyed the details about the traitor Benjamin Churc...more
Steve
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway and it was an advanced proof copy. It was missing some page numbers and the index, but there were few errors within the body of the book.

Whenever you have a history book, you have to deal with names and dates and I thought the author did a real good job of providing a good mix of that info without going overboard. The author kept the number of individuals through which the story was told to a minimum so this helped to avoid data overload but included...more
Aaron
May 31, 2014 Aaron rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historians, Revolutionary War buffs, re-enactors
Per FTC regulations, I received this book as a GoodReads First Reads giveaway.

From before the opening shot at Lexington Green to the Battle at Bunker Hill, Walter Borneman mines an eclectic trove of principal documents to concoct an early history of the Pre-Revolutionary War battles that led to the epic conflict. It's always exciting to read books "written" by those who lived the experience and Borneman has done a great job of weaving the well-knowns with the unknowns to create a tableau of how...more
Jwest87
A well written (for the most part) account of the early summer of 1775. Sadly, I feel like there is so much work covering this time period, I'm not sure what else is there to say? The book also took a bit of a dip after the Battle of Lexington and Concord and it struggled to keep my attention. It did pick up at the end though. Might I also add that I thought the maps provided were not very helpful in my opinion.
Lee
I greatly enjoyed Borneman’s book on James Polk but didn’t think this one was on a par with that . Telling of the early days of the Revolution, Boston Tea Party, Continental Congress and Bunker Hill it doesn’t match up with recent books I have read on the same subject Nathaniel Pilbrick’s Bunker Hill and David Hackett Fisher’s Paul Revere’s ride. His argument that Margaret Gage was not a rebel spy is interesting a fact many other author’s take as fact. It’s an okay read
John
Borneman's great talent is to pack a lot of information in a very readable package, and there is no exception here. Brings together better and lesser known facts in a comprehensive, somewhat unique story of the early events leading to the war.
John
I received a copy from a Goodreads giveaway.

It's been quite awhile since I have read a book about the American Revolution. Walter Borneman's 'American Spring' has given me a nice reintroduction into this time period. Covering the early months of the Revolution, Borneman covers Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, and a few other events in between. As another reviewer noted, women and African American roles and impact are lightly touched upon, and it would have been great to read even more on their s...more
Sarah Wagner
*I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.*

An in-depth look at the first six months of 1775, when armed conflict first broke out between American colonists and British troops. Borneman lays the stage for this coming conflict and makes an effort to include overlooked persons and groups, including slaves who served in the militias and the women who supported the revolutionary effort. The author clearly enjoys describing the few battles of this conflict, as the reader is given detailed de...more
kathleen
this book brings new perspective about the initial battles of the Revolutionary War, providing careful details about the individuals and actions involved on those days in April, 1775.
David Eppenstein
Several months ago I read "1775" a book I found so well researched as to be a handicap to the reader. I suggested the book needed to be half its length and the research placed in the hands of a better writer. Mr. Borneman could certainly have been that writer and this book could have been the result. I have read other works by this author and he has yet to fail me in any way. While I am familiar with much of the history recounted in this book Mr. Borneman still managed to find new tidbits of inf...more
Donn Hall
Excellent account of the lead up to the Battles at Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill.
Justin
I'll be reviewing this for the Historical Novel Review (which I'll post here after the next publication). In the meantime, I'll say that I loved it. Well written, with new perspectives, new sources, and a tight focus. Well done, and highly recommended.
Steve
Great read on the battles of Lexington and Concord which were the stepping stones to the American Revolution.
Dan Cotter
Decent history of the opening salvo of the revolution. Good discussion of Sam Adams, Paul revere and others.
victor harris
Covers a lot of familiar ground, moves rather slowly.
Tag
I've read a lot of books on the American Revolution (beginnings, causes, battles, armies, campaigns, commanders, etc.) and this is my new favorite. Borneman goes into just enough detail without going overboard. Even with my prior reading, I learned new things. I love when a book does that, especially on a subject I feel pretty well-versed in. Now I just need to get to Massachusetts and walk Battle Road.
Melissa
Jul 09, 2014 Melissa marked it as to-read
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads and still haven't received it.
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Walter R. Borneman, b.1952, an American historian and lawyer, is the author of well-known popular books on 18th and 19th century United States history. He received his B.A. in 1974 from Western State College of Colorado, and received an M.A. in history there in 1975 for a thesis on "Irwin : silver camp of the Ruby Mountains"; in 1981 he received a law degree from the University of Denver, and prac...more
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