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Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution
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Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  508 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
As stated by Douglas Brinkly, "A triumphant history of the American Revolution, written wtih lucidity and analytical savy. It now stands as the most accessible single-volume narrative of the American Revolution available. A must-read!
Paperback, 560 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Penguin Books (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,104)
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Dec 23, 2009 Pbwritr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Full of details about the war from start to finish with an emphasis on George Washington as commander-in-chief. Many letters from founding fathers to another quoted, which made everything come alive. Perhaps too much detail about each battle--a little foreshadowing of which ones were important would have been nice.
Sep 12, 2010 Janice rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book about the American Revolution. That said, it took me a long time to read it and at times, it was just a little too much for me. David McCoullough seems to write history better (more readable). That said, I do think this is a must read for those who want to know really what it took to win the American revolution (I now view it as a civil war and less one between two countries) and have great respect for what it took to fight our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit o ...more
Mar 10, 2015 Hana rated it it was amazing
Having just finished East of the Sun: The Epic Conquest and Tragic History of Siberia, which was fantastic, I checked to see what else Benson Bobrick has written and realized he is the author of my all-time favorite book on the American Revolution. I've read this at least three times and bought my very own copy after the first read. A wonderful and very accessible account.
Christopher Valin
Nov 15, 2009 Christopher Valin rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book about the American Revolution in general. Jam-packed full of information, Bobrick also manages to slip in fascinating and often very funny anecdotes as well. Anyone interested in an overall look at the Revolution should pick up this book.
Jul 25, 2014 Rob rated it it was amazing
Great, comprehensive summary of the American Revolution. I had a pretty vague understanding of this period, besides the basic stuff you learn in elementary school. I was looking for a starting point to get a feel for the period, and this book delivered.

There are a few parts that drag a little, but overall I found it gripping as well as informative. Highly recommended.
Dan Rogers
Jan 30, 2012 Dan Rogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-adult-books
This book is a good resource to give you a fairly thorough yet easily readable description of the American Revolution. I found out about this book from a colleague at the NEH workshop I attended this summer at Fort Ticonderoga. She mentioned that she uses it with her 5th graders. Since I teach the same grade I had to read it for myself. As I read I had a pad of Post-It notes handy so I could "flag" things that I want to refer back to in my teaching. I limited myself a little bit (didn't want to ...more
Gunnar Peters
May 10, 2016 Gunnar Peters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was incredibly fascinating and held my interest from cover to cover. The revolution, while not as glorious as we may believe, is still interesting and important and this book does a fantastic job of conveying that. I now want to visit all of these locations and continue learning about the men and battles of the revolution.
Mar 01, 2016 Dave rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Great book about the Revolution. An excellent overview of how our country came to be.
Dec 31, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it
"We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the String. Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?" --John Page to Thomas Jefferson, July 1776

Finally finished!! This is an excellent book. It's well-written and accessible; the author does a good job of helping you to see the men who fought as real people. Reading a history of the entire Revolution was good for me; it's nice to see how all the stories I know fit into each other. I'll definitely be coming b
Jun 22, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compact and lucid history of the American Revolution. Sometimes gets a little too heavy on "kings and dates" but overall a good read.
May 31, 2011 Thad rated it really liked it
Good re-telling of the important facts regarding the military campaign of the Revolution. Filled with a number of facts that don't paint a rosy picture of the realities of the war, and yet created, in my mind, an awe for the men who made this happen. Despite all the bickering and setbacks and other things that could have easily de-railed our emancipation from England, the author recounts the miraculous events of 18th century America.
Jan 27, 2013 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
Bobrick's Angel in the Whirlwind does an excellent job of balancing the competing interests of historic detail with readability and brevity. This is probably the best single volume history out there for the casual historian. There are others that are more detailed, and others more brief, but this satisfied my desire for a quick, but sufficiently thorough look at the military operations that secured our independence.
Scott Cooper
Jan 03, 2013 Scott Cooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Excellent one volume synopsis of the American Revolution, well written and with a broad perspective. Mostly told from an American point of view, lacking in detail sometimes on the British point of view. Good focus on individuals such as John Adams, Ben Franklin, and George Washington. This book should be used as a primer for any American History course that focuses on the early stages of American History.
Mike Morano
Mar 06, 2012 Mike Morano rated it it was amazing
After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson: "We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the Strong. Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?" If you are the kind of American who really does believe that an Angel rode in that whirlwind, and maybe still does, then this book is for you.
Jason , etc.
Jul 12, 2008 Jason , etc. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily the best history of the Revolutionary War I've ever read. Having also read Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause, I found this book head and shoulders above that one based on the writing and the tone. Middlekauff's seems meant for an audience of professional historians (analytical, heavy on minutiae), while this one was both historically accurate and easily consumed.
Kimberly Sorensen
Jul 31, 2008 Kimberly Sorensen rated it really liked it
Reading this again as I begin teaching history this fall. Found this book when I was at the U and LOVE it! The author writes in a way that you can see it happening in your mind like a movie. He tells all the stories that you never hear in high school, complete with humor, depth, and documentation.
Jul 15, 2013 Jan rated it it was amazing
A solid study of our nation's birth complete with details of all the major battles. George Washington is the star of this narrative, but he shares the stage with many other charismatic leaders and historical personages. So much to learn and savor about our history.
Sandra Ianuzi
This is my second reading of this wonderful book about the Revolutionary War. I recommend it wholeheartedly to all!
Sep 08, 2012 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book about the Revolutionary War ever written. This is the book that should be given to every American to understand the miracle of our independence... to understand the brilliance of our patriots who put so much on the line for freedom. A must read.
Kevin Bresnahan
Sep 30, 2011 Kevin Bresnahan rated it it was ok
"Angel in the Whirlwind" is a standard take on the triumphs of the American Revolution. I stress the word "standard", in that it wasn't bad, yet not particularly memorable. The story is quite detailed, yet did not have the vivid appeal for me.
Feb 27, 2007 Greg rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History buffs
Shelves: nonfiction
An interesting study of the American Revolution. Has some enlightening facts. An example is that the revolution was not widely supported. Most Americans were probably indifferent because they were more worried about making out a living.
Feb 25, 2009 Pmerino76 rated it it was amazing
I was assigned sections of this book in two separate classes. However, I did not actually dent the spine for five years after that. I've read it a few times since. A remarkable work about a remarkable time. . .
Meg Winkler
Jan 25, 2013 Meg Winkler rated it it was amazing
This has been my absolute go-to book for anything American Revolution. Written in a less formal style than most history books, Angel in the Whirlwind is an easy, informative, and really entertaining read.
Oct 31, 2011 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
It gave an excellent overview of the Revolutionary War - not just the military bits - but the social, economic and political aspects as well. It is not a boring, stuffy academic style book.
Sep 21, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing
Absolutely the best one volume book outlining the history of the American Revolution. Unbiased portrayal of the events and characters involved in the birth of the United States of America.
Apr 20, 2008 Laurie rated it really liked it
Very well-written and interesting one-volume history of the American Revolution. It is slow reading, however, with small print on large pages. Takes patience, but worthwhile.
Ezra Hood
Jun 10, 2008 Ezra Hood rated it really liked it
A quick and insightful history of the American Revolution. The opening chapter about colonial America is brilliant, and at times utterly hilarious.
Sharol Sorensen
Aug 15, 2008 Sharol Sorensen rated it it was amazing
An amazing look at the impossible victory of the American Revolution. It proves how much this country was meant to be free.
May 17, 2015 Allison rated it it was amazing
Reminded yet again of the ocean of gratitude every American owes George Washington and that angel in the whirlwind.
Dave E
Jun 01, 2013 Dave E rated it it was amazing
This was a great book for me. A good overall perspective of the war that started me off on my favorite subject.
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Benson Bobrick earned his doctorate from Columbia University and is the author of several critically acclaimed works. In 2002, he received the Literature Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He and his wife, Hilary, live in Vermont.
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