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The Real History of the American Revolution: A New Look at the Past

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  120 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Ask most Americans why their forefathers started the Revolution, and they’ll likely mention “no taxation without representation” or the belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights. But that’s just the start of the story, as historian Alan Axelrod so brilliantly shows in this eye-opening book. Axelrod offers a fascinating examination of what ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Sterling (first published 1999)
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Mar 11, 2010 Jake rated it really liked it
Sort of a pop-up video version of a college textbook. In a good way.

Axelrod took some shit for some of his 'speculation', where he pointed out ways the war COULD have ended if this general did that, or that general moved faster, etc. I actually think that those 'what-if' scenarios added a little to the history, and proved that Axelrod actually thought about his info rather than just regurgitating the record.

All that said, there WERE sections that seemed to lack a little detail. Maybe it's beca
Feb 04, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
I started reading this many years ago but halfway through it, it fell by the wayside. Inspired by watching the History Channel mini-series Sons of Liberty (which only had a passing acquaintance with real history) and reading Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan, I picked it up again. It's a great overview of the war for American independence. Doesn't go into great depth on any one thing but that's ok. There are other books for that. I loved the sidebars and the visuals.
Jan 03, 2010 Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Simply a fun read. It's a good introduction for people who know little or nothing about American history, but is also a handily organized, something that you'll keep at arms' length for whenever you need to check a fact really quick. Not only does it go into detail about the important events, it also gives you little details that you probably didn't know that are somehow related and will stick in your mind. There were one or two inaccuracies, but compared to the amount of information available, ...more
Kevin Colby
Jun 08, 2012 Kevin Colby rated it liked it
Shelves: history

I had some issues with his history concerning Benedict Arnold. He just seems to recite the old tried and true " He was a greedy opportunist" lines of past historians. That is not the true picture of the man. It is an unfair assessment. He also continuously calls King Louis of France "Emperor". When you are talking about France and refer to "the Emperor" you are talking about Napoleon and no one else. Otherwise I like the book. He explains the beginnings and reasons for the war quite well.
Professor Digory  Kirke
Apr 14, 2011 Professor Digory Kirke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
Being well versed in the history and study of the Revolution even I learned somethings I had never known or come across before in all my studies on this subject. That in and of its self is a hard thing to do. An excellent book and worthy of one and all who love and or study the Revolution, should have as part of their own library.
Shaun Joyce
Jun 23, 2014 Shaun Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This book is excellent. From the minute I began reading I couldn't put it down... my only issue with the book is that it leaves out details on a few key events and people and it merely brushes over them... but other than that it is a very good book and I recommend this to everyone.
Lisa Kucharski
Apr 28, 2012 Lisa Kucharski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In many ways this is better than most text books as it tries to be clear about overall events, and provides a bit of humor here and there. This is also a helpful book to read first before reading more detailed info about events.
Andy Ford
May 02, 2008 Andy Ford rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs
This is a textbook: high school, perhaps college level. Good to review history now and then, and see how historians may have changed their views about things. Remembering some things, and being surprised by others.
Darren Price
Good brief, very readable history of the American Revolution. Nothing too detailed, but enough for a solid overview. A good read before delving into biographies of some of our nations founders.
Apr 14, 2009 Vince rated it really liked it
Pretty good read. I didn't find much new information here. The book would make an excellent textbook for high school seniors as the author has a great ability to organize information.
Oct 12, 2009 Nickwhipple rated it really liked it
Good overview of the revolution and its major events. A little lacking in detail, but overall well written with lots of cool Revolution factoids!
Crow Bar
Sep 16, 2010 Crow Bar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book detailing the full events of the American Revolution from the American colonization in the 1600's to the writing of the constitution.
Jul 08, 2008 Michael rated it liked it
A very good pop history about the U.S. War for Independence. I believe a better editor could have helped. Too much repetition
Sep 07, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Book had great content, but a crappy binding that was destined to fall appart before I even read it once.
Tara Adams
Oct 21, 2012 Tara Adams rated it really liked it
A good introduction to the American Revolution. An excellent secondary reference for high school students.
Nov 24, 2009 Katie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It's awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 14, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
This was terrific. A history text that reads more like a good novel.
Doug Hauser
Jan 05, 2014 Doug Hauser rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, owned-books
This is a good history book for a novice history reader.
Oct 12, 2009 Kenneth is currently reading it
Good so far.
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