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Rise to Rebellion

(American Revolutionary War [1770-1783] #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  7,210 ratings  ·  472 reviews
Jeff Shaara dazzled readers with his bestselling novels Gods and Generals, The Last Full Measure, and Gone for Soldiers. Now the acclaimed author who illuminated the Civil War and the Mexican-American War brilliantly brings to life the American Revolution, creating a superb saga of the men who helped to forge the destiny of a nation.

In 1770, the fuse of revolution is lit
Paperback, 492 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published July 3rd 2001)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,210 ratings  ·  472 reviews

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Mr. Matt
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect with Rise to Rebellion. I had read Shara's Civil War books and knew what to expect in terms of execution. Shara follows a handful of characters throughout the great events of the time so that, as a reader, I receive a first hand view from a number of the key actors on both sides of the conflict. In the case of Rise to Rebellion, the characters are assorted but representative - Gage, Franklin, Adams, Washington, and a smattering of others.

The approach is effective. Pa
Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans, history-lovers, non-readers with short attention spans
Recommended to Ryan by: Darrin Shaw
Great book. First, I love that it's in novel form; this makes it much more engaging than, say, 1776, which although filled with great info, was kinda dry and hard to get into. Second, Shaara makes the characters so memorable. He has a great knack for bringing characters to life, and while I'm fairly sure he just turns letters into thought monologues, or exchanged letters into conversations, I don't mind. Third, I liked the changing viewpoints and how the story, when told from a British viewpoint ...more
In Rise to Rebellion Jeff Shaara tells the story of the years leading up the start of the American Revolution and the early days of the fledgling American colonies as they discern who they are and what they must do to achieve what they need.

It is the story of a growing awareness – as told from the vantage of several prominent contemporaries of the era, specifically Sam, John and Abigail Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Gage, and George Washington with others figuring in more minor capacities – of the
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anybody who has a pulse!

If you are a fan of American history and the events leading up to and during the revolution this book and its sequal "The Glorious Cause" are a MUST READ! As far as historical fiction authors go, Jeff Shaara is unparalleled in his ability to give the reader a since of the "everyday" thoughts and actions of history's most prominent fiugres as well as the common citizen/soldier. Benjiman Frankilin and George Washington to Lord Cornwallis and General Howe are transformed from an idea to living, bre
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I had few expectations for this book; it was a used bookstore find. I read it in September, just as I was gearing up to teach American history. So the timing was perfect: this is a book about the early American Revolutionary period, with great details about the battles in Lexington and Concord and the Continental Congress meetings. The history is solid and sound; with enough details for someone well-versed in the subject. I would think that readers who don't teach US history for a living would a ...more
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book made the roots of the American Revolution clearer to me. I met the Sons of Liberty as real people, and Ben Franklin, and George Washington and the other movers & shakers who drew the Colonies together in defense against the tyranny of the British governors and the Redcoats. It reads like a great novel, but it's history, told in a more lively way here than in our old High School textbooks.
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I recently reread this excellent historical novel in preparation for my first visit to that cradle of American democracy, Philadelphia. The second reading was even more satisfying than the first. Shaara's novel opens in 1770 at the Boston "Massacre" and concludes with the tremendously moving scene of George Washington having the Declaration of Independence read aloud to his troops in 1776. Shaara tells each chapter from the perspective of a different historical figure, (Washington, Adams, Frankl ...more
Just arrived from USA through BM.

Page 46:
Colonists cannot be represented inParliament. Never will be. They simply are not an equal part of the empire. They are not, nor will they ever be, Englishmen.
Benjamin Franklin

Page 48:
You cannot suddenly decide to tax us, exploit us, drain our resources. You cannot do with us as you please. With your wast army and your great navy, you may have the power. But you do not have the right.
Benjamin Franklin

This is the first book of the series American Revolution
Joe Woods
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
In the Shaara style, I was bounced around to the worlds of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Gage, and others. The time frame is from Spring of 1770 to the summer of 1776 and the primary settings are Boston, London, and Philadelphia.
If you have read and enjoyed McCullough's, "1776", and/or watched the HBO series, "John Adams", you will thoroughly enjoy comparing and contrasting them to the Shaara book as you read it.
I found that I became so immersed in the plight of Bos
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The interesting thing about this book is that it allows the reader to experience history in the format of the founding fathers speaking in everyday dialogue. It lets the reader experience what it would have actually been like to be there as it was happening. Ordinary history will give a summary of events and their significance but this book gave a look at the more human side of the historical events. For instance, it described how nervous John Adams was when he addressed a group at a town hall m ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love books about the American Revolution time period. This is definitely one of my favorites. Jeff Shaara has hit upon a great formula which pulls you into the story and teaches something along the way. He does a great job of using fictionalized dialog to convey history without straying too far from the facts. I definitely recommend this book as a starting place for anyone interested in learning more about the founding of our country.
Zena Ryder
This book was ok. And that's about it. The best thing it has going for it is the plot. It is a good depiction of what happened during the lead up to the American Revolution, and it did pique my interest to learn more about Washington and Franklin, who are the two most interesting, quirky characters in the book.

The second best thing about the book is that the writing is, for the most part, not annoying.

However, there was a particular technique that the author used very frequently, which made it
Harold Titus
Dec 05, 2011 rated it liked it
There is much to commend Jeff Shaara for his "Rise to Rebellion." It is an ambitious work that spans seven years of American resistance to British authority bracketed by the so-called Boston Massacre and the thirteen colonies' unanimous declaration of independence from England. Shaara uses the viewpoints of Ben Franklin, John Adams, General Thomas Gage, and George Washington almost exclusively to frame his narration of events. He portrays their thoughts, emotions, and human characteristics skill ...more
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book interesting but it read more like nonfiction with so much of the emphasis on the political machinations leading up to the American Revolution. This made for an airy read, packed with ideas and events and the big names of the day, but not the flesh and blood experience of what it felt like to be alive at this moment in history.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-life-reads
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book. I knew the basic series of events leading up to the American Revolution. Shaara put the events into a novel format, which made it more enjoyable. There were a couple times when I looked up information because I was surprised; he did his research!
rating: 4.5/5

This is a mix of fiction and nonfiction, the events of the 1770s are seen through the POVs of figures such as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, General Gage, Paul Revere, General Washington, etc.; each of these men a prominent figure in the American Revolution. From the Boston Massacre through the 1770s, it explores the lives and minds of some of the most prominent historical figures as tensions between England and the American colonies intensity resulting in rebellion and war.

Even th
Victoria_Grossack Grossack
I looked forward to this book because I really enjoyed Jeff Shaara’s The Steel Wave, an exciting novel which made me feel as if I were experiencing D-Day myself (but without the personal danger). Alas, Rise to Rebellion, a novel covering the events leading up to the revolutionary war, is not nearly as good.

In order to cover the important events, Shaara goes from one leading character to another. Instead of getting us started with the action immediately in each scene, Shaara spends many paragraph
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book on my own for the chance to get a better look into the colonies and American revolution for my AP US history class and i must say i was pulled into the fictional prospective style of writing than i thought i would be. The books a great read and easy to understand giving both perspectives of English foot soldiers to American radicals. It contains a lot more information than you would think and conveniently places it all in a better to understand time sequence instead of just ...more
Gilda Felt
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As the author notes, by definition this book is a novel. As true as he tries to be in telling the story through the voices of the characters, in their own words and through their own experiences, the dialogue and thoughts must be read as fiction. Yet it’s very apparent that so very much research has gone into its writing.

For some, there might too much information, because the book does skirt the line between fiction and nonfiction, but that made it perfect for me. I haven’t read a lot about the
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved American History, especially the Revolutionary War time, so this book has been on my TBR pile for awhile now. Despite the fact that I own the book I decided to pick up the audiobook at the library to listen to while I work. The audio book is read by Victor Garber and he was great. He did a great job with the character voices, including British and American accents. My only complaint about the audio book was that it was the abridged version! Apparently the unabridged version is ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In a few weeks, I'm going to Boston and in preparation for the trip, I decided to read Rise to Rebellion. I could not be happier that I did.

This book was fantastic in a multitude of ways. It was a great overview of the beginning of the Revolution and told this incredible story through such eloquent language that parts almost moved me to tears. (Though not fully Jeff Shaara's penmanship, the reading of the Declaration of Independence to Washington's soldiers had me thoroughly choked up. Dr. Warre
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very good reading! What I most enjoyed about this book was the ease with which I could lay it down for extended periods and pick it up right where I left off, without any lag in interest. This is not always easy for me with standard fictional novels. The fact that this is a"novel," though absolutely historically-based, made it more stable in its connection to truth - i.e. the characters were already well-known to me and digging back into who they were, what their backgrounds were, etc., was neve ...more
Chris Ulisse
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Having never read any of Shaara's Civil War works, I was new to his writing but enjoyed this immensely and am currently reading the second part of the story, "Glorious Cause". The book recounts the period of 1770-1776, from the Boston Massacre to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, as a well-executed novel, primarily from the perspectives of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, General Gage, and, much later in the book, George Washington. Drawn primarily from their own written words, Shaa ...more
David Felder
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Remember all the stuff you learned in grade school about the American Revolution? Neither do I. Hey - it was over 40 years ago.

The "Rise to Rebellion," and its successor, "The Glorious Cause," make the entire historical event come alive. Now, of course a lot of the dialog and many of the events in the book need to be taken with a bit of skepticism, because who knows what George Washington really said or thought? But like any good piece of fiction, you are able to suspend your disbelief to enjoy
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
You're probably familiar with characters involved in the birth of the United States--the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, to name a few. Jeff Shaara has taken the massive amount of research necessary to bring these characters to life. You can walk with them, look into their thoughts and see actual historical events unfold. I found my understanding of what really, finally got the colonists to think about independence expanded when I could take a peek into the actual liv ...more
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-books
This is a historical fiction book about essentially the 'rise to rebellion'. It starts with the Boston Massacre and ends with the Declaration of Independence. This book is good because it was one I could get into. I tried 1776 and had no luck. This was awesome because you get the feeling like you're actually there. At times, it seemed like it was never going to end though, after all it is 548 pages. Also, when there are more than one person's perspective to read from, I sometimes become attached ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Jeff Shaara takes you on a journey through the leading days to the American Revolution through the eyes of Ben Franklin, John (and Abigail) Adams, George Washington, and British General Thomas Gage. We see the Boston Massacre, the turmoil surrounding taxation, and the attempts to get Parliament and the King to treat the colonies as regular citizens. The characterizations and plot development make this book flow very well; you learn about people's background and motivations tha ...more
David Galloway
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: war-fiction
After writing two novels to complete a Civil War trilogy started by his father's novel The Killer Angels, Jeff Shaara took what he learned about writing historical novels to the Revolutionary War and penned the excellent Rise to Rebellion. The timeframe is just before the Boston Massacre and the book closes with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Shaara does a wonderful job of bringing our national forefathers to life, particularly with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, both of whom ...more
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
I continue enjoy Jeff Shaaras books and this is no exception. Having read David McCoullough's amazing "1776" and also "John Adams" I was surprised to see these characters again in fresh ways, and gained some renewed appreciation for the story of the American Revolution. I felt it dragged a little in the pacing at times but that may be partly because I was so accustomed to Shaara's skill in describing battle scenes from his Civil War books and this book had only one battle scene in it. He does ho ...more
Mary JL
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-classics
I had filed this under history; but it is historical fiction---and excellent historical fiction.

The books changes viewpoints between several actual persons[----John Adams, Ben Franklin; British General Thomas Gage; George Washington and others. I am no expert but have enough knowledge of history to say that although it is a novel, most of it is solidly based on historical facts.

Itclearly shows the feelings leading up to the final break between England and the Colonies. II found it interesting an
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Jeff Shaara, a descendant of Italian immigrants, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey ("Shaara" was originally spelled "Sciarra"). He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Criminology. From age 16, Jeff operated a rare coin business, first out of his home, then in a retail store. After moving to Tampa, Jeff became one of the most widely know ...more

Other books in the series

American Revolutionary War [1770-1783] (2 books)
  • The Glorious Cause
“Anger is simply momentary madness, and sometimes there is strength in silence. After all, he is only throwing words, not stones.” 2 likes
“Dickinson left the rostrum to applause, loud shouts of approval. Franklin was surprised, looked toward Adams, who returned the look, shook his head. The chamber was dismissed, and Franklin pushed himself slowly up out of the chair. He began to struggle a bit, pain in both knees, the stiffness holding him tightly, felt a hand under his arm.
“Allow me, sir.” Adams helped him up, commenting as he did so, “We have a substantial lack of backbone in this room, I’m afraid.”
Franklin looked past him, saw Dickinson standing close behind, staring angrily at Adams, reacting to his words.
“Mr. Dickinson, a fine speech, sir,” said Franklin.
Adams seemed suddenly embarrassed, did not look behind him, nodded quickly to Franklin, moved away toward the entrance. Franklin saw Dickinson following Adams, began to follow himself. My God, let’s not have a duel. He slipped through the crowd of delegates, making polite acknowledgments left and right, still keeping his eye on Dickinson. The man was gone now, following Adams out of the hall. Franklin reached the door, could see them both, heard the taller man call out, saw Adams turn, a look of surprise. Franklin moved closer, heard Adams say, “My apologies for my indiscreet remark, sir. However, I am certain you are aware of my sentiments.” Dickinson seemed to explode in Adams’ face. “What is the reason, Mr. Adams, that you New England men oppose our measures of reconciliation? Why do you hold so tightly to this determined opposition to petitioning the king?” Franklin heard other men gathering behind him, filling the entranceway, Dickinson’s volume drawing them. He could see Adams glancing at them and then saying, “Mr. Dickinson, this is not an appropriate time...” “Mr. Adams, can you not respond? Do you not desire an end to talk of war?” Adams seemed struck by Dickinson’s words, looked at him for a long moment. “Mr. Dickinson, if you believe that all that has fallen upon us is merely talk, I have no response. There is no hope of avoiding a war, sir, because the war has already begun. Your king and his army have seen to that. Please, excuse me, sir.” Adams began to walk away, and Franklin could see Dickinson look back at the growing crowd behind him, saw a strange desperation in the man’s expression, and Dickinson shouted toward Adams, “There is no sin in hope!”
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