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Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News (B&N Exclusive Edition)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

It is utterly refreshing in 2012 to have a comprehensive narrati

It is utterly refreshing in 2012 to have a comprehensive narrative about the founding of our country that is at once inclusive, informative and insightful as it is readable and enjoyable. Thanks to the substantial work of Todd Andrlik and his timely book, 'Reporting the...
It is utterly refreshing in 2012 to have a comprehensive narrative about the founding of our country that is at once inclusive, informative and insightful as it is readable and enjoyable. Thanks to the substantial work of Todd Andrlik and his timely book, 'Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News,' readers have exactly that.
As Americans, we cherish our freedoms. Our country has served as a bench mark by which other democracies measure themselves - but do we really know or fully understand what went into making our country or the idea that was democracy? 'Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News,' not only pulls back the curtain on this time period allowing readers to look back through two-and-a-half centuries at our country's founding, it teaches and guides readers about how America came to be, from the aftermath of the French and Indian War to the rise of dissension and protests leading to full blown rebellion and war and ultimately, independence.
Where a sad lack of focus on history and in particular, that of our nation's beginnings fall off, 'Reporting' steps in to not only fill but seam together the myriad chasms of education and comprehension in the years preceding, during and post American Revolution. Presenting an understanding of how our nation was formed and fought for is the driving message of this tome and for that reason alone, `Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News,' should be required reading.
Andrlik, built one of the most significant private collections of Revolution-era newspapers containing the earliest printed reports of major events and battles from 1763-1783. Giving them meaning and sharing them was the idea behind this book. It opens a portal through which we can experience the stirrings of unrest, detect the anxiety news brings, feel the battles raging, and sense the oppression of uncertainty and ideals for which so many sacrificed. 'Reporting' is a unique book that provides an in-depth look at how news was reported and contrasts and compares reports including eye witness accounts, battlefield reports and newspaper items with the actual events. Reporting is a solid piece of research, information and analysis that is at once as approachable and informative as it is enjoyable.
Covering the 1764 - 1784 era, 'Reporting' features excerpts from hundreds of newspapers, including the London Chronicle, Boston News-Letter, Boston Gazette, Massachusetts Spy and Pennsylvania Gazette, and takes the reader from the agitation and rebellion through all-out war to peace and British evacuation. What we know as history started as news and colonial newspapers provided the templates for informing and inciting citizenry, fomenting revolution and fanning the flames of independence or loyalty to the mother country.
'Reporting's packaging is clean and precise yet bright and robust. Thirteen chapters chronologically present America's making from 1764 to 1784 with an epilogue covering 1787, 1789 and 1796, with each digestible chapter dedicated to its topic lead by an essay from one of three dozen historians or experts to help present what is being featured. It is highlighted by illustrations, paintings and prints of events, personalities, battles or `acts' making that section a fascinating experience. Against a landscape of the actual newspaper illustrating the topic, a bold pull quote (close-up of a quote or item) from it helps readers take in the significance, and measure it against the newspaper item so they'll also see how to read an 18th century newspaper. What becomes stunningly clear and is part of the book's tag line, is that many of the events - the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre and The Battle of Bunker Hill for example, were indeed news before they were history. Which sounds simple but as the chapters build upon one another, their layers present the perseverance, strategy, faith and determination throughout an eight-year conflict that was part of the `story' or what General Washington referred to as, `The Glorious Cause' that is independence.
Readers will enjoy (as I did) learning about lesser known battles or actions such as the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 and the Battle of the Rice Boats and meeting personalities such as the self-taught military general, Nathanael Greene and his largely unsung, heroic efforts that turned back the tide of the southern theater for the Patriots by dividing then regathering his Army leading Gen. Cornwallis on a chase that eventually ended with the siege of Yorktown.
Thanks to Andrlik's passion for colonial newspapers and history, students of the American Revolution, historians, teachers, re-enactors, printers and anyone with an interest in our country's beginning, will enjoy and appreciate this thoughtful, engaging, well-organized and illustrated journey through our independence as reported through the news. It puts a fine point on the distribution of information and news placing newspapers at the top which is even more poignant in this day and age when the demise of print publications appears on the horizon.

posted by irishgirl06HF on November 17, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Disappointed

The content of this book is probably great but it is too difficult to manuever thru the nook book. I don't suggest buying it in nook format.

posted by snoble1980 on December 27, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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