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The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 / Edition 1

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The first book to appear in the illustrious Oxford History of the United States, this critically acclaimed volume—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—offers an unsurpassed history of the Revolutionary War and the birth of the American republic.

Beginning with the French and Indian War and continuing to the election of George Washington as first president, Robert Middlekauff offers a panoramic history of the conflict between England and America, highlighting the drama and anguish of the colonial struggle for independence. Combining the political and the personal, he provides a compelling account of the key events that precipitated the war, from the Stamp Act to the Tea Act, tracing the gradual gathering of American resistance that culminated in the Boston Tea Party and "the shot heard 'round the world." The heart of the book features a vivid description of the eight-year-long war, with gripping accounts of battles and campaigns, ranging from Bunker Hill and Washington's crossing of the Delaware to the brilliant victory at Hannah's Cowpens and the final triumph at Yorktown, paying particular attention to what made men fight in these bloody encounters. The book concludes with an insightful look at the making of the Constitution in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the struggle over ratification. Through it all, Middlekauff gives the reader a vivid sense of how the colonists saw these events and the importance they gave to them. Common soldiers and great generals, Sons of Liberty and African slaves, town committee-men and representatives in congress—all receive their due. And there are particularly insightful portraits of such figures as Sam and John Adams, James Otis, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and many others.

This new edition has been revised and expanded, with fresh coverage of topics such as mob reactions to British measures before the War, military medicine, women's role in the Revolution, American Indians, the different kinds of war fought by the Americans and the British, and the ratification of the Constitution. The book also has a new epilogue and an updated bibliography.

The cause for which the colonists fought, liberty and independence, was glorious indeed. Here is an equally glorious narrative of an event that changed the world, capturing the profound and passionate struggle to found a free nation.

The Oxford History of the United States
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. The Atlantic Monthly has praised it as "the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship," a series that "synthesizes a generation's worth of historical inquiry and knowledge into one literally state-of-the-art book." Conceived under the general editorship of C. Vann Woodward and Richard Hofstadter, and now under the editorship of David M. Kennedy, this renowned series blends social, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military history into coherent and vividly written narrative.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is narrative history at its best, written in a conversational and engaging style.... A major revision and expansion of a popular history of the American Revolutionary period."—Library Journal

"A tour de force. Middlekauff has the admirable ability to capture historical truths in vivid images and memorable phrases.... Middlekauff's empathy enhances this massive book's cumulative power. The cause was glorious; the book is too."—Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World

"The reader in search of a wide-ranging overview of the Revolution would be better off turning to any number of earlier books (from Trevelyan's classic 'American Revolution' to more recent works like 'The Glorious Cause' by Robert Middlekauff)."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times, in a review of 1776

Acclaim for the First Edition:
"One of the best one-volume accounts of the Revolutionary war."—The New York Times

"A striking success. Middlekauff is both elegant and eloquent. Whether he is describing the making of British policy, or sketching the character of Washington or Pitt, or explaining why Daniel Morgan positioned the American troops at Hannah's Cowpens so retreat would be impossible, he does in a few paragraphs or pages what others might struggle through a chapter to get right."—The New Republic

"A first-class narrative history. There is probably no history of the Revolution that better combines a full account of the military course of the war with consideration of all the other forces shaping the era." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Middlekauff's energy and clarity often make us read as eagerly as if we did not know how this struggle will come out."—The New Yorker

"Writing with a grace and clarity that recall Samuel Eliot Morison, Middlekauff gives us classic entry into the critical period of American history." —The Los Angeles Times

"His narrative account goes along at a fast pace. He moves with agility from profound political and philosophical disputes of the period to the scenes of battle and the problems of military strategy. A welcome addition to the history of the Revolution." —The Washington Post Book World

"First-rate narrative history—one can hardly imagine a better one-volume introduction to the period. Graced with plentiful illustrations, gracefully written and long enough (at nearly 700 pages) to afford ample attention to detail, this book is highly recommended to the general reader." —Newsday

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195315882
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/8/2007
  • Series: Oxford History of the United States Series
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 752
  • Sales rank: 127,651
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Middlekauff is Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. The winner of a Bancroft Prize for The Mathers, he was Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University and also served as Director of the Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens.

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Table of Contents

Prologue : the sustaining truths 3
1 The obstructed giant 7
2 The children of the twice-born 30
3 Beginnings : from the top down 53
4 The stamp act crisis 74
5 Response 98
6 Selden's penny 122
7 Chance and Charles Townshend 142
8 Boston takes the lead 159
9 The "bastards of England" 180
10 Drift 214
11 Resolution 227
12 War 256
13 "Half a war" 280
14 Independence 318
15 The war of posts 340
16 The war of maneuver 370
17 The revolution becomes a European war 402
18 The war in the south 440
19 The "fugitive war" 464
20 Inside the campaigns 502
21 Outside the campaigns 544
22 Yorktown and Paris 579
23 The constitutional movement 603
24 The children of the twice-born in the 1780s 622
25 The constitutional convention 642
26 Ratification : an end and a beginning 669
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2000

    The Definitive Book on the American Revolution

    'The Glorious Cause' provides ample history that leads up to the Revolution, just as any book on the subject should. Mr. Middlekauff presents this history in breathtaking detail that is exciting and fresh. Without mincing words, his unbiased writing will give the reader a comprehensive understanding of the attitudes on both sides of the Atlantic; not only in England, but also France and Spain and all the players involved in our independence. Mr. Middlekauff delves brilliantly into the attitudes of the Americans who did not believe in the fight against England and how our founding fathers fought to change those attitudes. This exquisitely researched and superbly written book provides intimate insight regarding George Washington, John Hancock, Samual Adams, Charles Cornwallis, Thomas Gage and a multitude of other players, both famous and not so famous. This is first-rate work that belongs in every school and one that is the torch bearer of how history so should be unbiasly written and presented.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    The Current Definitive Work

    An intriguing and in-depth look at the most critical point in the development of our great republic. A must read for students of the formation of the United States and Revolutionary War buffs alike.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Best book on th American Revolution

    This book is the first in the Oxford History of the United Stees The author begins the studr of the Revolutionary period at the closo of the French and IndiaWar He ends it with the ratification of the US Constitution He also studies British history to gain an understandiing on theories used by colonial leaders to justify their opposition to British rule I thoght this to be a very entertaing and I gained a greater undertsanding of this pivotal period in human history

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2006

    A good way to learn about The Glorious Cause

    The Glorious Cause. I like the title because it explains in detail about the American Revolution. Robert Middlekauff has a way to say what he wants to say and not make it dry and boring. The book is very well detailed and at the same time you can still read it and understand it. I really recommend this book for people who want to learn about The American Revolution you will enjoy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Fact filled slog

    This book is packed with facts but written in an academic format that makes for much less than a page turner. Normally able to blaze through books on similar topics in days this remains three quarters finished due to a grinding effort. In short a great topic written about in a mundane fashion that leaves me looking for an alternate source on the subject.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Dense but Interesting

    This is a rather dense--meaning chock full if information--but well written tome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2005

    Exceptional narrative about exceptional men

    Tremendous book detailing the men and actions that caused the colonies to become the United States. The author details the legislation passed by the British Parliament that ulitmately resulted in Boston exploding into open rebellion. This is a great book that covers all the men you have heard about in American history. Samuel Adams was the spark and the Sons of Liberty was the fuel... together, look out! Clear progression of the time period and also allows the reader to see how unorganized Britain was dealing with America. A lengthy book but worth your time.

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