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

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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 really caused the breach across the Atlantic and how the revolutionary movement began. The American Revolution brought something unique to the world: an entirely new kind of nation, founded on a set of ideas. In engrossing, conversational prose, Axelrod brings the birth of America to life by digging beneath the classically taught history to explore everything from little-known facts to alternate realities, along with the eyewitness testimony, pop culture, and art of the period. From the seeds of dissent through the long fight to glorious victory, the astonishing story of America’s revolution finally comes fully to light.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Prolific author Axelrod (Patton on Leadership; Elizabeth I, CEO) tackles the American Revolution in this breezy popular history. Despite the subtitle, this "nonacademic" treatment of the revolution is straightforward, if not traditional, and the conclusions are familiar. Axelrod argues that the revolution was not a class struggle and left the American people unambiguously better off. He points out that the colonists weren't actually terribly oppressed, and that Gen. George Washington's triumph was in outlasting the British. The key players are portrayed rather conventionally, from the cautious British commander, Gen. William Howe, to the stoic Washington. The sprightly narrative is lavishly illustrated, and intriguing sidebars, such as "Forgotten Faces," "Reality Check" and "Alternate Take," are interspersed throughout the text. If the narrative is largely traditional, these features introduce some unfamiliar figures and surprising facts. Even with few notes and a scant bibliography, this lively narrative with its informative supplementary material makes for an excellent introduction to the revolution for general readers. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402740862
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Series: Real History Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 348,378
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Axelrod is the author of more than 60 books, including the best-sellers Profiles in Audacity (Sterling, 2007); Patton on Leadership (Prentice Hall Press, 2001); Elizabeth I, CEO (Prentice Hall, 2000); and What Every American Should Know About American History: 200 Events That Shaped the Nation (with Charles Phillips). He has appeared on MSNBC, The Discovery Channel, CNN, Fox, and numerous radio news and talk programs, including NPR. Axelrod and his work have been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, and many newspapers, including USA Today.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent source for material whether teaching or self use!

    I searched the available books for the subject of the American Revolution. I am going to use the material of this book as a resource for a newsletter for the members of our local chapter of a national lineage society. Many members have done their genealogy and have found the service records of their ancestor(s). The records name battles that the patriots fought in but no information about the battles are included in the military records. What did my ancestor do? This question is the one most often asked by members. The Real History of the American Revolution covers each battle and gives illustrations of the actions taken by the army's at each battle. Most of the information is concise and enlightening in this book. A very helpful tool in this book is the timeline of the Revolutionary War on page 354.
    Prior to belonging to a lineage society you could not get me to read a book like this. I really want to know what my ancestors did in their part of our country's history. My best recommendation for this book is that I could not put it down!

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Balanced account

    One thing that stood out most to me from this book was the fact that it really stands in the middle and objectively describes the American Revolution. For someone who doesn't know a whole lot on the subject, this book will be very good for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    has some inaccuracies

    I was a tad disappointed with the inaccuracies that I found in the book. For example, the author had the wrong Jonas Parker being killed at Lexington, and he had the leaders of the New Jersey Mutiny being hanged- 3 were shot by the other leaders.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is an excellent, well written book. It is separated into several different sections which gives you the option of reading it straight through or focusing on certain points. It is an easy book to read and provides many interesting side notes. I usually don't take to nonfiction but i simply couldn't pass this book up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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