Read the Revolution

curated collection of excerpts from exciting, thought-provoking books about the American Revolution

August 13, 2013

Women's Work

Esther Reed, the wife of Pennsylvania governor Joseph Reed, rallied her fellow ladies of Philadelphia in an extraordinary capital campaign to support the troops. Mary Beth Norton shares their story in her book Liberty's Daughters.

Read More
July 30, 2013

Silent Retreat

The Battle of Long Island erupted on August 27, 1776. The Continental forces faced near certain defeat until Washington decided to coordinate a risky retreat of his remaining troops. As Joseph Ellis explains in his book Revolutionary Summer, the success of this maneuver likely saved the fledgling nation.

Read More
July 16, 2013

Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier

Joseph Plumb Martin, a young man raised by his grandparents, left home at age 15 to serve in the Continental Army. He fought alongside important people and witnessed historic battles, chronicling them in his 1830 book, Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier. In this selection, Martin describes his thoughts as he enlists.

Read More
July 2, 2013

Fear on the First 4th of July

Independence Day wasn't always a time of celebration. On July 4, 1776—the day the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress—the prevailing mood was trepidation and fear. In Our Lives, Our Fortunes, and Our Sacred Honor, author Richard Beeman reminds us that the original Independence Day was not viewed so much as a new beginning but as a prelude to full-scale war.

Read More