- American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence by Pauline Maier
- Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence by Joseph J. Ellis
- Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis
- 1776 by David McCullough
- Common Sense by Thomas Paine
This month's WIR is dedicated to the American Revolution and the circumstances which drove the colonies to declare themselves independent from Great Britain. It all started when I was collecting items for my "4th of July Essentials" post. I got so carried away that I (honestly) imagined an alternate version of myself, alive in 1775, adding to the atmosphere of revolution with my snarky words and rebellious attitude. When I came back to reality I scoured the internet for books that would give me a deeper understanding of the Revolution, what it meant, and the people that created a nation.
1 American Scripture: Making The Declaration of Independence by Pauline Maier
This book covers the Declaration of Independence in great detail by discussing its creation, its influence, and the true origin of its ideas. Thomas Jefferson has famously said that the Declaration was "Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion." In American Scripture, Pauline Maier expands on this sentiment by examining the sources of Jefferson's ideas.
2 Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence by Joseph J. Ellis
I'm a big fan of the way Joseph J. Ellis transforms historical accounts into an entertaining, flowing, narrative. In Revolutionary Summer, Ellis discusses some of the major players of the American Revolution- George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, etc.- and the influence they had on world events.
3 Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis
Another book by Joseph J. Ellis, this was actually the first book that I read. I originally picked this book up because I wanted to read about the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr- but I kept reading because of the insightful way Ellis humanizes the Founding Fathers.
4 1776 by David McCullough
I'm currently reading 1776 and I'm really enjoying the way McCullogh portrays George Washington and his military campaign during the Revolutionary War. Where the other books on this list do a good job of discussing the political/social climate of the colonies that lead to our separation from Great Britain- 1776 describes the military operations that made that separation a reality.
5 Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Common Sense by Thomas Paine was a pamphlet printed during the time of the Revolutionary War. Though it contained little, if any, original thoughts Common Sense encouraged readers to discuss their feelings/grievances publicly- which helped the revolutionary mentality to spread throughout the colonies.
Well that's it for the 4th of July edition of WIR. The next edition probably won't be as patriotic.