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A History Of The American Revolution (A Da Capo paperback) Paperback – August 22, 1989

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Clearly the best one-volume history of the Revolution written so far. -- Jack P. Greene, professor of history, John Hopkins University

About the Author

John R. Alden was Professor of History at Duke University for many years. The author of several books, including the South in the Revolution and a biography of Washington, he lives in Florida.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Da Capo paperback
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; New Ed edition (August 22, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306803666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306803666
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Roger Lee on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I didn't know very much about the Revolutionary War before I read this book. After reading it, I feel like I at least have a reasonable understanding of the military, political and social aspects of this conflict. It is important to point out that although Alden does cover the military campaigns in reasonable detail, this is by no means strictly a military history. Alden also spends much time discussing all of the political developments that occurred during the period of 1763-1789, both in America and England. He also spends some time discussing social issues, such as religion and slavery. Alden implies that the reason the United States became such a rich, powerful nation is that, unlike in England, in the U.S. it was possible for someone who is born relatively poor to become rich and powerful provided that they have the talent and they work hard. England, as well as all the other European powers of that time, was hampered by incompetent business, political and military leaders who received their positions because they were born into prominent families. The United States also became powerful due to the excellent political structure that was created by the Constitution. But I digress. Overall, I think that all Americans can be proud of the men who fought for our independence and had the courage to adopt a very inovative form of government (although, of course, there were some bad apples amoung them, such as Benedict Arnold). In sum, although this book is certainly no thriller, I found it to be very readable and full of interesting information.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found the book excellent to begin my research into the Revolution and found it to be fair and balanced for both sides.Having amajor in Us History and needing a book for History: Revolutions, Alden was a treasure to have stumbled upon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Fitzgerald on April 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
John R. Alden delivers a most thoughtful and compelling analysis that differs from many views of the American Revolution. It is not colored by excessive worship of the Founding Fathers, but, instead, is permeated by sympathy for all of those involved in the conflict. Much happened during these event filled years. As a result there is less attention paid to the actual military phase of the Revolution.

This is not a history of the military operations of this conflict but rather is a more balanced history - political, military, social, and constitutional. This is an in depth work, not the stuff of the typical glorification of the American Revolution. As a result Mr. Alden delivers a thoroughly thought provoking and much more pleasing analysis than any other. Superbly written, his analysis on the formation of the Articles of Confederation, which took 5 years, is simply the most direct and finest analysis anywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Battleship on October 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
John Alden's work on the American Revolution was a good overview of the events leading up to the conflict and the military encounters. He gave detailed analysis of the causes of the war, from the costly French and Indian War to the taxation efforts of English government.

The work is very strong on the tactical strategies and military actions of the war. Several important battles are covered in great detail. One of the strengths of the work is that it gives ample coverage to the French intervention and aid in the war. French aid was very important to the American cause and I gained a greater appreciation for their aid in the war. Hessian aid to the British effort was also covered. There was a strong international focus in the book.

There are few innovative insights on domestic happenings during the war. The writing was a bit dry in spots. I don't think this is a great history resource because of those shortcomings. However, this is a good book from the perspective that the military coverage and analysis of foreign involvement is top notch. The book also effectively presents the variety of causes of the American Revolution.
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