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An Illustrated History of Uniforms from 1775-1783: The American Revolutionary War Hardcover – July 28, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lorenz Books (July 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075481761X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754817611
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.9 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Lubrano on August 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to say I have been waiting for this book for quite some time, having first ordered it back in May & apparently there was a long delay in Amazon actually having it in stock to ship. It finally arrived today & I am quite pleased, not only as an American Revolution buff & reenactor but this is the first book since John Mollo's Uniforms of the American Revolution from 1976 to feature a well-illustrated guide to ALL the forces of the War for Independence. Even the Spanish forces made "the cut"!

There are a number of errors which hopefully will be corrected in a future 2nd edition including the unfortunate transposing of uniform figures with the captions such as a British Legion private & Newfoundland Regiment soldier on page 157(No idea why this unit was included,they never fired a shot in action nor left Canada!), the 1st Continental Light Dragoon captioned as an "officer" is actually a sergeant due to the yellow epaulette on the right shoulder & the slung carbine. There's also a bit of "creative licence" with small-clothes such as substituting black for green for the private & officer of Sherburne's Regiment. Also quite a few uniform captions have dates too early or late for the figure depicted.

While many of the illustrations might not exactly break new ground or show too many uniforms not shown before, the book does get major points for showing the full "rainbow" of Continental Infantry uniforms including early-war Militia,the Continental Army of 1776, the Additional Continental Regiments, red-clad Patriots of Webb's Continentals & the 1st Connecticut, Riflemen & Light Infantry, frontier units, a wide variety of the German hired troops, French forces as well as both early & late-war Continental Marine uniforms & state navies.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Review of AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNIFORMS FROM 1775-1783, THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR, by Digby Smith and Kevin Kiley.

First and foremost: this is a big beautiful book, full of color and useful information. I paid $23 for it through Amazon. It is a great value for the money.

My credentials as a reviewer are twofold: I'm a Ph.D. in American history, with my focus on the Revolution; and, I've been collecting AWI miniatures since 1961, Jack Scruby 30mms that are still serving alongside my Hinchliffes of the 1970's and my Old Glory and Perry 28s from the present. What I am NOT is an expert of uniforms. I depend on published sources for information I need to paint my miniatures as accurately as I reasonably can, but I do not obsess over small details - particularly ones that do not show in 28mm.

I bought Mollo's and Elting's books on AWI uniforms when they were published in the 1970's, and I own all the relevant Ospreys, etc. published since then. I found only a little NEW information in the ENCYCLOPEDIA. Many of the uniforms illustrated are clearly derived from the Mollo or Elting book. Nevertheless, I am glad I bought this new book. The illustrations are large and clear, usually from a different angle, with the soldier in a different pose. It is also useful to have all this information in one volume.

There was a significant exception to the "no new information" statement. If one visits the website of the Company of Military Historians, one can see small and not-very-clear reproductions of SOME of the plates from this organization's great collection of plates illustrating "Military Uniforms in America." Elting's book contains many, but not more than half, or less, of these.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bradford Waters on March 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a massive and impressive work on the uniforms of troops fighting during the American Revolution. Many previous texts included only written descriptions and black and white line drawings of soldiers. This book has masterfully performed color images of many more aspects of the war. While other books have presented examples of Continental and British soldiers, other combatants such as Loyalist, German, French, Native American and Spanish forces were often underrepresented or absolutely ignored. Fortunately, this text includes extensive color illustrations of the uniforms of understudied aspects of this conflict. Irish and Highland troops are nicely represented. There is a fine presentation of the Naval and Marine forces of the participating countries which have often been ignored in other sources. Controversies regarding the uniforms of the American Revolution abound. Some controversies, such as the color of the facings and types of covers of Butler's Rangers, have been attributed to the lack of original uniforms and the limited documentation available following the war. It is therefore difficult for all readers to be content with any one book on uniforms of this important era.
This book is an excellent study of a massive and difficult subject. The illustrations are brilliant works of art.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By gneisenau on June 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book after it became available (and also eagerly await the new release of Uniforms of the 19th Century). I loved this book for the wonderful paintings, and now computer generated images. Even though AmRev War isn't my specialty, I would still stress that this book is a great reference. Yet, it should be used in conjunction with other sources. I wouldn't necessarily take this book and run, with no other back-up. Most collectors of military books would nod and agree... For example, do I really need *another* book on artillery? Yet, I would buy one.
One point I found particularly useful, amongst all the other text, was a comment about the soldiers that 'in reality, they wore what they could get their hands on.' I guess when painting toy soldiers, this is one of those comments that helps because, just like one's own clothes, colours fade and even watching a modern military perform, such as ours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm amazed at the patchwork distribution of uniform types and colours. One can only imagine the uneven distribution some 225 odd years ago.
I did enjoy the background text on the war. I should be ashamed at what I know (or don't know) about the Revolutionary War. I found this reference does serve as some type of grout in the tiles of my knowledge.
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An Illustrated History of Uniforms from 1775-1783: The American Revolutionary War
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