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Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free [Kindle Edition]

John Ferling
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

No event in American history was more pivotal-or more furiously
contested-than Congress's decision to declare independence in July
1776. Even months after American blood had been shed at Lexington and
Concord, many colonists remained loyal to Britain. John Adams, a leader
of the revolutionary effort, said bringing the fractious colonies
together was like getting "thirteen clocks to strike at once."


Other books have been written about the Declaration, but no author has
traced the political journey from protest to Revolution with the
narrative scope and flair of John Ferling. Independence takes
readers from the cobblestones of Philadelphia into the halls of
Parliament, where many sympathized with the Americans and furious debate
erupted over how to deal with the rebellion. Independence is not only the story of how freedom was won, but how an empire was lost.


At this remarkable moment in history, high-stakes politics was
intertwined with a profound debate about democracy, governance, and
justice. John Ferling, drawing on a lifetime of scholarship, brings this
passionate struggle to life as no other historian could. Independence will be hailed as the finest work yet from the author Michael Beschloss calls "a national resource."



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Noted for his knowledge of the Revolutionary era, Ferling again gives us a narrative hard to surpass in fluency and authority." ---Publishers Weekly

About the Author

John Ferling is a professor emeritus of history at the State University of West Georgia and the author of the award-winning A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic.

Winner of the prestigious Audie Award for his recording of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic by Gordon S. Wood, veteran actor Robert Fass is a four-time Audie Award nominee with over sixty audiobooks to his credit. He has also earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Francisco Goldman's novel Say Her Name.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1312 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; 1 edition (June 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055ARPX0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,958 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh look at the struggle for Independence August 11, 2011
By AnneB
Format:Hardcover
Indepedence is a detailed look into the struggle America went through in its decision to break free from England. John Ferling gives us a look at both sides of the struggle. We read of the fears a lot of colonists had about revolting against England, and we see the views of other colonists who thought it was necessary. We also get to read about what was going on in England at the time, George III's response and the difficult time that his prime minister, Lord North, had in dealing with the colonists. The book takes us from the very beginning of trouble with the talk of taxing the colonies to the signing of the Declaration.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was thorough, well researched, and put together into a compelling story. What I thought really set this book apart was John Ferling takes the time to really describe all of the important people from this time. While reading I felt like I had a picture in my mind of what each person looked like, their personality, and their strengths and weaknesses. He made them all very human. I also learned a lot of new and interesting things. I have never really looked at the revolution from England's point of view before and it was fascinating reading about the problems Parliamant and the King faced. I also enjoyed reading more about Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, and so many other important men from this time. I feel like I have a much better understanding of their individual personalities now.

The only criticism I would give is that sometimes I felt bogged down in too much detail and a few parts were a bit boring. Other than that I would highly recommend this book for a fresh look at an important time in history. If you enjoy books by David McCullough, I think you will enjoy this book as well.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully insightful July 18, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
John Ferling presents material masterfully from his broad knowledge of the Revolutionary Period of U.S. History. He has given new insight into the background political maneuverings of this period from the American and English points of view. One comes away with a much broader understanding of this interesting period of our History and the contributions of great men of that era. I really enjoyed the way he gave brief, yet concise biographical histories of the major players in this time period which added significantly to exactly what their impact was during the American Revolution. He has a marvelous talent in weaving the fabric of historical material, that is both interesting and entertaining, into a clear picture of what was actually going on and of the motivations that led to our independence. I believe him to be one of the premier historians of our age. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying his work and not gaining vastly in their knowledge of U.S.History from his clear and insightful presentations. I highly recommend this book and look forward to more of Mr. Ferling's future work.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Work August 28, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My only regret after having read "Independence" was that I had not purchased the book prior to my trip to historic Philadelphia. the structures where the delegates of the Second Continental Congress met to debate the great question of independence would have been more vivid and more meaningful. Be that as it may, John Ferling will rekindle and enliven your perhaps forgotten particulars regarding the momentous events that led up to and including the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

One of the many things that brought back remembrances for me was the fact that the colonies had been warring with Great Britain well over a year before the famous document came into existence. Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and two unsuccessful invasions of Canada were consummated before signatures were dried. Another revelation was how strong the feelings of reconciliation with the mother country over independency permeated the thinking of many delegates, including Benjamin Franklin following his extended sojourn to France and his hopes of making Pennsylvania a royal colony.

The mini biographies of many of the important delegates are quite enlightening, particularly their
lives and fortunes as they were unveiled following the War of Independence.

"Independence" certainly captures the flavor of the times and provides insightful commentary on the people and events that forever changed the course of history. John Ferling has certainly satisfied this reader in this notable and knowledgeable work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew me away! October 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Everyone has a style of writing that they generally prefer so my experience with this book may not be the experience had by everyone else. However, I really enjoyed the style, pace, and content of this book. I bought it on July 4 because it was a kindle daily deal but I am certainly interested in reading more of the works written by John Ferling. This book is unique and clears up some misconceptions that people may have about Congress and the background of the American Independence. The book is not structured as a story but more as a journey. Here are some key points which may be helpful to you when deciding whether to buy this book.

Dr. Ferling starts with the premise that the study of history is best looked at when we return to the time itself. History has a way of appearing to be pre-scripted. However, lots of things could happen and change its course. To understand the revolution it is not enough to know that it is a pivotal moment in American History, but one must return and try to retrace the crisis that led to the birth of America. Turning back to discuss the drama of the history adds the elements of humanity such as fear, uncertainty, rebellion, and outrage. Dr. Ferling does not tell the history of a bold nation who unanimously forged together to oppose Britain. There were competing views about the future of the country. Lots of men came together with different ideas about direction America should take and it took a while before they were able to come together and break ties with England.

First, he retraces some familiar background by dealing with the issues and grievances that the Americans perceived were being foisted on them by the British. Along the way he does a very clever job. He slowly starts picking up characters and adding their history into the narrative.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good read
Published 1 day ago by Doyle Snyder
4.0 out of 5 stars The creations of a country
Informative
This was a well written book. It covered the causes very well. I liked the research that was applied. It helped to see the colonial point of view. Read more
Published 5 days ago by tom adkins
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Lady
Love love love American history. John Ferling is writing history and we all know up front how it ends so no big surprise at the end, his style is so riveting the I could hardly... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Joan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Struggle Indeed!
An excellent recounting of the events leading to Independence, the pros and cons of declaring, all the people involved....on both sides of the Atlantic. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Patrick
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book for those with some knowledge of and interest in this war.
This book minimally added to my knowledge of the War for Independence. I cannot say that it could replace or substitute for many other books on the topic. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Dr. Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars Great History
Ferling's histories are always worth reading and you will recognize him as one of the "talking heads" on many TV documentaries including the PBS program DUEL about... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Keith Costigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy
Pretty good and provided me with things I didn't know about.
Published 1 month ago by Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why America became independent in easy to understand writing.
This book goes into great detail about the issues affecting America's desire to separate from England and become independent than any book I have ever read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by LesinGeorgia
4.0 out of 5 stars A Struggle Indeed
If I didn't already know the outcome I would've been on the edge of my seat. Who knew that something we Americans take for granted was forgone conclusion was not so forgone after... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrew E Perkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Independence - maybe
A really good read about how the independence movement almost failed. Lots of detail and the author uses a wealth of sources. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gary C
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More About the Author

John Ferling is a leading authority on late 18th and early 19th century American history. He is the author of many books, including Independence, The Ascent of George Washington, Almost a Miracle, Setting the World Ablaze, and A Leap in the Dark. To learn more, please visit his website: www.johnferling.com.


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