The list author says: "As I now read several new histories covering the War of American Independence each month, and am working through a 'favorites list" at Amazon that approaches 150 titles, I know I would value a list that pointed me toward the best in this genre. Since any such list will be subjective, let me begin by declaring my criteria. I wish to recognize works of Revolutionary War history that combine excellent scholarship, lively prose and fresh perspectives. Particularly in this historical period, there are ample opportunities to be the only full length treatment of a particular subject and still fall short of being definitive. I am also interested in excellent, 1st person accounts by participants. Here is what stands out for me thus far."
"That rare work of scholarship that makes the transition from PhD dissertation to popular publication losing nothing in translation. Far from stiff ranked automatons unable to contend with patriot potshots, the British made dramatic tactical adjustments to contend with terrain and irregular warfare in America."
"Casts the Nathan Hale story in an entirely new light. He restores his captor, Robert Rogers of Rogers Rangers fame, to his proper place in the narrative. He also offers evidence for the Revolutionary equivalent of Mrs O'Leary's cow as the origin of the great New York Fire soon after British occupation. The treatment of the Culper Ring is fine scholarship and storytelling combined."
"The author pins a great yarn and comes down decisively on the side of the privateers as contributing at least as much, if not more, to winning American independence than Washington's army. For him, privateering offers a unique lens on the social and economic underpinnings of the American colonies and those who fought for independence for pecuniary as well as patriotic reasons."
"Does a masterful job of teasing out troop movements and casualties from hundreds of veteran pension records, treating participant accounts as artifacts. Will long stand as the definitive account of this confusing but highly significant battle, placing it solidly within the context of the southern campaigns of 1780-1781 and presented in a highly readable and well documented form."
"This is an older work by a superb historian that has stood the test of time. Fischer is as much interested in events as their causes, in contingencies shaped by individual choice and larger social contexts. As for the midnight rider, he becomes a far more intriguing character than the hero of Longfellow's well known poem, both before and well after the Lexington Alarm."
"Fischer deservedly won the Pulitzer Prize for this one. This is a tour de force that takes an event well enshrined in American myth and restores it as outstanding history. Fischer treats the campaign of 1776 with great skill, with comprehensive examination of the content and character of the American, British and Hessian forces."
"Jeremiah Greenman served for virtually the entire length of the conflict, and his last promotion was to regimental adjutant. Greenman's journal is a primary record kept during the conflict (though there are places that appear to have been revised at a later date)."
"Translator and Editor Joseph P. Tustin recovered three of the original journals in post WWII Europe and located a copy of the missing 4th, all of which are presented in this excellent account of the service of Captain Johann Ewald of the Hessian Jaeger Corps."