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Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News Hardcover – November 1, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There are few ways for us to document life during the Revolutionary War. The era was before photography, and written primary sources often focus on battles far after the events occurred. This volume gives a snapshot view of the course of the war and of daily life in general. Andrlik, a noted newspaper archivist, shares an extensive collection of rare newspapers, from 1763 to 1783, as well as 60 essays contributed by Andrlik and 37 historians. An associated website, http://beforehistory.com, features a digital archive and educational material. History buffs and students will find much to enjoy in this attractive and informative book. Recommended for all collections. --Rebecca Vnuk

Review

"{A} distinctive volume on how the American Revolution was presented at the time...the format and presentation provide a useful supplement for those interested in the American Revolution in general or Revolutionary War newspapers in particular. " - Library Journal

"Reporting the Revolutionary War brings an unprecedented look at colonial newspapers detailing the biggest battles, milestones, and major events of the American Revolution. Written by colonists and revolutionaries themselves, these newspapers are a look back in time and tell the story of the battle for independence unlike any version that has been told." - Military Review

"A coffee-table book with serious substance." - Boston 1775

"Thoughtful, engaging, well-organized and illustrated journey through our independence as reported through the news. It puts a fine point on the distribution of information and news placing newspapers at the top which is even more poignant in this day and age when the demise of physical newspapers appears imminent." - Helena Finnegan

"An impressive cache of primary-source documents, normally the province of scholars, presented here in an entertaining, aesthetically pleasing fashion guaranteed to entice general readers." - Kirkus

"Stunning in both its eye-opening content and its eye pleasing presentation. It has the appearance of a beautiful coffee table book with remarkable photos of some of the most historic front pages in United State's history." - Drew's Marketing Minute

"This is 'you are there' history at its best: 70 essays by modern historians based on eyewitness accounts, battlefield letters and newspaper stories from 1763 to 1783. Cumulatively, the collection lets us see and feel how events unfolded for the people who lived them." - American History

""Private correspondence and battlefield letters accompany newspaper clippings documenting America's fight for independence."" - Los Angeles Times (holiday gift guide)

"A unique coffee-table book that compiles reproductions of actual newspaper pages from the era of the American War for Independence, with additional text to provide background and context." - Armchair General Online

"History buffs and students will find much to enjoy in this attractive and informative book. Recommended for all collections." - Booklist
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402269676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402269677
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Todd Andrlik, founder and editor of Journal of the American Revolution (allthingsliberty.com), is curator, author and editor of Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News (Sourcebooks, 2012), named Best American Revolution Book of the Year by the New York American Revolution Round Table. Featuring hundreds of high-definition color newspaper images and analysis from three dozen historians, the one-of-a-kind single volume lets readers experience the Revolution the way the colonists did -- as it unfolded in their very own town newspapers. "This is 'you are there' history at its best," wrote American History magazine in its review. A full-time marketing and media professional, Andrlik has written or ghost-written thousands of published articles on various business topics. His history-related work has been featured by countless media, including NPR, CNN, C-SPAN, Smithsonian, Slate, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, TIME, Mount Vernon, American Revolution Center, Old State House and Fraunces Tavern Museum. Follow Todd on Twitter @RagLinen, and for more information, please visit beforehistory.com.

Among America's leading Revolutionary War newspaper archivists, Andrlik collaborates with individuals and institutions, including the Library of Congress, to help others build private and public collections of these treasured relics. He also takes an active role in their physical conservation. Through a partnership with one of the world's top paper conservators, Andrlik helps save damaged newspapers from loss and restores the artifacts as close as possible to original condition.

His passion for newspaper history stems from a career in media and marketing. Andrlik heads the marketing and media operations for Leopardo Companies, one of the nation's largest construction firms. Andrlik earned a bachelor's degree in public relations from Illinois State University and an MBA from Roosevelt University. He studied international business at Salzburg College, Austria. He lives in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Here's my worry about this book. It is so visually stunning that some may overlook the actual content. Don't let the beautiful, coffee table like photos and newspapers keep you from actually diving into the story of our Revolutionary War -- as told through the pages of the newspapers of the day.

What's staggering is that the author has painstakingly collected and shared hundreds of real newspaper accounts of one of the most incredible times in our country's history. The book includes both Patriot and Loyalist eyewitness accounts from newspapers printed on both sides of the Atlantic and it's a glimpse into the passion, heartbreak and conviction of the time.

Imagine being alive back then and only knowing what was going on by reading the area's paper. No Facebook, no CNN -- just the stories you read in the paper. You'll be drawn in as you turn the first page and as you read the accounts written by the real people who lived and died for the fight they believed in. As you turn the pages, it feels as if you are actually back in the eighteen century, experiencing the turbulence, terror and triumphs that were all part of the war.

You will be mesmerized by this book and the stories it contains.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book with rich visual images that takes a different approach to the history of the American Revolution: how it was reported in the local newspapers as the Revolution was taking place. This really gives a complete "feel" for the mood and perceptions of Americans while the event were unfolding and the outcome was not yet clear. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
I received my copy in the mail today and it is a beautiful book! Images of newspapers from the Revolutionary Era are present on nearly every spread, with excerpts from newspapers all over the Americas and England. For each one, key passages are highlighted to guide the daunting task of trying to figure out which is the most important section to read. Along with each is a quick explanation putting the passage in context. There are also dozens of essays and a plethora of illustrations from the time period that highlight important moments throughout the history. I wish my school textbooks were as full of insight and information as this book is! In full disclosure, I must admit that I was given the task of transcribing many of the newspapers for this project, but in the year I worked on this project, I never realized just how awesome this book would turn out! Kudos to Todd Andrlik for having the vision to organize this wonderful project and the fortitude to see it through to the end! I can't wait to curl up and read.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked the concept of this book, and wanted to like the book. I know a few of the various authors, and have myself spent countless hours looking through archives of original material. The book is expensively produced. However, I found it frustrating.

First, the newspapers are reproduced as if they have yellowed badly with age. Many of the originals I've looked at have hardly yellowed at all, since they were printed on cotton paper. I can't tell if they selected very yellowed newspapers as their source material or if they artificially yellowed them. Since the conceit is that this is to be viewed as news and not just history, the concept would have been better served to clean up the images of the papers, not darken them.

Second, the papers are reproduced at lots of different sizes with strange highlighting and frequent arbitrary cropping. Truthfully, I find what is for sale at the local stores as interesting as the "big" news, but this sort of thing was often cut off. Even the news that was focused on was sometimes interrupted by a text box. Frustrating.

Third, the text was repetitive. There would be a main summary of the events in the news by various authors (these are often quite good). This would have a few callouts repeating a main sentence or two. The next page might have a reproduced newspaper with a box overlaying the source and date of the newspaper and repeating a sentence or two from the summery. The newspaper article itself would often have been used almost verbatim for some of the summary. Sometimes, a length chunk of the article was added as another page. The book could have been shorter or included more newspapers.

Fourth, and my biggest complaint, is that the pictures have insufficient references.
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Format: Hardcover
It is utterly refreshing in 2012 to have a comprehensive narrative about the founding of our country that is at once inclusive, informative and insightful as it is readable and enjoyable. Thanks to the substantial work of Todd Andrlik and his timely book, 'Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News,' readers have exactly that.
As Americans, we cherish our freedoms. Our country has served as a bench mark by which other democracies measure themselves - but do we really know or fully understand what went into making our country or the idea that was democracy? 'Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News,' not only pulls back the curtain on this time period allowing readers to look back through two-and-a-half centuries at our country's founding, it teaches and guides readers about how America came to be, from the aftermath of the French and Indian War to the rise of dissension and protests leading to full blown rebellion and war and ultimately, independence.
Where a sad lack of focus on history and in particular, that of our nation's beginnings fall off, 'Reporting' steps in to not only fill but seam together the myriad chasms of education and comprehension in the years preceding, during and post American Revolution. Presenting an understanding of how our nation was formed and fought for is the driving message of this tome and for that reason alone, `Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News,' should be required reading.
Todd Andrlik, built one of the most significant private collections of Revolution-era newspapers containing the earliest printed reports of major events and battles from 1763-1783. Giving them meaning and sharing them was the idea behind this book.
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