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VINE VOICEon November 3, 2012
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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on November 1, 2012
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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on November 1, 2012
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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on December 7, 2013
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. Scattered throughout the book were colorful pictures of the events discussed in the papers. A source was listed for each of these. However, critically, no date was listed, and the source information is not enough to easy track down information on the picture. For instance, "Washington Crossing the Delaware" is used (and on the cover, too). Now this is famous, and easily known that it was painted in 1851 as an allegory, and therefore of no use as a primary reference. However, there were many pictures from something called the "North Wind Picture Archives". I tried to track down one of these images to learn when it was made. Search on the title given in the book resulted in no matches at the North Wind Picture Archives. Selecting a random image there doesn't give publication details, either. I don't know if these were made yesterday, a hundred years ago, or at the time when the news was fresh. As such, these pictures are valueless filler.
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on November 16, 2012
As the future of books appears to be in jeopardy with the introduction of hand-held digital readers, this book is a great example why we still need physical books. The experience just wouldn't be the same in a digital format. After sitting with the book for a while this evening and reading various parts, I am looking forward to digging into it beginning to end. Not being overly familiar with this period of our history, this is going to be a very good learning experience and will be a nice book to read on those cold winter nights. If you like this book for its newspaper aspect, check out Sioux War Dispatches, also recently published. It tells the story of the Sioux War of 1876 (when Custer was killed) using the dispatches of newsmen who accompanied the troops, and is equally fascinating.
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on November 27, 2012
When I first heard about this book over the summer, I did a little research on what it was about. It didn't take long to realize that this is a brilliant idea for a Revolutionary War book. The concept of telling the story of the Revolution, which has been done many time, but now through the written words of "their" newspapers was an idea like no others. Yes, I have done research on the local Revolutionary War history that I am involved in and have come across a few interesting newspaper articles but this is way more than a few articles and a few stories, this is the history start to finish (taxes to Washington stepping down). With the help of experts with each part of the war explained and the visuals of the actual newspaper articles, the Revolutionary War history is told with great detail and it keeps your attention throughout. This is must have book for any novice, hobbyist, student, teacher, expert, historian, military enthuses, casual reader, etc. of history.
Brian Mack
Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News
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on November 1, 2012
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. It opens a portal through which we can experience the stirrings of unrest, detect the anxiety news brings, feel the battles raging, and sense the oppression of uncertainty and ideals for which so many sacrificed. 'Reporting' is a unique book that provides an in-depth look at how news was reported and contrasts and compares reports including eye witness accounts, battlefield reports and newspaper items with the actual events. Reporting is a solid piece of research, information and analysis that is at once as approachable and informative as it is enjoyable.
Covering the 1764 - 1784 era, 'Reporting' features excerpts from hundreds of newspapers, including the London Chronicle, Boston News-Letter, Boston Gazette, Massachusetts Spy and Pennsylvania Gazette, and takes the reader from the agitation and rebellion through all-out war to peace and British evacuation. What we know as history started as news and colonial newspapers provided the templates for informing and inciting citizenry, fomenting revolution and fanning the flames of independence or loyalty to the mother country.
'Reporting's packaging is clean and precise yet bright and robust. Thirteen chapters chronologically present America's making from 1764 to 1784 with an epilogue covering 1787, 1789 and 1796, with each digestible chapter dedicated to its topic lead by an essay from one of three dozen historians or experts to help present what is being featured. It is highlighted by illustrations, paintings and prints of events, personalities, battles or `acts' making that section a fascinating experience. Against a landscape of the actual newspaper illustrating the topic, a bold pull quote (close-up of a quote or item) from it helps readers take in the significance, and measure it against the newspaper item so they'll also see how to read an 18th century newspaper. What becomes stunningly clear and is part of the book's tag line, is that many of the events - the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre and The Battle of Bunker Hill for example, were indeed news before they were history. Which sounds simple but as the chapters build upon one another, their layers present the perseverance, strategy, faith and determination throughout an eight-year conflict that was part of the `story' or what General Washington referred to as, `The Glorious Cause' that is independence.
Readers will enjoy (as I did) learning about lesser known battles or actions such as the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 and the Battle of the Rice Boats and meeting personalities such as the self-taught military general, Nathanael Greene and his largely unsung, heroic efforts that turned back the tide of the southern theater for the Patriots by dividing then regathering his Army leading Gen. Cornwallis on a chase that eventually ended with the siege of Yorktown.
Thanks to Andrlik's passion for colonial newspapers and history, students of the American Revolution, historians, teachers, re-enactors, printers and anyone with an interest in our country's beginning, will enjoy and appreciate this 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 print publications appears on the horizon.
What makes this book not only readable and interesting, is that Andrlik has created a website ([...]) with accompanying Lesson Plans and a mini-archive so anyone can use this book as a catalyst for further exploration about our nation.
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on November 6, 2012
This book gets my highest possible recommendation! In Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News author Todd Andrlik, for the very first time, shares his extensive collection of American Revolution newspapers containing printed reports of major events and battles from 1763 through 1783. Over sixty essays from prominent historians contained in the book help us get a better understanding of these events and battles. These essays contain information I have not read in other books and I found them highly educational and very insightful. This book is a wonderful resource for teachers looking to integrate more primary source materials into their curriculum. Reading the newspapers contained in this book really put me back into the time period and enabled me to feel the very same emotions that the original readers must have felt. For me that was an extremely powerful experience. If you are an American Revolutionary War buff this book is a must-read!
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on October 18, 2013
When we see today’s headlines we glance through the stories and move on with our lives letting the information guide our choices and decisions. Often, we do not stop to think about these headlines until years later when we read about something that happened in our past and see a newspaper story we recall reading as a source. Before that event became history, it was news just like the subtitle to this book states. When we look back to the era of the American Revolution and War of American Independence we sometimes forget that the people of that time had newspapers available to them as well. Many of the events we read about in our history books were front page news for the people of that era.

Todd Andrlik has done a wonderful job compiling a series of articles from historians and matching them to newspaper articles of the time. Andrlik’s research into newspapers of the Revolutionary era has given him a great deal of insight as to the state of newspaper publishing of that period as well. The papers displayed in this book are pictures of the surviving originals and represent a small portion of the papers printed in that time. Andrlik’s research has led him to build one of the largest private collections of newspaper from the era. He also used papers from other collections to flesh out the main events of the entire period.

He also includes a guide to newspapers of the period as well as one on how to read these documents. The language is archaic and the papers are not the same as what we see in modern papers. In many cases the news of the past was outright propaganda or full of incorrect information designed to mislead readers. In other cases the information is just wrong. Many papers used the same articles, reprinting them as they arrived in the post. An article printed in Boston could make its way along the coast and end up being reprinted months later in Charlestown, South Carolina. The article would be exactly the same in both places depending on typesetting errors which were common in all papers.

While the papers alone are interesting reading, Andrlik also compiled essays from historians across the country to go with each article. This has resulted in a unique annotated collection of primary sources which make this book a great asset to students learning about the period. Readers can read what a historian has said about events like the Stamp Act and then read an article straight from a newspaper of the period and compare the two. This makes this book a great resource in explaining the value of primary sources to students which is happening in many courses at both high schools and colleges.

This book is also full of visual references as well. Paintings from the period grace the pages. All in all this is an excellent reference book and makes a great addition to any layman’s library on the period. For instructors looking to introduce their students to the study of the Revolution this book is very helpful. The period in question is one where far too much heritage is passed off as factual history. This demeans and lessens the actual acts of the men and women who lived in that period. Their stories are what historians seek to learn about in order to impart them to the people of the present. History is far more exciting than heritage any day.

Andrlik’s book is full of history, not heritage which makes this even more of a wondrous book. Unlike many books of this type, it is full of history built from primary sources as evidenced by the extensive collection of newspapers within the pages. It is first rate book and worth reading.
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on June 1, 2015
Purchased as a Bday gift for my husband who is a Rev War Buff. He had already read "all" the books on the Rev War already - or so he thought. This is a large, thick, hard cover book beautifully printed on quality paper. He is really enjoying reading the war "as it happened" with a variety of news paper articles from back in the day. I would recommend and it was a great value.
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