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Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution Hardcover – April 15, 1992

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This volume is less a ready-reference tool than a reinterpretation of the American Revolution, reflecting the massive scholarly efforts of the past 30 years. Gathered under the general rubrics of context and concepts, themes and events, are short, easily digestible essays contributed by noted authorities and covering the widest range of the political, social, economic, military, and religious underpinnings of the Revolution. A section of signed biographical sketches includes most of the major participants, as well as a number of lesser-known figures. Among these last, happily, are a goodly number of women. While this volume will not replace that old favorite, Mark M. Boatner III's Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (McKay, 1974. rev. ed.), for easy reference to the military conflict, there will be no finer or more up-to-date general research tool on the topic for a long time to come.
- David B. Mattern, Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"The coverage in the essays is wide ranging and comprehensive, and the treatment is authoritative... valuable for reference and browsing... highly recommended." Reference Books Bulletin

"Generations of students ... are likely to raid this substantial volume for many decades to come: and they will find the most recent interpretations usefully summarized here." Contemporary Review

".an excellent guide to the complicated history of the American Revolution. The editors are among the most distinguished scholars of early American history. Their joint efforts have now provided a reference publication of great value to scholars, teachers, and students." History

"A comprehensive story of the Revolution. This volume affords a good understanding of what was going on elsewhere in American society while the great white fathers were on center stage." Journal of Southern History

"Summarizes a wealth of scholarship and should be in every major library." English Historical Review


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 856 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (April 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557862443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557862440
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.2 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,997,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This is one of those reference books that are sometimes called "companions" to whatever it is. It is not a ready reference book. There is a chronology and a brief biographical section* (about 100 pp) at the end, along with a set of "concepts" e.g. "liberty", "happiness", "the rule of law" etc 13 in total, striking me as rather random; some of these words might have suggested something to an American colonial or English parliamentarian at the time, some would not.

The bulk of the book are essays, 10 to 20 pp mostly, on various topics, under the headings:


Themes & events to '76

Ditto, after

"External effects of the Revolution"

"Internal" ditto

These essays are all written by different people, all academics, mostly from the USA but some from the UK. Some of informative, but, even using the Index, it's unlikely that you'll find anything usefully specific here.

Not at all a bad book, and perhaps it would be enjoyable reading, but there are plenty of directed monographs on the Am Revolution, and plenty of reference books (though not many good examples of the latter, recently). This book is unlikely to be useful. For all the hundreds of pages, you may not find much on what you're after here. I looked for the Quebec Act, and issues, real or imagined, that related to the new arrangement in Canada (no assembly etc) & the transappalachian hinterlands, and found little or nothing. My sense is that other readers will have the same experience. It shouldn't be called an "encyclopedia".

*This biographical section is perhaps the best part of the book. The entries are concise and informative. Figures such as Joseph Galloway, Isaac Barre and Thomas Hutchinson are all found here; readers in the topic will have run across them but may not find even Hutchinson in other reference works.
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Format: Hardcover
This book should be called "Sociological essays on the era of the Revolutionary War." It is not arranged as an encyclopedia and has relatively little material on the Revolutionary War. You will not find the words "regiment" or "battle" in the index, and a search for date-specific material will be nearly fruitless. Less than a third of the 34-page poorly arranged parallel-stream "timeline" concerns the period 1775-1783. If you want specific material on the Revolutionary War, look elsewhere.
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By REB on February 19, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As advertised!
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