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A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution Paperback – March 25, 1997
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From Scientific American
- Publisher : Vintage (March 25, 1997)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 560 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0679776427
- ISBN-13 : 978-0679776420
- Item Weight : 1.12 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 1.19 x 7.98 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #502,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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A Struggle for Power is a thoroughly researched text by a very well respected author and academic. The only real downside to the book is that it is not for the faint of heart at 500+ pages and lacks that narrative quality the makes a history book digestible by the casual reader.
I highly recommend this book is your desire is to study the America Revolution from every angle. If your desire is for American Revolution 101 you may have better luck elsewhere. I really like to get my history via biographies. So 0ther options would be Joseph Ellis or David McCullough who wrote biographies of the leaders of the time as well as 1776. Isaacson also has a very good book on Benjamin Franklin that I can recommend. Also Patriot Pirates by Robert Patton is a good option because it also looks and the Revolution through and economic lens.
Top reviews from other countries
Draper isn't preachy, and lets his sources talk for themselves. In fact, the book is so focused on primary sources that at times it can be a little confusing as a linear history - it helps a lot to have some idea of the subject matter before tackling this. Draper's chapters often track particular ideas as well as phases in the period, so you can find him suddenly harking back to pamphlets published during the Seven Years War during a discussion of political pamphlets in 1774, for example. Ultimately, though, whilst it is sometimes tricky to follow and can be exhausting (hence the 4 stars rather than 5) this method makes the account incredibly convincing and revealing. Draper is excellent at picking the perfect quotation to illustrate a point, and his willingness to quote at length rather than just using cherry-picked phrases to support his own view means we get the subtleties and intricacies of various views, warts and all. I found it particularly shrewd on Ben Franklin, and very revealing on the political journeys of Jefferson and the Adams brothers.
Overall, a really great history which cuts through a lot of myth and really lets the protagonists of the Revolution, and of British and American opposition to it, speak for themselves. I can't imagine many historians being able to marshal such an array of sources so expertly. It isn't the easiest book for the casual reader, but it rewards your effort with page after page of fascinating and often surprising insights.