Synopses & Reviews
Ask most Americans why their forefathers started the Revolution, and theyll likely mention no taxation without representation” or the belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights. But thats just the start of the story, as historian Alan Axelrod so brilliantly shows in this eye-opening book. Axelrod offers a fascinating examination of what really caused the breach across the Atlantic and how the revolutionary movement began. The American Revolution brought something unique to the world: an entirely new kind of nation, founded on a set of ideas. In engrossing, conversational prose, Axelrod brings the birth of America to life by digging beneath the classically taught history to explore everything from little-known facts to alternate realities, along with the eyewitness testimony, pop culture, and art of the period. From the seeds of dissent through the long fight to glorious victory, the astonishing story of Americas revolution finally comes fully to light.
"Prolific author Axelrod (Patton on Leadership; Elizabeth I, CEO) tackles the American Revolution in this breezy popular history. Despite the subtitle, this 'nonacademic' treatment of the revolution is straightforward, if not traditional, and the conclusions are familiar. Axelrod argues that the revolution was not a class struggle and left the American people unambiguously better off. He points out that the colonists weren't actually terribly oppressed, and that Gen. George Washington's triumph was in outlasting the British. The key players are portrayed rather conventionally, from the cautious British commander, Gen. William Howe, to the stoic Washington. The sprightly narrative is lavishly illustrated, and intriguing sidebars, such as 'Forgotten Faces,' 'Reality Check' and 'Alternate Take,' are interspersed throughout the text. If the narrative is largely traditional, these features introduce some unfamiliar figures and surprising facts. Even with few notes and a scant bibliography, this lively narrative with its informative supplementary material makes for an excellent introduction to the revolution for general readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Alan Axelrod is the author of more than 60 books, including the best-sellers Profiles in Audacity (Sterling, 2007); Patton on Leadership (Prentice Hall Press, 2001); Elizabeth I, CEO (Prentice Hall, 2000); and What Every American Should Know About American History: 200 Events That Shaped the Nation (with Charles Phillips). He has appeared on MSNBC, The Discovery Channel, CNN, Fox, and numerous radio news and talk programs, including NPR. Axelrod and his work have been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, Mens Health, Cosmopolitan, and many newspapers, including USA Today.