The Real History of the American Revolution: A New Look at the Past

Alan Axelrod, Author . Sterling $24.95 (371p) ISBN 978-1-4027-4086-2

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. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/29/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 371 pages - 978-1-4027-6816-3
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