Revolutionary Summer – Independence Kickoff


288 pages
© 2014 Joseph J. Ellis

Earlier in the week I read Joseph Ellis’ Revolutionary Summer to kick off my yearly tribute to American Independence.   Ellis should be familiar to readers here, as I enjoy his narrative histories of the revolutionary and early republican period of America enormously. Revolutionary Summer follows two interlapped threads of the revolution, political and military, as they flowed together.   That summer was the summer in which a tax rebellion sharpened into a bid for complete independence, and it started before the Declaration of Independence. In May, for instance, the colonies began working on their own constitutions,  superseding the earlier ones granted through the king’s authority.   British commitment to reversing the rebellion – two diplomat-generals  and a task force of 50,000 men, carried on the largest fleet ever seen off the waters of North America – also made it clear that a threshold had been passed: both sides were committed, root, hog, or die.

I’m using Ellis’ book to kick off my annual tribute to American independence, or rather the early Republic since I tend to read little about the war itself. I am no less fatigued with politics than I was last year, however, largely because the political atmosphere here is  still charged and turbulent, and so will be cutting the politics with literature and one travel memoir.   Expect a biography of a forgotten founder, at least one book on the Constitution, and a bit of literature. I’ll most likely use my Classics Club list to provide the spot of American lit.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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7 Responses to Revolutionary Summer – Independence Kickoff

  1. Mudpuddle says:

    sounds great… and interesting… another one: “needs must when the devil drives…”

  2. Tim Davis says:

    What a great thematic game plan. I look forward to more of your postings. Have you read the John Adams biography by McCullough? Great book.

  3. Stephen says:

    The annual independence day salute is my oldest tradition, I think. I read 1776 back in 2008, I believe, and it was my introduction to David McCullough. I prefer his “John Adams”, however.

  4. CyberKitten says:

    ..and even I have some Independence Day reading coming up – although it'll be in about 4-6 weeks [grin]

  5. Stephen says:

    That should be fun! I wanted to read “Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America”, but it's not ready at the library yet.

  6. CyberKitten says:

    I still find it funny when I said to one of the guys @ work that England has been to war with almost every country on Earth. Not America, he said! Twice, I replied!

  7. Stephen says:

    Few Americans realize that the US has invaded Canada — and been defeated — at least three times!

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