Reading List: Sons of Liberty

sonsoflibertySONS OF LIBERTY, the three-night, six-hour event, follows a defiant and radical group of young men–Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Dr. Joseph Warren–as they band together in secrecy to change the course of history and make America a nation. [Text and Image: History Channel’s Sons of Liberty Website]

Sons of Liberty priemeres on History Channel on January 25th. Get caught up in the Revolution, and then stop by the library to check out our display of books dedicated to this rabble-rousing lot and other key Revolutionary figures; look for the display just beyond the new book room.


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The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789 by Edward J. Larson
“Historian Edward J. Larson recovers a crucially important–yet almost always overlooked–chapter of George Washington’s life, revealing how Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president.”

As If An Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution by Richard Archer.
“Perhaps nothing did more to foment anti British sentiment than the armed occupation of Boston. This is the author’s narrative of those critical months between October 1, 1768 and the winter of 1770 when Boston was an occupied town. He moves between the governor’s mansion and cobblestoned back alleys as he traces the origins of the colonists’ conflict with Britain.”

Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence by Jack Kelly
“Band of Giants brings to life the founders who fought for our independence in the Revolutionary War. Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin are known to all; men like Morgan, Greene, and Wayne are less familiar. Yet the dreams of the politicians and theorists only became real because fighting men were willing to take on the grim, risky, brutal work of war.”

George Washington’s Surprise Attack: A New Look at the Battle That Decided the Fate of America by Phillip Thomas Tucker
“Like many historical events, the American Revolution is sometimes overlooked, ignored, or minimized by historians due to being shrouded in romantic myth and stubborn stereotypes. Here historian Phillip Thomas Tucker provides an in-depth look at the events of the Battle of Trenton, weeding out fiction and legend and presenting new insights and analysis.”

An Empire On the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America by Nick Bunker
“A British-perspective chronicle of the Boston Tea Party and other events that led up to the American Revolution traces three years of volatile politics, personalities and economics on both sides of the conflict. Drawing on careful study of primary sources from Britain and the United States, this new account of the Boston Tea Party and the origins of the American Revolution shows how a lethal blend of politics, personalities, and economics led to a war that few welcomed but nobody could prevent.”

Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose.
“In 1778, George Washington unleashed an unlikely ring of spies in New York to discover British battle plans.”

American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution by Walter R. Borneman
“American Spring follows a fledgling nation from Paul Revere’s little-known ride of December 1774 and the first shots fired on Lexington Green through the catastrophic Battle of Bunker Hill, culminating with a Virginian named George Washington taking command of colonial forces on July 3, 1775.”

Revolutionaries: A New history of the Invention of America by Jack Rakove
“In this book, the author, a historian shows how the private lives of these men were suddenly transformed into public careers; how Washington became a strategist, Franklin a pioneering cultural diplomat, Madison a sophisticated constitutional thinker, and Hamilton a brilliant policymaker.”

American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People by T.H. Breen
“This is the compelling story of our national political origins that most Americans do not know. It is a story of rumor, charity, vengeance, and restraint. American insurgents, American patriots reminds us that revolutions are violent events. They provoke passion and rage, a willingness to use violence to achieve political ends, a deep sense of betrayal, and a strong religious conviction that God expects an oppressed people to defend their rights.”

Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick
“Recounts the events of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution, tracing the experiences of Patriot leader Dr. Joseph Warren, a newly recruited George Washington, and British General William Howe. Boston, Massachusettts in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from citizens to vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have maneuvered around each other until April 19th, when violence erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to war in the Battle of Bunker Hill.”


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Jack Absolute by C. C. Humphreys
“The year is 1777. As the war for American independence rages across the sea, London is swept off its feet by Jack Absolute, the dashing rogue in Richard Sheridan’s comedy The Rivals. That is, until the real Jack Absolute, former captain of the 16th Light Dragoons, returns after years abroad to discover this slander of his reputation. Before he can even protest, he is embroiled in a duel over an alluring actress of questionable repute, and his only escape is the one he most dreads: to be pressed again into the King’s service this time, as a spy for the British in the Revolutionary War.”
Also in this series: Absolute Honor, The Blooding of Jack Absolute

The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland
“1775, Boston Harbor. The gold is Spanish, the sloop is American, and the captain is dead. James Sparhawk, master and commander in the British Navy, knows trouble when he sees it. The ship he’s boarded is carrying ammunition for ballast and a fortune in foreign gold…into a country on the very knife’s edge of war. Sparhawk’s duty is clear: confiscate the bullion, impound the vessel, and seize the crew. But when one of the ship’s boys turns out to be a lovely girl with a loaded pistol and dead-shot aim, Sparhawk finds himself held hostage aboard a Rebel privateer. Sarah Ward is no Rebel. Before the misfortune in Boston started, she was poised to escape the stigma of her piratical father by wedding Eli Darby, one of Salem’s most successful merchants. Then a Patriot mob destroyed her fortune, and the pragmatic Darby decided to marry her best friend instead. The Charming Sally’s voyage had been intended to restore the Ward wealth, but Darby has played her false again by smuggling a chest of Rebel gold aboard. Now branded a pirate herself, Sarah has no choice but to press on, recklessly tempted by her enigmatic captive, James Sparhawk, and facing a future as passionate as it is dangerous.”
Also in the Renegades of the Revolution series: The Turncoat, Mistress Firebrand

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki
“Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as military commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former love and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.”

The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss
“Once a spy under George Washington, Captain Ethan Saunders’ intelligence career ended on the eve of the Battle of Yorktown, when he was wrongly accused of passing information to the British. Now living a dissolute life in Philadelphia, he’s sure his luck is changing when he’s recruited to find a missing man. Ethan takes the case, only to end up in the middle of a vast conspiracy when he learns that the man he’s looking for is involved in Alexander Hamilton’s plan to create a national bank. Meanwhile, additional troubles come in the form of the Whiskey Rebellion, as hardscrabble settlers protest the tax on the product that forms the basis of their lifestyle.”

The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood
“In 1777, having been kidnapped and taken forcibly from England to the American colonies, fifteen-year-old Creighton becomes part of developments in the political unrest there that may spell defeat for the patriots and change the course of history.”

April Morning by Howard Fast
“When you read this novel about April 19, 1775, you will see the British redcoats marching in a solid column through your town. Your hands will be sweating and you will shake a little as you grip your musket because never have you shot with the aim of killing a man. But you will shoot, and shoot again and again while your shoulder aches from your musket’s kick and the tight, disciplined red column bleeds and wavers and breaks and you begin to shout at the top of your lungs because you are there, at the birth of freedom—you’re a veteran of the Battle of Lexington, and you’ve helped whip the King’s best soldiers…”

Thieftaker by D. B. Jackson **Staff Recommendation**
“Boston, 1765: The British Crown imposes onerous taxes on the thirteen colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. For Ethan Kaille, a conjurer who makes a living tracking down thieves, politics is for others, until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.”
Also in the The Thieftaker Chronicles: Thieve’s Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, Dean Man’s Reach (July 2015)

Graphic Novel

Sons of Liberty by Alexander Lagos
“Teenage runaway slaves with superhuman powers, a Hessian giant, the most evil slave owners imaginable, and Benjamin Franklin: this story of the Revolution blends fact and fantasy in an imaginative reinterpretation of a critical time in American history.”
Also in the series: Vol 2: Death and Taxes

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