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Patriots: The Men Who Started The American Revolution

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With meticulous research and page-turning suspense, Patriots brings to life the American Revolution—the battles, the treacheries, and the dynamic personalities of the men who forged our freedom. George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry—these heroes were men of intellect, passion, and ambition. From the secret meetings of the With meticulous research and page-turning suspense, Patriots brings to life the American Revolution—the battles, the treacheries, and the dynamic personalities of the men who forged our freedom. George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry—these heroes were men of intellect, passion, and ambition. From the secret meetings of the Sons of Liberty to the final victory at Yorktown and the new Congress, Patriots vividly re-creates one of history's great eras.


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With meticulous research and page-turning suspense, Patriots brings to life the American Revolution—the battles, the treacheries, and the dynamic personalities of the men who forged our freedom. George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry—these heroes were men of intellect, passion, and ambition. From the secret meetings of the With meticulous research and page-turning suspense, Patriots brings to life the American Revolution—the battles, the treacheries, and the dynamic personalities of the men who forged our freedom. George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry—these heroes were men of intellect, passion, and ambition. From the secret meetings of the Sons of Liberty to the final victory at Yorktown and the new Congress, Patriots vividly re-creates one of history's great eras.

30 review for Patriots: The Men Who Started The American Revolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I sort of read this books to tatters. I refuse to throw out the tattered copy. I loved this book. I was *obsessed* with this book. This book is the reason I will name my cat Molineaux when I get it. ("Stop, Mr. Molineaux! Stop, Mr. Molineaux! Gentlemen, if Mr. Molineaux leaves us, we are forever undone." I HAVEN'T OPENED THIS BOOK IN THREE YEARS AND I AM PROBABLY CLOSE TO IF NOT ACTUALLY WORD-PERFECT ON THAT QUOTE.) I don't know *why*. I somehow doubt it is actually all that brilliant. And yet! I I sort of read this books to tatters. I refuse to throw out the tattered copy. I loved this book. I was *obsessed* with this book. This book is the reason I will name my cat Molineaux when I get it. ("Stop, Mr. Molineaux! Stop, Mr. Molineaux! Gentlemen, if Mr. Molineaux leaves us, we are forever undone." I HAVEN'T OPENED THIS BOOK IN THREE YEARS AND I AM PROBABLY CLOSE TO IF NOT ACTUALLY WORD-PERFECT ON THAT QUOTE.) I don't know *why*. I somehow doubt it is actually all that brilliant. And yet! I WAS OBSESSED OMG. This book has forever poisoned me against non-narrative history. HISTORY IS EXCITING AND SHOULD BE TOLD IN GRIPPING NARRATIVE. If you can't tell a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat, you are doing it rong. (How much do I love James Otis and Mercy Otis Warren? It is this book's fault! How much do I love Thomas Jefferson the horny twenty-year-old? It is this book's fault! How much do I love Thomas Paine the one-step-ahead-of-debtor's-jail hack? It is this book's fault! THEY ARE ALL SO EPIC I LOFF THEM OMG.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Again, one of my favorite books. I like history and I like military History. This book tells an absorbing story of the Revolution built around short bios of the founders of the United States.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    This is a good overview of the period leading up to the American Revolution, the revolution itself, and the short period after the war ended but not into the early days of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. Langguth, as he does in his next volume on the War of 1812, focuses on a handful of well known and not so well known personalities. Samuel Adams is a central figure and appears to be unjustly underrated as a figure in the period leading up to the war and the Continental Con This is a good overview of the period leading up to the American Revolution, the revolution itself, and the short period after the war ended but not into the early days of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. Langguth, as he does in his next volume on the War of 1812, focuses on a handful of well known and not so well known personalities. Samuel Adams is a central figure and appears to be unjustly underrated as a figure in the period leading up to the war and the Continental Congresses. His more famous cousin, John, is probably better remembered having been our 2nd president. Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Arnold, Hamilton, and many other familiar names are all present. Langguth points out, as others have, that the Founding Fathers were hardly of one mind or one motivation. The book serves as a good reminder of the difference between warfare in the 18th Century and what it would evolve into by mid-19th Century. The military action, such as it is, is a series of small battles, lots of maneuvering of armies, much like a massive game of chess. When Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, it almost comes as a surprise (if we didn't know that already). Unlike Grant and Lee duking it out for month after bloody month or Sherman ravaging Georgia, Cornwallis finds himself surrounded on land and cut off by water and simply surrenders. For someone wanting a good solid overview of the period and a glimpse of some very interesting and surprising characters, this is a good place to go.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is my favorite book on American History and one of my favorite books ever written. I picked this up at my mom's house when I was bored one day and started skimming through the first few pages. I figured I might learn a few interesting facts. Instead, I was captivated. This book reads like a novel and it left me feeling like I knew some of our founding fathers personally. It made the events leading up to the Revolutionary War seem so much more real to me. I am not a history buff and never th This is my favorite book on American History and one of my favorite books ever written. I picked this up at my mom's house when I was bored one day and started skimming through the first few pages. I figured I might learn a few interesting facts. Instead, I was captivated. This book reads like a novel and it left me feeling like I knew some of our founding fathers personally. It made the events leading up to the Revolutionary War seem so much more real to me. I am not a history buff and never thought I would be, but this book taught me so much and made me thirsty for more knowledge about the men who shaped the beginning of this country. I loved it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I can't figure out how 1776 and Founding Brothers won all kinds of awards and this book didn't. A.J. Langguth smoothly lays out the American Revolution from the beginning starting with James Otis and the abolition of the Writs of Assistance to George Washington's resignation from the Continental Army. It's a thick book so it takes some commitment but if you're interested in the men who were responsible for the framework of the country that we currently live in, it's pretty hard to put down. It p I can't figure out how 1776 and Founding Brothers won all kinds of awards and this book didn't. A.J. Langguth smoothly lays out the American Revolution from the beginning starting with James Otis and the abolition of the Writs of Assistance to George Washington's resignation from the Continental Army. It's a thick book so it takes some commitment but if you're interested in the men who were responsible for the framework of the country that we currently live in, it's pretty hard to put down. It provides a good base to develop interest in learing about the individual founding fathers and places them in a much more human light than any Civics class I ever had. I loved it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    George

    Ignorance about 'merican history led me to read this, "1776," and "Founding Brothers" within the past couple years, and they're all terrific and narratively stirring philosophical and political (and, in the case of the first two, military) accounts of the lead-up to the revolution, the war itself, the founding fellas, the war's aftermath, the subsequent few decades, and basically the roots of most every debate we still face as a country (along with the proposition, implied in "Brothers," that th Ignorance about 'merican history led me to read this, "1776," and "Founding Brothers" within the past couple years, and they're all terrific and narratively stirring philosophical and political (and, in the case of the first two, military) accounts of the lead-up to the revolution, the war itself, the founding fellas, the war's aftermath, the subsequent few decades, and basically the roots of most every debate we still face as a country (along with the proposition, implied in "Brothers," that the country itself is a debate that can't/shouldn't be resolved, at least on any overarching scale)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Fabulous book if you like the American Revolution or just want to learn more. The structure of the book is its best selling point--a chapter setting the stage and time frame of Colonial New England and what led to the Revolution, followed by a biographical chapter on one of the more important figures at that moment/time frame. Very effective bio-history all in one and a book I'd love to use in a history class. Highly recommended! Fabulous book if you like the American Revolution or just want to learn more. The structure of the book is its best selling point--a chapter setting the stage and time frame of Colonial New England and what led to the Revolution, followed by a biographical chapter on one of the more important figures at that moment/time frame. Very effective bio-history all in one and a book I'd love to use in a history class. Highly recommended!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    This is a well written book that held my interest throughout. Like a good novel, it tells a story that kept me turning to the next pages to find out "what happened." The story, in this case, involves the events that led up to the American Revolution, starting with James Otis's opposition to the writs of assistance in 1761 and ending with George Washington's farewell to his troops in 1783. In between, A. J. Langguth (a professor of journalism, who wrote Our Vietnam) generally does a masterful job This is a well written book that held my interest throughout. Like a good novel, it tells a story that kept me turning to the next pages to find out "what happened." The story, in this case, involves the events that led up to the American Revolution, starting with James Otis's opposition to the writs of assistance in 1761 and ending with George Washington's farewell to his troops in 1783. In between, A. J. Langguth (a professor of journalism, who wrote Our Vietnam) generally does a masterful job of telling us about the dynamic, brave, sometimes vain, and often brilliant leaders (most notably, Samuel and John Adams, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Joseph Warren, and Benjamin Franklin), who rebelled against the mother country. And there are also the not so great, who made terrible mistakes on the battlefield (Charles Lee) or switched to the other side (Benedict Arnold). Langguth also does a very good job in describing the key battles of the war, and the strategy of both sides. The details provided are excellent: The Minute Men and their duck-hunting rifles, picking off British troops withdrawing from Concord; John Stark's men hiding behind hay and stones to stop William Howe's flanking manuever at Breed's Hill; Washington's nine-hour crossing of the Delaware River, ending at 3 AM and his defeat of the Hessians at Trenton when the enemy commander did not bother to read a note of warning from a loyalist; Horatio Gates's victory at Saratoga, when British forces led by John Burgoyne were trapped and attacked from three sides; von Steuben ordering the American soldiers to place kitchens and latrines at opposite sides of their camps; Washington begging his troops to stay for six more weeks for ten dollars in hard money in the winter of 1776; sentries at Valley Forge standing barefoot inside their hats in December 1777. This book not only fascinated me by providing such details, but also answered a lot of the questions I had about the war for independence, and what led up to it: What was the Stamp Act? How did groups of farmers and tradesmen defeat the British Empire? What tactics did Washington and his generals employ to defeat tens of thousands of British and Hessian troops? What role did the French play? What exactly did Sam Adams and others do to move us towards independence? How many people were loyalists and what part did they play in the events? This book answered all of these questions, and more. The only real problem I had with the book was that the fighting in the South was not covered adequately, I believe, along with leaders like Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter. The heroes are heroic (especially Washington), and deservedly so, but we also read about their less-than-admirable qualities. There is also the factor of the mistakes made by opponents. The author does not devote much attention to social, economic, racial, and legal trends and effects. That is not his purpose. A good, little book to read on these matters is The American Revolution: A History by Gordon S. Wood. Patriots by A. J. Langguth is an excellent, journalistic account (mainly chronological) of this period in American history. I am recommending it because it brings the leaders and events that founded our country to life, in a clear and interesting way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    A.J. Langguth's Patriots was published in 1989, and I've had it on my bookshelf almost that long (not really, but it's been at least five years). The great thing about history is that it really doesn't change much and a well-written popular history, barring new scholarship, is still going to be interesting 20 or 50 or 100 years after publishing. Patriots is well-written popular history. Which is not say everyone will fall in love with it or that it's the greatest book ever on the subject. For sta A.J. Langguth's Patriots was published in 1989, and I've had it on my bookshelf almost that long (not really, but it's been at least five years). The great thing about history is that it really doesn't change much and a well-written popular history, barring new scholarship, is still going to be interesting 20 or 50 or 100 years after publishing. Patriots is well-written popular history. Which is not say everyone will fall in love with it or that it's the greatest book ever on the subject. For starters not everyone enjoys reading history (I blame teachers for that. I have a theory that there is nothing inherent in anyone's personality that will make them like or dislike history; instead it's the teachers you have the first couple years you have to take history in school. Doesn't matter what age, whether you first take history in fourth grade or seventh grade. If at least one of your first two teachers makes history interesting you stand a chance, but if they both suck you'll never be able to get into it, no chance. Anyway), although this at least is fun history. Really, what American can't at least sorta get into a story about the Revolution? Langguth frankly admits in the acknowledgements that Revolutionary history suffers from a lack of, shall we say, academic agreement on what actually happened. To some degree all the writer of history can do is pick the least unlikely of the available options. We know Washington didn't chop down a cherry tree; what we don't know beyond a shadow of a doubt is what he did do. At least he left a lot of letters. I've read a bit about the Revolution. Founding Brothers was great. One of the things I liked about this was Langguth's decision to cover James Otis and Samuel Adams as heavily as he did. Unfortunately the focus on Massachussetts meant I kept wanting to know more about what was going in the South. I'm sure there's a book out there like that, but the thing is, going in, I had heard the name James Otis once, but knew nothing about him, and all I knew about Samuel Adams was that he was a brewer (it turns he was not, in fact, a brewer. He made malt, but never actually brewed beer; also, he didn't really make much malt, either, and was usually broke). Following them was great; I had no idea how important Samuel Adams actually was to the early movement for independence. It's a really big book, about 600 pages. If that's not daunting it's worth your time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Political fervor is at the highest level it has ever been at during my life. For the longest consecutive time in my life, I have been "glued" to the radio on my way to and from work during the long commute. People losing their homes, banks in trouble, our tax dollars being mixed with cement to repair all of the cracks in our confidence in the economy. Iraq - was it right, was it wrong, is it lost, has it been won? Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan. Conflicts of interest in our politics. A Political fervor is at the highest level it has ever been at during my life. For the longest consecutive time in my life, I have been "glued" to the radio on my way to and from work during the long commute. People losing their homes, banks in trouble, our tax dollars being mixed with cement to repair all of the cracks in our confidence in the economy. Iraq - was it right, was it wrong, is it lost, has it been won? Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan. Conflicts of interest in our politics. An open hand makes a fine backhand as well. At least we live in interesting times! Reading this book, in a sense, is an attempt to dig my hands into the soil I've spent 31 years on in order to feel the roots that have been holding all of this ground up. What did our founding fathers have in mind when they began thumbing their noses at the Tories? Ransacking ships in the harbor, clandestine meetings to write up a new set of rules, discussions about land, rights, liberty and happiness? What were these men like themselves? Was our nation forged by Zeus-like tempers, the wisdom of philosophical fathers, or simply the brave instincts of Prometheans? Thinking of these times, I wonder how true we have stayed to the original spirit of those revolutions. Have our recent leaders lived up to a code established by these men? Have citizens lived up to their responsibilities as members of a democracy? I know that laws and rules and practices must all change with time - it is one of the only certainties. But, I can't help but believe that all of those men gave the best pieces of themselves to what began then and has evolved (or de-evolved) until now. I want to find that. At the atomic level of our flag, what forces stitch, what threads are resistant to all stains? I finished this book late on November 4th, 2008, immediately after the announcement came that Barack Obama would be the 44th President of the United States.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Shor

    Patriots by A.J. Langguth is a non fictional history book on the American Revolution. It describes different events in that time and important people. The book is 640 pages long but a pretty easy read. It describes what each person did and the importance of them in that time in history. It shows the heroism of our founding fathers and the fight for our freedom. It mentions a time of slavery and war. Although it describes many events in history that we may know have already learned about before, Patriots by A.J. Langguth is a non fictional history book on the American Revolution. It describes different events in that time and important people. The book is 640 pages long but a pretty easy read. It describes what each person did and the importance of them in that time in history. It shows the heroism of our founding fathers and the fight for our freedom. It mentions a time of slavery and war. Although it describes many events in history that we may know have already learned about before, it goes into greater detail to show us the good, the bad and the ugly. We see our greatest leaders struggle and we see them conquer great battles. It starts off by introducing John Adams and a couple more people like James Otis who wanted a place on the superior court. The author describes how the countrymen weren't ready just yet to attack the British crown. Then it described the outbreak of riots and more events with important leaders in the American Revolution. This is an interesting read for any high school student looking to learn more about history. It goes into detail what our leaders went through and why the outcome of these events were how they ended up. It mentioned their lives outside of politics and the choices they made. There are many, many days of history this book includes like the massacre, trails and disagreements between people on signing agreements of wanting what was best for their country. I recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about our leaders or become more educated on what happened during the American Revolution. This book shows us victory and independence of our great country.

  12. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

    Excellent narrative history of the American Revolution, starting with the Stamp Act and other policies of the British crown that led the Patriots to rebel. Langguth really makes the stories and names come alive, and you get a better sense of the frustration and anger felt by the colonists, as well as the difficulties they faced. I had always wondered what role Samuel Adams played, or where Paul Revere was going on his midnight ride, or how Benedict Arnold became a traitor (and what became of him Excellent narrative history of the American Revolution, starting with the Stamp Act and other policies of the British crown that led the Patriots to rebel. Langguth really makes the stories and names come alive, and you get a better sense of the frustration and anger felt by the colonists, as well as the difficulties they faced. I had always wondered what role Samuel Adams played, or where Paul Revere was going on his midnight ride, or how Benedict Arnold became a traitor (and what became of him afterward) and those are some of the things explained here. Several of the pivotal battles are also told so well that you can almost feel the roar of the cannons and hear the bullets racing by. The focus of the book is much more on the earlier part of the Revolution and Samuel Adams is almost the main character before shifting toward George Washington about halfway through. The contentions with Loyalist governors, such as Thomas Hutchinson, are explained very well. The latter part of the Revolution, as the war shifted south, is explained in much less detail, almost as if the author was trying to wrap things up, although the account of the Battle of Yorktown was quite thrilling. He doesn't seem to shy away from some of the less heroic facts, either, from John Adam's ego to Washington's blunders. There were even a number of interesting (and sometimes amusing) anecdotes that I don't recall reading in other books (even a couple I don't remember from McCullough's extensive John Adams). Maybe not the best or fullest account of the Revolution, but certainly one of the most readable.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Damon Lively

    Good read overall, captures the important events and interactions. As described, does follow key individuals of the period and gives you a nice basis of who they were, how they became prominent, the role the played, etc. I see this as a great starter book for someone interested in the period and to spark their interest into more detailed accounts on the person, independence, or the Revolutionary War. I feel a more detailed account (and better book) on the Revolutionary War - that I have read to Good read overall, captures the important events and interactions. As described, does follow key individuals of the period and gives you a nice basis of who they were, how they became prominent, the role the played, etc. I see this as a great starter book for someone interested in the period and to spark their interest into more detailed accounts on the person, independence, or the Revolutionary War. I feel a more detailed account (and better book) on the Revolutionary War - that I have read to date - is "Almost a Miracle" which goes into more detail and hits all parts of the war in painstaking detail. But, this does a good job of giving you some depth of key decisions and points in the war. I felt this book also was able to spark my interest in key patriots to say - maybe I will pick up a personal account or biography on one or two of them. So it sets that table nicely. I do feel Langguth had a tendency at times to wander in his writing and there were people or accounts he threw into a chapter or paragraph that "felt" like it came out of left field or did not play into the "read" very well. It's not to say it wasn't valuable information; it just jumped around a bit or felt cut off in sequence and sometimes I had to stop and read something over again to determine how it tied in. Again - this is a nice book for a first approach at the time period and certainly hits the patriotism and importance of events.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    This is NOT the book to read if you want a thorough history of the Revolutionary War. This is for those who know all about the war - but want more insight on the major players in the American Revolution going back to 1761 with James Otis, Jr and his many speeches. Read this if you want to know what happened in Boston prior to 1775. After reading this book - you'll know more about James Otis, Jr., Samuel Adams, Thomas Hutchinson, Francis Bernard, John Hancock, Patrick Henry and many of the other This is NOT the book to read if you want a thorough history of the Revolutionary War. This is for those who know all about the war - but want more insight on the major players in the American Revolution going back to 1761 with James Otis, Jr and his many speeches. Read this if you want to know what happened in Boston prior to 1775. After reading this book - you'll know more about James Otis, Jr., Samuel Adams, Thomas Hutchinson, Francis Bernard, John Hancock, Patrick Henry and many of the other major players such as George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. You'll know about the Sons of Liberty - and those who struggled for liberty prior to the forming of that patriotic group. Imagine loving a movie so much - you wanted more background on the events and characters. That's what this book is. I loved it. I was never bored. Read it. You will not regret it. Be sure to know a little about the Revolutionary War before reading this book. *By the way - - as fantastic as this book is - I did find one tiny mistake. The eleven year old Boston boy shot by a Tory in February 1770 - just prior to the Boston massacre was actually named Christopher Seider. The book lists him as Christopher Snider.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Rutt

    Great book overall, however if I were to have one issue with it it would be the fact that it does not paint a solid picture of how to revolution actually went (ups and downs). Nor did it claim that it was going to be this. It seemed to me as if there were statements made in passing about certain major events (Camden) when in reality he could have at least made it a page while still not taking away from the main focus. Not at all a good introductory work to understand the dynamics of the war, but Great book overall, however if I were to have one issue with it it would be the fact that it does not paint a solid picture of how to revolution actually went (ups and downs). Nor did it claim that it was going to be this. It seemed to me as if there were statements made in passing about certain major events (Camden) when in reality he could have at least made it a page while still not taking away from the main focus. Not at all a good introductory work to understand the dynamics of the war, but a good book to understand some of the mental processes of the patriots. All in all, solid, but I feel like I started with Lexington, and just BAM! ended with Yorktown. For me, it made the war out to be almost easy in a sense which any lover of history beyond a high school history textbook knows it absolutely was not. In the end, it's not like he didn't come through on claims he makes; he never makes them, but he could have done a better job of framing the entire revolution even if it added fifty or so pages.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Debra Jeakins

    First and foremost, PATRIOTS: THE MEN WHO STARTED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BY A.J. LANGGUTH, is not as long as you think, unless 563 pages is considered too long for you! The book profiles the men and those around them who created, nurtured and led the fledgling America to shed off the tyranny of England. As a lover of history I found the book rather fascinating, meeting the people who risked their very freedom and lives to defy the king and create the United States of America. John and Samuel Ad First and foremost, PATRIOTS: THE MEN WHO STARTED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BY A.J. LANGGUTH, is not as long as you think, unless 563 pages is considered too long for you! The book profiles the men and those around them who created, nurtured and led the fledgling America to shed off the tyranny of England. As a lover of history I found the book rather fascinating, meeting the people who risked their very freedom and lives to defy the king and create the United States of America. John and Samuel Adams,Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere,Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and yes Benedict Arnold. We all know the names,in PATRIOTS THE MEN WHO STARTED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION,the reader can meet and read how and why they risked it all to get away from England. We not only meet the men,but we get to live the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride (and capture) . We read about the "shot heard around the world" and much more. Mr Langguth's book takes actual speeches & historical data and brings the whole time to life. It is a great read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Martin

    This book is absorbing and tells the story of the Revolution built around short bios of the founders of the United States. George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry—these heroes were men of intellect, passion, and ambition. From the secret meetings of the Sons of Liberty to the final victory at Yorktown and the new Congress. This is a well written book that held my interest throughout. It tells the story of the events that led up to the American R This book is absorbing and tells the story of the Revolution built around short bios of the founders of the United States. George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry—these heroes were men of intellect, passion, and ambition. From the secret meetings of the Sons of Liberty to the final victory at Yorktown and the new Congress. This is a well written book that held my interest throughout. It tells the story of the events that led up to the American Revolution, starting with James Otis's opposition to the writs of assistance in 1761 and ending with George Washington's farewell to his troops in 1783. Although a large book once you get into it it is hard to put down, easy to read, and leaves you not realizing how much progress you have made on it each night. I highly recommend this book, it is one of my favorites written on my favorite time in United States history.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    A very good portrayal of many of the major players in the American Revolution. I hadn't read much about the period in a while (like since hight school!) so it was a good way to get back to the basics to understand who and what motivated one of the most important moments in history. After spending most of the book developing the many personalities involved, it ends with basically a summary of the major battles of the war. Overall, this is a good place to get the broad strokes before reading in de A very good portrayal of many of the major players in the American Revolution. I hadn't read much about the period in a while (like since hight school!) so it was a good way to get back to the basics to understand who and what motivated one of the most important moments in history. After spending most of the book developing the many personalities involved, it ends with basically a summary of the major battles of the war. Overall, this is a good place to get the broad strokes before reading in depth about the various individual figures, trends, and movements of the Revolution. I plan to read some biographies next: writings and autobiography of Thomas Jefferson; John Adams (McCollough); Alexander Hamilton (Chernow). My wife and I recently watched the HBO series of John Adams and WOW! It's fantastic!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jack Harding

    Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution is a well written tome which clearly gives the reader an understanding of what all went on in colonial America. Characters like Paul Revere, William Dawes, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, etc. come to life very vividly as do battles. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Languth's work, however this was not just a description of the beginnings of the American Revolution; the book goes from 1765 to 1783 yet fails to mention any of the campaigns involving Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution is a well written tome which clearly gives the reader an understanding of what all went on in colonial America. Characters like Paul Revere, William Dawes, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, etc. come to life very vividly as do battles. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Languth's work, however this was not just a description of the beginnings of the American Revolution; the book goes from 1765 to 1783 yet fails to mention any of the campaigns involving Francis Marion in the Carolinas or the battles at Sea. This is a glaring flaw, but I do believe this book to have several redeeming points. I certainly learned a great deal from it and enjoyed it - thus it earns four stars in my book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chase Metcalf

    Good history of the key Figures of the American Revolution focused primarily on the founding fathers. History is more a political history than with some military history intermixed. The book touches on some of the key figures from Britain and France but is primarily focused on the political machinations of the revolutionary leaders from the 1760s till the end of the war. The book focuses mainly on the run up to the war and the first years speeding rapidly through major events in the war and its Good history of the key Figures of the American Revolution focused primarily on the founding fathers. History is more a political history than with some military history intermixed. The book touches on some of the key figures from Britain and France but is primarily focused on the political machinations of the revolutionary leaders from the 1760s till the end of the war. The book focuses mainly on the run up to the war and the first years speeding rapidly through major events in the war and its conclusion. This book is at its best as it recounts the political ebb and flow leading to the final break with Britain and at its most limited I its discussion of the military events and their implications.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shana

    This was really just a top-notch history book. Beginning with the Writs of Assistance arguments in the early 1760s and going all the way through until Washington resigns his commission in 1783, the book really explores the people involved. Their triumphs, tragedies, embarassments, fears, feelings and agendas are on display and it adds entire new layers of understanding to the entire American Revolution. It also reminds you of how precarious the entire situation was. Modern propaganda to the cont This was really just a top-notch history book. Beginning with the Writs of Assistance arguments in the early 1760s and going all the way through until Washington resigns his commission in 1783, the book really explores the people involved. Their triumphs, tragedies, embarassments, fears, feelings and agendas are on display and it adds entire new layers of understanding to the entire American Revolution. It also reminds you of how precarious the entire situation was. Modern propaganda to the contrary, the Revolution was not only not divinely ordained, it almost failed nearly three-quarters of the time. The what-ifs are staggeringly fascinating.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    Patriots is a vivacious narrative history of American Revolution. Beginning with James Otis' denunciation of British tax collection in 1760, it charts the course of colonial unrest through to Washington's resignation from the Continental Army following British defeat. The book introduces a number of the prominent people who did much to forge independence, and charts the principal events of the years with a fair-handed treatment that emphasises the contingency of war. Light on dates, lighter stil Patriots is a vivacious narrative history of American Revolution. Beginning with James Otis' denunciation of British tax collection in 1760, it charts the course of colonial unrest through to Washington's resignation from the Continental Army following British defeat. The book introduces a number of the prominent people who did much to forge independence, and charts the principal events of the years with a fair-handed treatment that emphasises the contingency of war. Light on dates, lighter still on causation and analysis, Langguth skilfully injects primary source material into the story, bringing an immediacy to the text, and excitement and enjoyment to the general reader.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike Roberts

    Still tricky for me to give ratings to non fiction since it's not my usual thing. That said this was another 3.5 for me. On the positive there was so much great history here that a Brit like me didn't know and the author made most of the book a page turner. The book goes from the very early days of discontent in Boston through to the end of the revolutionary war (and doesn't get as far as the constitution). On the flip side the prose at the beginning felt a little clumsy to me and about 2/3 of th Still tricky for me to give ratings to non fiction since it's not my usual thing. That said this was another 3.5 for me. On the positive there was so much great history here that a Brit like me didn't know and the author made most of the book a page turner. The book goes from the very early days of discontent in Boston through to the end of the revolutionary war (and doesn't get as far as the constitution). On the flip side the prose at the beginning felt a little clumsy to me and about 2/3 of the way through it seemed to get bogged down in the war. A good overview of US revolutionary history though, and recommended for people like me who didn't know a lot of it beforehand.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zack Stackurski

    The author's intended audience was "people that knew George Washington crossed the Delaware, but didn't know why. Or knew Benedict Arnold betrayed his country, but didn't know how." so it was exactly what I was looking for. Of course its also a very long, and sometimes dry book (a lot of very important people involved in the revolution and early government were of course squabbling lawyers) so its hard for me to recommend this to just anyone. But if you want a complete picture of the revolution The author's intended audience was "people that knew George Washington crossed the Delaware, but didn't know why. Or knew Benedict Arnold betrayed his country, but didn't know how." so it was exactly what I was looking for. Of course its also a very long, and sometimes dry book (a lot of very important people involved in the revolution and early government were of course squabbling lawyers) so its hard for me to recommend this to just anyone. But if you want a complete picture of the revolution told through the stories of the most famous and influential people involved this is an excellent resource. I certainly feel like I learned a lot from reading it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mark Dubovec

    "Patriots" is a thoroughly researched and compelling non-fiction narrative of the American Revolution, from the earliest resistance to British tax attempts to George Washington's resignation as commander of the Continental Army. Langguth focuses less on the dates and numbers and more on the personalities and characters of the figures who played important roles on both sides in the unfolding drama. He shares insight on famous men such as Washington, Jefferson, and John and Samuel Adams, but he al "Patriots" is a thoroughly researched and compelling non-fiction narrative of the American Revolution, from the earliest resistance to British tax attempts to George Washington's resignation as commander of the Continental Army. Langguth focuses less on the dates and numbers and more on the personalities and characters of the figures who played important roles on both sides in the unfolding drama. He shares insight on famous men such as Washington, Jefferson, and John and Samuel Adams, but he also devotes time to lesser known figures who played their part, including James Otis, Silas Deane, and Thomas Hutchinson. History is brought to life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This is a wonderfully written book on the American Revolution in which the author brings the players to life. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter and was dissapointed when I had finished because I wanted to read more. Adams, Hancock, Jefferson, Washington, Otis and many others are truly heroes who risked everything including their lives to pursue a vision.....a grand experiment that continues to evolve today. While there are lots of good books on the Revolutionary period especially within t This is a wonderfully written book on the American Revolution in which the author brings the players to life. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter and was dissapointed when I had finished because I wanted to read more. Adams, Hancock, Jefferson, Washington, Otis and many others are truly heroes who risked everything including their lives to pursue a vision.....a grand experiment that continues to evolve today. While there are lots of good books on the Revolutionary period especially within the last few years, this one belongs with them.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    John Adams by McCullough is one of the best biographies I've ever read but this book is the best account I've seen of America's Founding Fathers. The level of personal detail while not dallying overmuch in a narrow individual vignette is incredible. At one point in my life I was more enthralled with ancient history. perhaps it's that sense of temporal distance which amplified the mystery or sense of the numinous, but this book made this time in history (including the other side of the Atlantic) John Adams by McCullough is one of the best biographies I've ever read but this book is the best account I've seen of America's Founding Fathers. The level of personal detail while not dallying overmuch in a narrow individual vignette is incredible. At one point in my life I was more enthralled with ancient history. perhaps it's that sense of temporal distance which amplified the mystery or sense of the numinous, but this book made this time in history (including the other side of the Atlantic) one of my favorite periods in history.

  28. 4 out of 5

    John Minster

    As the book's title portends, Langguth excels at telling the stories behind each individual man. By the end of the book, despite the diverse cast of characters, I felt I had a great feel for each person and their impact. The relations among the Patriots and the Generals, despite their shared cause, were truly fascinating as well. The book also, of course, serves as an excellent story covering the Revolution. From the first seeds of dissent in the early 1760s, to the signing of the Treaty of Pari As the book's title portends, Langguth excels at telling the stories behind each individual man. By the end of the book, despite the diverse cast of characters, I felt I had a great feel for each person and their impact. The relations among the Patriots and the Generals, despite their shared cause, were truly fascinating as well. The book also, of course, serves as an excellent story covering the Revolution. From the first seeds of dissent in the early 1760s, to the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Langguth covers the important events in an engaging, chronological narrative.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul Belanger

    Very well written. If all history books were written like this I would have enjoyed my history classes in school. After my fourth read through it's still an amazing book. I wanted to refresh my memory on this book before I started his next one, Union 1812. The stories of the trials and tribulations of our country fighting for independence were outright amazing. What it boils down to is perseverance and luck. Lots of luck. Very well written. If all history books were written like this I would have enjoyed my history classes in school. After my fourth read through it's still an amazing book. I wanted to refresh my memory on this book before I started his next one, Union 1812. The stories of the trials and tribulations of our country fighting for independence were outright amazing. What it boils down to is perseverance and luck. Lots of luck.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robert Snow

    This is the way history should be told and taught, Langguth weaves a tale taken from day to day letters and writings of the time. The most memorable part of the book is Washington crossing the Delaware from preparations. to getting in the boat, to the landing on the other side. You feel that you were there with them as they put their very lives on the line for time belief in self determination. If you don't like history... you will after you read this book! This is the way history should be told and taught, Langguth weaves a tale taken from day to day letters and writings of the time. The most memorable part of the book is Washington crossing the Delaware from preparations. to getting in the boat, to the landing on the other side. You feel that you were there with them as they put their very lives on the line for time belief in self determination. If you don't like history... you will after you read this book!

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