Henry Knox Bookshelf

 

Henry Knox was a bookseller prior to joining the Continental Army and was known for recommending books to his fellow officers.  These are recommended new release titles for your consideration selected by members of the SAR History Committee.

 

THE ENEMY HARASSED: Washington’s New Jersey Campaign of 1777

By Jim Stempel ISBN 9781637586150 (Knox Press) 2/28/23 400 pgs., $24

As few books regarding American history have achieved, Jim Stempel’s The Enemy Harassed brings a previously neglected period of the American Revolution to life. During this critical period of the American Revolution, between the “Ten Crucial Days” and the Philadelphia campaign Washington stubbornly refused to be drawn out into the open to go head-to-head with the more powerful Crown troops but rather continuously stung the enemy with skirmishes and minor engagements during a brutal foraging war.

REVOLUTIONARY ROADS Searching for the War That Made America Independent…and All the Places It Could Have Gone Terribly Wrong

By Bob Thompson, ISBN 978-1455565153 (Twelve) 2/7/2023 432 pgs., $32

A fun and surprising re-examination of all those heroes and battles of the Revolution, the author visits the past in person and separates fact from fiction. This book takes readers on a time-traveling adventure through the crucial places American independence was won and might have been lost. You’ll ride shotgun with Bob Thompson as he puts more than 20,000 miles on his car, not to mention his legs; walks history-shaping battlefields from Georgia to Quebec; and hangs out with passionate lovers of revolutionary history whose vivid storytelling and deep knowledge of their subject enrich his own.

AMERICAN INHERITANCE: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795

By Edward J. Larsen, WW Norton, ISBN 978-0393882209 (January 17, 2023), 368 pgs., $32.50

With historians and journalists raising pointed questions about the founding period, we have long needed a history that fully includes Black Americans in the Revolutionary protests, the war, and the debates over slavery and freedom that followed. From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larsen comes this powerful history that reveals how the twin strands of liberty and slavery were joined in the nation’s founding.

THE MINUTEMEN AND THEIR WORLD

By Robert A. Gross (Picador) ISBN 9781250822949 (11/8/2022) 368 pgs,. $19

A remarkably subtle and detailed reconstruction of the lives and community, this book is a compelling interpretation of the American Revolution as a social movement. First published in 1976, it is reissued now in a revised and expanded edition with a new preface and afterword by the author. Winner of the Bancroft Prize.

THE FOUNDERS’ FORTUNES: How Money Shaped the Birth of America

By Willard Sterne Randall, Dutton,  ‏978-1524745929 (February 8, 2022) 336 pgs., $29

“Historians have attributed the American Revolution to ideology, nationalism, and restless ambition, but in this thoughtful book, Willard Sterne Randall reminds readers that the pursuit of economic gain was also a decisive motivating factor. Some merchants, land speculators, penniless lawyers, and debt-ridden office holders glimpsed a better material future through American independence, and some found that their dreams came true under the new national government in the 1790s. The Founders’ Fortunes is a rewarding reconsideration of the birth of the American nation, all the more so in this time of an enhanced awareness of our frayed social fabric and economic inequities.” ~ John Ferling, author of Winning Independence: The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778-1781

POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father

By Nancy Rubin Stuart, Beacon Press, 978-0807011300, (March 15, 2022) 224 pgs., $26.95

A vivid portrait of the women who loved, nurtured, and defended America’s famous scientist and founding father.  “An engrossing look at the human side of Benjamin Franklin . . . Using a post-feminist lens that’s critical of gender essentialism, Stuart rescues these women from obscurity . . . This is a terrific read: poignant, provocative, and probing.”  ~ Library Journal, Starred Review

DARK VOYAGE: An American Privateer’s War on Britain’s African Slave Trade

By Christian McBurney, Westholme 978-1594163821 (July 5, 2022) 384 pgs., $35

At the start of the American War of Independence, Great Britain dominated overseas commerce and was the leading slave-trading nation in the world. In 1776, American privateers—privately owned ships granted commissions by the Continental Congress to attack and disrupt enemy trade—began to prey on British merchantmen.   In Dark Voyage: An American Privateer’s War on Britain’s African Slave Trade, veteran researcher and writer Christian McBurney recreates the harrowing voyage of the Marlborough while placing it in the context of Atlantic World slavery.

REBELS AT SEA: Privateering in the American Revolution

By Eric Jay Dolin, WW Norton 978-163149825 (May 31, 2022) 344 pgs., $32.50 “Yet another maritime masterpiece by one of the top historians of the oceans! Rebels at Sea is a brilliant exposition of a little-understood and underappreciated part of the American Revolution underway. Like his earlier works, it is full of fresh thinking and sharply observed anecdotes that both inform and delight. Eric Jay Dolin’s books deserve a prominent place on every sailor’s bookshelf. ~Admiral James Stavridis, 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, and author of The Sailor’s Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea

FORT TICONDEROGA, THE LAST CAMPAIGNS: The War in the North, 1777–1783

By Mark Edward Lender, Westholme, ISBN 978-1594163838 (April 28, 2022), 256 pgs., $30

During the War for Independence, Fort Ticonderoga’s guns, sited critically between Lakes Champlain and George, dominated north-south communications in upstate New York that were vital to both the British and American war efforts. In the public mind Ticonderoga was the “American Gibraltar” or the “Key to the Continent,” and patriots considered holding the fort essential to the success of the Revolutionary cause.

 

WOMEN IN GEORGE WASHINGTON’S WORLD by Charlene M. Boyer Lewis (Edited by), George W. Boudreau (Edited by), University of Virginia Press ISBN 978-0813947440 (May 26, 2022), 240 pgs., $34.95

George Washington lived in an age of revolutions, during which he faced political upheaval, war, economic change, and social shifts. These revolutions affected American women in profound ways, and the women Washington knew—personally, professionally, and politically—lived lives that reveal these multifaceted transformations. Although Washington often operated in male-dominated arenas, he participated in complex and meaningful relationships with women from across society.

 

AFRICAN FOUNDERS: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals

by David Hackett Fischer, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-1982145095 (May 31, 2022), 800 pgs. $40, also available in audio

In this sweeping, foundational work, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer draws on extensive research to show how enslaved Africans and their descendants enlarged American ideas of freedom in varying ways in different regions of the early United States.

 

FEEDING WASHINGTON’S ARMY: Surviving the Valley Forge Winter of 1778 

By Ricardo Herrera, University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 978-1469667317

(June 14, 2022) 272pgs., $28, also available in audio

In this major new history of the Continental Army’s Grand Forage of 1778, award-winning military historian Ricardo A. Herrera uncovers what daily life was like for soldiers during the darkest and coldest days of the American Revolution, the Valley Forge winter.

 

Books available at your library, or wherever books are sold. Book descriptions are marketing copy.