Book Reviews: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell


Author:  Sarah Vowell Title: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States Narrator:  Sarah Vowell, with  John Slattery, Nick Offerman, Fred Armisen, Bobby Cannavale, John Hodgman, Stephanie March, and Alexis Denisof Other Books Read By Same Author: The Partly Cloudy Patriot  The Wordy Shipmates  Publication Info: Simon & Schuster Audio (2015) Summary/Review: This audiobook includes numerous well-known actors performing…

Book Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow


Author: Ron Chernow Title: Alexander Hamilton Narrator: Grover Gardner Publication Info: New York, N.Y. : Penguin Audio, p2004. Summary/Review: A straight-forward biography of General Washington’s right-hand man, Constitutional crusader, and founder of American finance as first secretary of treasury. It does not shy away from Hamilton’s failings such as an ill-tempered tongue and poor decisions, but mostly…

Book Review: The Glorious Cause by Jeff Shaara


Author: Jeff Shaara Title: The Glorious Cause  Narrator: Grover Gardner Publication Info: Books on Tape, 2003 Summary/Review: Turns out that wasn’t the book I intended to read. That’s okay, because this is an entertaining historical novel about the American War for Independence. Or is it a novelistic history? Because it really reads like a history book.  But a…

Book Review: First Family by Joseph Ellis


Author: Joseph J. Ellis Title:  First Family Narrator: Kimberly Farr Publication Info: Random House Audio (2010), Edition: Unabridged Previously Read by Same Author: American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams, and Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Summary/Review: Historian Joseph Ellis explores the relationship of Abigail and John…

Book Review: Bunker Hill : a city, a siege, a revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick


Author:  Nathaniel Philbrick Title: Bunker Hill : a city, a siege, a revolution Publication Info:  Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 30, 2013) Other Books by Same Author: Mayflower Summary/Review: Another brilliant work of Massachusetts and American history by Philbrick.  Like Mayflower, which was about the first three generations of the Plymouth colony through King Phillip’s War, Bunker…

Book Review: As if an Enemy’s Country by Richard Archer


Author: Richard Archer Title: As if an enemy’s country : the British occupation of Boston and the origins of revolution Publication Info: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780195382471 Summary/Review: Sometimes you pick up a book thinking it will be about one thing and discover it’s about something else, and learn a lot in the…

Book Review: Revolutionaries by Jack Rakove


Author: Jack Rakove Title: Revolutionaries Publication Info: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2010. ISBN: 9780618267460 Summary/Review: Subtitled “A New History of the Invention of America,” this historical look at the American Revolution and the framing of the United States Constitution does take a different approach than the typical popular history of the era.  Rakove tries…

Book Review: Rough Crossings by Simon Schama


Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (2006) by Simon Schama (author of the excellent Dead Certainties) tells the story of people who found liberty at the time of American Revolution, but not from the Americans.  Enslaved blacks served in British regiments trading their loyalty to the king for promises of freedom (which…