Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Dark Side of the American Revolution

War is hell, and the American Revolution was no exception. Although textbooks laud the orations about liberty and the equality of man, the revolution was as bloody as any other war. The fierce partisanship of Patriots and Loyalists created a volatile situation where each side committed violent acts against the other. Neighbors were caught on each side and ended fighting each other, as in the Civil War. The British were equally brutal in their treatment of the colonists.

This is an eye-opening book if you’re unfamiliar with the darker side of the Revolution. The author does an excellent job of choosing incidents to illustrate how each side mistreated the other. The book is largely stories featuring colonists, slaves, and the British. Each incident illustrates how the opposing sides injured individuals.

The book in addition to being scholarly is easy to read for a general audience. The use of stories involving individuals makes the book feel more personal. The narrative is easy to follow and the well drawn maps allow the reader to follow the action and pinpoint the activity to areas in the US today. I found that helpful.

I highly recommend this book. Even if you’re not a historian, it’s good to discover what the founding of the country was like. This book is a realistic corrective to the rosy picture of pure colonists and violent Brits.


I received this book from Net Galley for this review.