In 1996, Congress commissioned the National Park Service to compile a list of sites and landmarks connected with the American Revolution that it deemed vital to preserve for future generations. Some of these sites are well known--Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Fort Ticonderoga--and in no danger of being lost; others less so-- Blackstock's Plantation in South Carolina or Bryan's Station in Kentucky--and more vulnerable. But all are central to the story of our nation's fight for independence. From battlefields to encampments, meeting houses to museums, these places offer us a chance to rediscover the remarkable men and women who founded this nation and to recognize the relevance of not just what they did, but where they did it.
The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook takes readers to nearly 150 of these sites, providing an overview of the Revolution through an exploration of the places where American independence was articulated, fought for, and eventually secured. Beginning with the Boston Common, first occupied by British troops in 1768, and closing with Fraunces Tavern in New York, where George Washington bid farewell to his officers on December 4, 1783, Kennedy takes readers on a tour of the most significant places of Revolutionary history. Accompanied by illuminating excerpts and essays from some of the foremost scholars in the field, including David McCullough, Barbara Tuchman, David Hackett Fischer, Eric Foner, and John Ferling, the entries move in a roughly chronological order from the pre-Revolutionary years up through 1787. Taken together, the combination of site, essay, and excerpt provides rich context and overview, giving a sense of the major figures and events as well as the course of the Revolution, and cover topics ranging from the Boston Tea Party to the frontier wars.
The guide is encyclopedic in scope and covers a wide geographical sweep. Accompanied by historical maps, as well as a number of illuminating primary documents including the Declaration of Independence and letters from John Adams and George Washington, it offers a comprehensive picture of how the Revolutionary War unfolded on American soil, and also points readers to the best writing on the subject in the last fifty years. The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook is an essential companion for anyone interested in the story and history of our nation's founding.