The American Revolution

Documents Decoded

by Neil Gould


When it comes to gaining insights from primary sources, the everyday reader is as capable as the historian.

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Cover image for The American Revolution

August 2018


Pages 291
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics American History/Politics

This engaging overview of the American Revolution enables readers to consider and understand history with greater intimacy and accuracy through more than 100 primary documents.

This book provides American history readers with a handy reference that examines all important aspects of the era of the American Revolution. The author models how an expert scholar interacts with primary sources, thereby providing guidance that shows readers how to pick apart and critically evaluate firsthand the key documents chronicling these major events in American history.

The book is divided into four sections. The first, "The Road to Revolution," deals with events that include both British actions and Colonial reactions. The section's major focus is on the question, "What brings people to the point where they are willing to spill blood for a cause?" Section two is about the war's battles, highlighting military strategy and tactics and the decisive role of leadership in achieving victory. Section three, "A Nation of Amazons," focuses on the military exploits of women who disguised themselves as men, fired cannons, executed enemy soldiers, and served as spies. Section four, titled "The Songs of Liberty," shares works that both inspired and reflected the conflict's main events.


  • Provides carefully selected key documents that help readers understand the American Revolution—and U.S. history in general
  • Makes primary source documents more accessible and comprehensible
  • Includes a concise introduction that summarizes the critical points in the history of the American Revolution
  • Shows how historians deconstruct and interpret documents
  • Supplies useful annotations that guide the reader's analysis
Author Info

Neil Gould teaches in the Department of History, Government, and Economics at Duchess County Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY. For more than 25 years, he has taught his classes based on fundamental documents, covering the subjects of American history, government, the ancient world, Greece and Rome, and modern European history. His publications include Victor Herbert: A Theatrical Life; Princess: The Life of Sara Delano; Basic Documents of American History: In Plain English; and Hitler and Goebbels Go into a Bar: The Secret Humor of the 3rd Reich, winner of the Tona Sheppard Foundation Award through the Institute of International Education.



"This title is recommended for libraries serving high school and lower-level undergraduate clientele."ARBA

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