Independence Day 2022
Our newest books on America, early American history, and the American Revolution.
June 28, 2022
Check out our newest books on America, early American history, and the American Revolution!
Looking for more books on Independence Day? Take a look at last year’s list for older books.
The 1619 Project
A New Origin Story
Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, Jake Silverstein
The animating idea of The 1619 Project is that our national narrative is more accurately told if we begin not on July 4, 1776, but in late August of 1619, when a ship arrived in Jamestown bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival inaugurated a barbaric and unprecedented system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country’s very origin.
How the Hancock, Adams, and Quincy Families Fanned the Flames of Revolution
Before they were central figures in American history, John Hancock, John Adams, Josiah Quincy Junior, Abigail Smith Adams, and Dorothy Quincy Hancock had forged intimate connections during their childhood in Braintree, Massachusetts. Raised as loyal British subjects who quickly saw the need to rebel, their collaborations against the Crown and Parliament were formed years before the revolution and became stronger during the period of rising taxes and increasing British troop presence in Boston. Together, the families witnessed the horrors of the Boston Massacre, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and Bunker Hill; the trials and tribulations of the Siege of Boston; meetings of the Continental Congress; transatlantic missions for peace and their abysmal failures; and the final steps that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. American Rebels explores how the desire for independence cut across class lines, binding people together as well as dividing them-rebels versus loyalists-as they pursued commonly-held goals of opportunity, liberty, and stability.
A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850
In this beautifully written history of America’s formative period, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian upends the traditional story of a young nation confidently marching to its continent-spanning destiny and illuminates the continuities between our own social and political divisions.
An Unexpected U.S. History in Thirteen Bestselling Books
What does it take to be a good American? And who gets to decide? Journalist Jess McHugh examines thirteen seemingly innocuous, mega-bestselling reference books, guidebooks, and self-help books that have become blueprints for core American values and shaped our national story.
The Bald Eagle
The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird
Jack E. Davis
Featuring stories of Founding Fathers, rapacious hunters, heroic bird rescuers and the lives of bald eagles themselves, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Gulf presents a sweeping cultural and natural history of the bald eagle in America, demonstrating how this bird’s wondrous journey may provide inspiration today.
A Beginner’s Guide to America
For the Immigrant and the Curious
This tenderly perceptive and surprisingly humorous account invites us to see ourselves as we appear to others, making it possible for us to rediscover our many American gifts through the perspective of the outsider. In shattering myths and embracing painful contradictions that are unique to this place, A Beginner’s Guide to America is Hakakian’s candid love letter to America.
The Founders’ Fortunes
How Money Shaped the Birth of America
Willard Sterne Randall
In this landmark account, historian Willard Sterne Randall investigates the private financial affairs of the Founders, illuminating like never before how and why the Revolution came about. The Founders’ Fortunes uncovers how these leaders waged war, crafted a constitution, and forged a new nation influenced in part by their own financial interests. In an era where these very issues have become daily national questions, the result is a remarkable and insightful new understanding of our nation’s bedrock values.
The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father
David O. Stewart
In this remarkable new portrait, award-winning historian David O. Stewart unveils the political education that made Washington a master politician—and America’s most essential leader. From Virginia’s House of Burgesses, where Washington learned the craft and timing of a practicing politician, to his management of local government as a justice of the Fairfax County Court to his eventual role in the Second Continental Congress and his grueling generalship in the American Revolution, Washington perfected the art of governing and service, earned trust, and built bridges. The lessons in leadership he absorbed along the way would be invaluable during the early years of the republic as he fought to unify the new nation.
Hero of Two Worlds
The Marquis De Lafayette in the Age of Revolution
Few in history can match the revolutionary career of the Marquis de Lafayette. Over fifty incredible years at the heart of the Age of Revolution, he fought courageously on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist.
The Last King of America
The Misunderstood Reign of George III
The last king of America, George III, has been ridiculed as a complete disaster who frittered away the colonies and went mad in his old age. The truth is much more nuanced and fascinating—and will completely change the way readers and historians view his reign and legacy. Most Americans dismiss George III as a buffoon—a heartless and terrible monarch with few, if any, redeeming qualities. The best-known modern interpretation of him is Jonathan Groff’s preening, spitting, and pompous take in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway masterpiece. But this deeply unflattering characterization is rooted in the prejudiced and brilliantly persuasive opinions of eighteenth-century revolutionaries like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, who needed to make the king appear evil in order to achieve their own political aims. After combing through hundreds of thousands of pages of never-before-published correspondence, award-winning historian Andrew Roberts has uncovered the truth: George III was in fact a wise, humane, and even enlightened monarch who was beset by talented enemies, debilitating mental illness, incompetent ministers, and disastrous luck.
Our First Civil War
Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution
What causes people to forsake their country and take arms against it? George Washington in the 1770s stood at the apex of Virginia society. Benjamin Franklin was more successful still, having risen from humble origins to world fame. John Adams revered the law. Yet all three men became rebels against the British Empire that fostered their success. Others in the same circle of family and friends chose differently—and soon heard themselves denounced as traitors for not having betrayed the country where they grew up. Brands reminds us that before America could win its revolution against Britain, the Patriots had to win a bitter civil war against family, neighbors, and friends.
Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant’s Search for Her Family’s Lasting Legacy
Gayle Jessup White
Chronicling her remarkable journey to definitively understand her heritage and reclaim it, a black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings’ family offers a compelling portrait to ensure the nation lives up to the ideals advocated by her legendary ancestor.
Travels With George
In Search of Washington and His Legacy
In the fall of 2018, Nathaniel Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called “the infant woody country” to see for himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, Philbrick follows Washington’s presidential excursions: from Mount Vernon to the new capital in New York; a monthlong tour of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island; a venture onto Long Island and eventually across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries as we see the country through both Washington’s and Philbrick’s eyes.
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser’s Ridge. Having the family together is a dream the Frasers had thought impossible. Yet even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great and local feelings run hot enough to boil Hell’s teakettle. Jamie knows loyalties among his tenants are split and it won’t be long until the war is on his doorstep.
The Women of Chateau Lafayette
A multi-generational saga based on true events is set in an extraordinary castle in the heart of France, where a schoolteacher, a socialite and a noblewoman question their roles and identities in the face of three major wars.