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The American Revolution Lecture

The American Revolution

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Publisher's Summary

Why did 13 colonies believe they could defeat the most powerful nation on the planet? And how did they eventually manage such an impressive feat? Get the real story on the battle for American independence with Professor Guelzo's 24 gripping lectures.

With a focus on the war's strategy, military tactics, logistics, and most fascinating people, these lectures are a must own for anyone curious about the origins of the greatest nation in modern history. Told from the perspective of both sides in an intense, almost novelistic style that recreates the experience of the war's key battles and decisions, the lectures introduce you to an array of vivid personalities, including George Washington, Lord George Sackville-Germaine, Henry Knox, Sir William Howe, and Thomas Paine.

Professor Guelzo's approach gives the forces at work in the palace and in Parliament equal weight with those in play at the Continental Congress and among George Washington's inner circle. It's a perspective that reveals the very different ways in which the two nations saw both their economic relationship and the philosophical underpinnings of a government's relationship to its citizens. You'll learn what it was like to serve on either side of the conflict, how those sides were trained, and about the terrors of the battlefield.Rich in dramatic moments like this, these lectures offer a fresh appraisal of this seminal event in American history, offering the diverging views of two sides whose common heritage had yielded two very different outlooks.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (245 )
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  •  
    G. Freeman portland, or 08-06-15
    G. Freeman portland, or 08-06-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A good military history of the American Revolution"

    This book focused on the military, rather than philosophical or political, nature of the revolution. It still touched on some of those aspects, and examined a little bit of the personalities involved.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uferdinand 08-02-16
    Uferdinand 08-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Well worth it, quirky prof"

    This is an excellent course for someone that is looking for a good understanding of the key events and people from all sides of the American Revolution. I left with a good understanding of how close things were to turning out differently and the reasons why the Americans were able to triumph (or perhaps why the British failed to capitalize on their opportunities). Although not a detractor, the professor sometimes was overly fixated on the superfluous detail of reciting every regiment number participating in a particular battle. This was less informative and seemed more like a professor showing off. He also pronounces common words in a conspicuously strange manner that can be distracting (for example "ruh-cess instead of "recess")

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    iceph03nix 07-05-16
    iceph03nix 07-05-16 Member Since 2016

    40 minute, 5 day a week commute. Music gets boring after a while...

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    "Lots of less common information"

    I think I enjoyed this mostly because it focused on a lot of the aspects that seem to get glossed over in many accounts of the Revolution. Too many focus on the politicians and the philosophies and ignore the people who actually fought it. It also does a good job of covering the British (and French) side of the fighting and not just the American side.

    The chapters are well broken down to keep topics grouped together as well.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eli 06-12-15
    Eli 06-12-15
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    "What every American should listen to."

    This series of lectures is an excellent over view of the American Revolution and its various counter parts. Professor Allen is a fantastic orator and brings and exhilarating interest and life to his lectures. I have thoroughly enjoined every minute of these lectures and would recommend both this book and audible to anyone.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vi WA, USA 03-14-17
    Vi WA, USA 03-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great Narrative"

    This is the best lecturer I have found in the Great Courses series. He makes battles come alive, and I am not usually interested in military history!It is about the military movements of the Americans and the British, but there is a bit of political and personal history involved to give it some flavor. I found it to have good details, but it is like any freshmen course; it glosses over a great deal, and it ignores much of the sticky issues. But, if you don't know much about the war (other then what you got in high school which in itself was very wrong) this is a good start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrea najarian 03-09-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Missed opportunity"
    What didn’t you like about Professor Allen C. Guelzo’s performance?

    Although I love the topic, the professor's tone and tempo eventually drove me so crazy that I couldn't finish the lectures. He would speed up and then slow down constantly and in ways that didn't necessarily make sense to me. More disturbing and perplexing was his tone, which managed somehow to be consistently condescending! Finally, he included details which were really distracting, such as always listing the many and various numbers of the brigades. Who cares?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Edward Burroughs 03-07-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Great information and great performance!"

    I really like how they lay out the lessons by importance and relevance so as to make their point without getting bogged down in the vast amount of information. The instructor/narrator does a really good job of communicating without droning on. Overall a great lesson.
    I love the Great Courses series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 01-10-17
    Daniel 01-10-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent Lecturer... Entertaining!!!"

    The lecturer did an excellent job in narrating a very interesting subject. I can't wait to re-listen in a few years!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill 09-20-16
    Bill 09-20-16

    A professional with a life-long love of reading.

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    "Narrative American history delivered with flair."
    Any additional comments?

    What a great narrator and what an amazing story; Prof. Guelzo is a treat to listen to. This is NOT dry history. This is narrative history told by an expert with a passion for his subject and an appropriate amount of humor to help keep us engaged. I went off on occasion to find a map to stay abreast of the details: Ticonderoga, Cowpens, Paoli. Prof. Guelzo introduces us to many of the players in this high drama: Washington, Lord Cornwallis, the brothers Howe, Nathaniel Greene, Alexander Hamilton, Guy Carelton, Banastre Tarleton, Daniel Morgan and many others. We hear in many instances about their motivations, about the why as well as the what. All-in-all this is a well-constructed overview of the birth of a remarkable experiment in liberty delivered with flair. If you like history you will enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    J. Luther 08-10-16
    J. Luther 08-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Correct Title: The American Revolutionary WAR"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. This serious is not about the American Revolution as a whole. If you're looking for a discussion of the politics, the personalities, the legal theories, and the life of the common citizen living through the Revolutionary War, then look elsewhere. These lectures focus on the WAR itself. Battles, military tactics, maneuvers, etc. If that's what you're looking for then holy crap! this is the book for you. If you were inspired by the HBO serious John Adams and came looking for info on the founders and the politics, then this isn't the serious for you.

    The speaker is excellent. He gives the information as much excitement as he possibly can and his voice is pleasant and scholarly...but its a losing battle. There's only so much excitement that a person can imbue a lecture about a group of soldiers being dispatched to Harlem Heights...and then being sent elsewhere...and then being sent back...and then being overrun by the British.

    I have learned a LOT about the British (for which I am immensely grateful) of that period, but I'm not experiencing the joy of exploration or legal/political discourse (I'm an attorney) that I was hoping to get. This book is improperly titled.


    Do you think The American Revolution needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Prof. Guelzo is excellent. If I were in college I would seek him out.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • bush
    3/16/16
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    "Best one yet"

    This series of lectures is the best I've heard so far on my Great Courses journey. Excellently presented, clearly set out and has superb narrative. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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