The American Revolution

Narrated by: Allen C. Guelzo
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (723 ratings)

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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
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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")

10 people found this helpful

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Another Great Courses Program

Would you listen to The American Revolution again? Why?

It does a great job listing and recalling characters as it goes. It goes back and forth between battles, strategy and diplomacy. At the end I had a great picture of the entire conflict.

4 people found this helpful

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Time honored kudos

I can’t tell you why I find early American history so fascinating. Maybe it was growing up in the Boston area, so rich in history. The sites and sounds - visiting all the monuments with the imagination of a child.

Mr. Guelzo’s treatment of these lectures is fascinating and fun. In my more than 60 years I find the American Spirit on which our country was founded to be sometimes lacking and yet in other respects- alive and well.

We came up short in many respects and still do although progress continues to be made. Slavery and the treatment of minorities have come a long way but there’s more to do. Justifying the actions we take as “for the greater good” continues to confound us as we chose the lesser of evils to guide us yet its the individual determination of the few that keeps us moving forward.

There is so much to learn from our national history and although we are tempted and do make judgements about the characters choices made - context matters. We weren’t there. We don’t necessarily understand the culture of the times. In hindsight, mistakes were made as well as great decisions to form the basis of what we now enjoy.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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very educational!

If you enjoy the nuts and bolts of the American Revolution like I do, this book is for you. The narrator is animated enough to keep the lecture from droning on, and the information is interesting enough and can stand on its own. Well done folks, well done.

1 person found this helpful

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I only wish I had this professor for my needed history credits years ago!

I really liked this audio version because: 1) the author, who also reads the course, has such a passion for the history of the revolution that I actually looked forward to hearing all about it....even when some parts of it were too detailed to absorb.
2) he also gets into the personality of the generals on both sides to help us better understand who they actually were as people, which helps to better understand why they made the decisions they made.
I will look for any other courses this professor has to offer in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Solid course

A great overview. If you are looking for a place to start learning or refreshing your memory on the revolutionary war this is a great place to start.

The lecturer is really good, enthusiastic. Tells the story really well.

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Wonderful

This is a delightful survey of the American Revolution. Professor Guelzo is compelling and interesting.

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good overview

Nice narrative of the events of the revolution. Some observations included that you dont get in school.

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  • bush
  • 03-16-16

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William
  • 05-27-20

Not what I was expecting

I agree with those who suggested that this ought to have been entitled the American War of Independance. As I have read several good books on the war itself I was hoping for something more about the the background and the politics, the various views and agruments of the people involved in the revolution. The lecturer was undoubtedly very good. It just wasnot what I was looking for. However taking the audiobook for what it is, I must ask what is the problem with providing maps of the various battles? Are the very expennsive to produce? Surely something can be done? So...If you are interested in the war of independence then this may be the very book for you. If you you want more than that then perhaps you should look elsewhere.

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  • C M Pihl
  • 10-03-19

Amazing insight and dedication

Lively and dedicated view of the war and surrounding political environment. Highly recommended by my humble opinion.

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  • Tim Hall
  • 06-10-17

Good

If you could sum up The American Revolution in three words, what would they be?

Easy listening

What did you like best about this story?

Good history, not excessively military - doesn't get bogged down with order of battle listings. Fair and balanced. I listened as a Brit, and never felt that that the presentation was overly biased.

What about Professor Allen C. Guelzo’s performance did you like?

Upbeat presentation makes listening easy. Clearly spoken, with a sense of humour and a light touch.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I wouldn't

Any additional comments?

Recommend