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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 Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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")

5 of 5 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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 3 people found this review helpful

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Clear and holds your interest throughout

I’ve listened to many excellent Great Courses but this is by far the best. Prof. Guelzo’s delivery is expressive and clear. Likewise his writing has humor and strikes a balance between facts and interpretation.
The title of the course is somewhat misleading. Although other topics are lightly covered, the course is mainly the military history of the Revolution. I’m not unhappy with the coverage but the course description could be more accurate.

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Great if all you care about is military manovering

So this was not bad, but really not what I was looking for in a lecture on the American Revolution. It needs a different title. Its about 70% descriptions of battles, 25% useless drama between individual people, and maybe 5% of politics, economics, philosophy, and causes of the revolution (The part I was interested it; you know, the important part). If sometime in the near future I have to lead a badly equipped militia into battle, I might be able to use some of the knowledge I gained from this, but otherwise I gained very little from listening to this. If you are into military history and interpersonal drama, then you will probably like this. Otherwise "Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies" is better. Even though there are only a few lectures leading up to the revolution at the end, you will get much more information in those few than this whole series.

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Good coverage.

Good coverage of bothe sides. Enjoyable and engaging presentation. There were some gaps but he hits all the main areas.

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captivated

It was very easy to finish this whole course in just two weeks. I found that I wouldn't want to stop listening until I at least finished the lesson, and then I would want "just one more". I didn't know many of the details of this period and I have learned quite a lot. The narrator made it interesting.

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Hard to hear the end of every single sentence.

It is a very good book and I learned a lot. Although the narrator performs with the expressions, the end of EVERY single sentence gets a big diminuendo and it is so hard to hear. I admit that the English is my second language, but this book was my 13th Audible book and this was the first time I had a hard time understanding exactly what he was saying.

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Great course

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

Great inspirational story about the origination of the American experiment. Very balanced and informative.

What other book might you compare The American Revolution to and why?

I think the best book would be to compare contrast Tom Holland's Rubicon to see how it could have turned out differently

Which scene was your favorite?

Liked the biographical sketches of the founding fathers

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me proud to be an American

Any additional comments?

Very valuable addition to my library

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

I wish I had Professor Guelzo when I attended school. Absolutely loved the narration and the course really tied up loose ends i had regarding the revolution. I have already purchased other courses narrated by him and I recommend this course to anyone fascinated with the American revolution.

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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

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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.