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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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")

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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  • Jr
  • 11-19-18

Outstanding performance!

The best history course available to you. I always had and interest in American History. If I attended this course when in college, my life would have taken a different direction. Wonderful storytelling and delivery of facts. It will always remain on my phone.

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  • Janeen
  • San Jose, CA
  • 11-17-18

loved it!

I thought I knew a lot about the American Revolution. But I learned tons more. Great course. I enjoyed his sardonic delivery as well. I recommend it.

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Simply outstanding

I have read many, many books on the American Revolutionary War. This book informed me of several new and interesting aspects of the conflict. Gave insights to both the colonial/American and British sides of the conflict.

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Excellent

This course exemplifies why I like Great Courses. This professor does a fantastic job of telling the story of the military history of the Revolutionary War. This course basically skips the build-up to the war, and it completely skips any attempt at social history. The professor tells you upfront that his intent is to explain the major battles of the war and focus purely on military history. While the causes of the war are important, as are the social history aspects of the war, this course intentionally selected a narrow focus then nailed it with a great performance. This course is better than some because it has such a clear focus. If you want to know more about the build-up to the war, the Great Courses also offers Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution, which covers the topic.

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Great History Lessons

The lectures we're marvelously told through both the British and the American perspectives on the Revolutionary War. From the beginning of the Revolutionary War to the ending... and just after... the lectures follow the chronological order of events that felt like a story being told.

There were are some details that were skimmed over if you are a student of the Revolutionary War. For example, you will only hear a reference to Nathan Hale. The series seems to focus more on war strategy and the development of the colonies into a nation. Very nice listen.

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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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  • 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.