The Revolutionary War is one of the seminal events in world history. America beat the greatest power of the time. As a result, it changed the world forever. This July 4th, here are four books I have not yet read about this unlikely victory.

July 4 fireworks over Washington, D.C., July 4th, 2008.
July 4 fireworks over Washington, D.C., July 4th, 2008.
Photo by Carol M. Highsmith and Wikimedia Commons.

July 4th Revolutionary War Book #1: 1776 by David McCullough

1776 by David McCullough, a book about the Revolutionary War for July 4th.
1776, a July 4th Revolutionary War Book. Photo from Amazon.

In this book, McCullough tells the story of the year that the United States began. It tells the stories of men on both sides of the Revolutionary War. This includes the generals and the soldiers who fought during this important year. The war is usually only told from the American side. This book is different in that it is a full view of the Revolution.

July 4th Revolutionary War Book #2: Nathanael Greene by Gerald M. Carbone

Nathanael Greene:A Biography of the American Revolution by Gerald M. Carbone, a July 4th Revolutionary War Book.
Nathanael Greene by Gerald M. Carbone, a July 4th Revolutionary War Book.
Photo from Amazon.

Nathanael Greene is one of the best generals in American history but isn’t well-known by the general public. He was the commander in the southern theater for the last few years of the war. He was also one of George Washington’s most trusted and reliable generals.

This book is a biography of this important character in the war. This includes how he managed to rise from a lowly private to the rank of major general in only five years. It also explains his tactics for driving the British out of the Southern states. Even though he did not aid in it, he was responsible for the British falling into the trap set at the Battle of Yorktown. As a result, he is very important in how the war played out.

Revolutionary War Book #3: Almost a Miracle by John Ferling

Almost a Miracle by John Ferling, a July 4th Revolutionary War book.
Almost a Miracle by John Ferling, a July 4th Revolutionary War book.
Photo from Amazon.

The war was very close to being a losing fight. In this book, Ferling shows how close America came to losing. It follows the Patriots from the beginning at Lexington to the final victory. He paints complex figures of people who have gone into myth. This includes people such as George Washington. In the book, he explains why much of the American victory was because of intangibles and luck.

Revolutionary War Book #4: Washington’s Immortals by Patrick K. O’Donnell

Washington's Immortals, a July 4th Revolutionary War book by Patrick K. O'Donnell.
Washington’s Immortals, a July 4th Revolutionary War book by Patrick K. O’Donnell.
Photo from Amazon.

One of the lesser known stories of the war is the importance of the elite group known as the “Maryland 400.” Known as the “Immortal 400” in this book, they may have saved the cause from defeat. It is also believed that this is where the nickname of Maryland as the “Old Line State” comes from. Gen. Washington referred to them as his “Old Line.”

O’Donnell takes us through the history of this regiment, from their bravery at Brooklyn to later battles of the war such as Trenton and Cowpens. At Brooklyn, they held off between 10,000-20,000 British soldiers. This allowed for Washington’s main force to live to fight another day.


This war’s result was decided by a mix of dumb luck, the resolve of the Patriots in their cause, and foreign help. Despite this, it was one of the most important events in modern history. From the very beginning, America has been important. As we celebrate our independence this July 4th, we should remember how close we came to losing it.