T.H. Breen is William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern. His most recent book is American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People.
 (July 2013)

IN THE REVIEW

Our Insurgency: From Concord to Bunker Hill

‘Bunkers Hill or America’s Head Dress’; an English satirical engraving on the narrow British victory at the Battle of Bunker Hill, 1776

Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution

by Nathaniel Philbrick
A recent publication by the United States Army provides surprising insight into the origins of the American Revolution. Field Service Manual 3-24, released in 2006 and apparently the brainchild of General David Petraeus, explains how in the future the military might devise more effective counterinsurgency strategies. Successful counterinsurgency operations, of …

The Vigilantes of Vermont

Ethan Allen capturing Fort Ticonderoga, May 1775; nineteenth-century engraving

Ethan Allen: His Life and Times

by Willard Sterne Randall
Like many ambitious people, Ethan Allen felt certain that his life contained the stuff of legend. A prolific writer and shameless self-promoter, Allen made much of his rise from a restless youth to revolutionary leader. Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1738, he joined thousands of hard-working New Englanders in moving …

New World Symphony

The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction

by Bernard Bailyn

Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution

by Bernard Bailyn, with the assistance of Barbara DeWolfe
By the middle of the eighteenth century the British appeared to be losing control of the American colonies. Too many people were multiplying too rapidly; they were dispersed over territory too vast for its British administrators to comprehend. During the years before independence the men who ran the empire tried …

Right Man, Wrong Place

The Complete Works of Captain John Smith (1580–1631)

edited by Philip L. Barbour
The conquest of North America brought fame to Elizabethans who otherwise would surely have died in obscurity. Because they took a chance on colonization, modern schoolchildren now memorize their names. This motley group included gentlemen down on their luck, courtiers hoping to catch the monarch’s eye, mercenaries eager for booty, …

Founding Sons

A People's Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years' War

by Fred Anderson

To Starve the Army at Pleasure: Continental Army Administration and American Political Culture, 1775–1783

by E. Wayne Carp
War has not been well served by American historians. We suffer no lack of biographies of military heroes or accounts of decisive battles, but historians have failed to connect this work—much of it technically impressive—to the larger issues that have traditionally concerned social, cultural, and intellectual historians. The deficiency is …