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The American Revolution: A World War
Price: $29.95
An illustrated collection of essays that explores the international dimensions of the American Revolution and its legacies in both America and around the world

The American Revolution: A World War argues for the importance of understanding the American Revolution in a global context. The illustrated companion volume to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibition of the same name, this book posits that it is not possible to fully understand the Revolution if it is seen as a solely American conflict. Instead, American motivations and contributions must be considered alongside those of the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch. Highlighting the often overlooked international nature of the Revolution while grounding it in its origins--the fight for independence from Great Britain--this collection of essays from leading writers on the Revolution touches on such topics as European diplomacy, overseas empires, economic rivalries, supremacy of the seas, and more. Together the book's incisive text, full-color images, and topical sidebars underscore that America's fight for independence is most clearly comprehended as one of the first global struggles for power.
ISBN 10: 1588346331
ISBN 13: 9781588346339
Author Information
David K. Allison and Larrie D. Ferreiro
DAVID K. ALLISON is Senior Scholar at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. LARRIE D. FERREIRO teaches history and engineering at George Mason University in Virginia, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He is the author of Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Review Quotes
The American War for Independence was more than a contest between scrappy colonists and British regulars on the North American continent. It was, as this collection of new essays edited by Smithsonian scholar Allison and historian Ferreiro explains, one theater of one campaign within a grand conflict with and among European powers that stretched over more than a century. This richly illustrated and colorful volume, drawing on the Smithsonian's holdings, is an accompaniment to a yearlong exhibition of the same name at the National Museum of American History, and highlights artwork, documents, and artifacts. The narratives cover such topics as the British Grand Strategy and the war aims of America’s allies among the major powers; the roles of campaigns in India, on the high seas, and at the colonial periphery; and the global legacies of these wars for autonomy and freedom. This welcoming and informative book is a great addition to history collections. Everyone owes it to themselves to experience this view of America's past and place in the larger world.
—Booklist
A fresh look at the Revolutionary War from an international perspective. A fine corrective to the traditional David-vs.-Goliath account of our War of Independence and a thoroughly entertaining read.
—Kirkus Reviews - Starred Review
David K. Allison and Larrie D. Ferreiro’s The American Revolution: A World War is a dazzling collection of first-rate scholarly essays that rethink our nation’s founding. Instead of the parochial ‘shot heard round the world’ folklore spun about Lexington and Concord, we are served up a far more world-beat story about the 1770s. Every American should read this marvelous book.
—Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History, Rice University, and author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America
The American Revolution is a game-changer. For too long, Americans have told the story of their Revolution without global context, save for nods to French aid. The Smithsonian’s insightful volume, appropriately authored by an array of scholars from eight nations, is the perfect antidote to our collective myopia. Now is the time for us to realize that our nation, even at its inception, has never been a world unto itself.
—Ray Raphael, author of A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence
An excellent and beautifully illustrated multiauthored introduction to the neglected global dimensions of the American Revolutionary War that presents the latest scholarship by both international and American historians. It provides a useful and engaging series of accounts for a wide audience of enthusiasts, students, and teachers alike. It is also a timely reminder that European allies played a critical role in the defeat of Britain.
—Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire
It was more than an ‘American’ Revolution. Americans have given their ancestors both too much credit for victory over Britain and too little for the global resonance with which their independence was won. The brilliant essays that David K. Allison and Laurie D. Ferreiro have collected vividly set the Revolution in its context of conflict among the great powers of the time, which extended across oceans and continents. The book exposes realities of which U.S. readers have been insufficiently aware: the revolutionary struggle was a civil conflict at home and a world war abroad.
—Felipe Fernández-Armesto, author of Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States
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