American Revolutionaries

Before they were founders, they were fighters.



Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party
and the Making of America

By Benjamin L. Carp


On a December night in 1773, more than 46 tons of tea went into Boston Harbor on the evening of December 16, 1773. Scholar Benjamin Carp dives into the fascinating background to this galvanizing act of resistance, and profiles the men who took part in a historical moment that continues to resonate today.




Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry
and the Call to a New Nation

By Harlow Giles Unger


Henry was the first to call Americans to arms against the British, the first to demand a bill of rights, and the first to question the expansion of the post-Revolution government. Unger's new biography chronicles the exploits of one of America's most interesting—and little-known—founders.




George Washington's America:
A Biography Through His Maps

By Barnet Schecter


From his teens till he died, Washington drew and collected maps. In this brilliantly creative use of historical documents, Schecter uses the maps that Washington employed as a surveyor, a hard-fighting British officer, revolutionary general and statesman as a window into a man, and a world, on the cusp of dramatic change.



First Family: Abigail and John Adams

By Joseph J. Ellis


The closest advisor to America's second president was his wife, Abigail Adams. In this engrossing volume, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers takes readers into the lives of one of the most fascinating political couples in history. Based on their more than 1,200 letters to each other, the book is divided evenly between history and—are you surprised—love story.



Washington: A Life 

By Ron Chernow


Unlike other Washington biographers, National Book Award winner Chernow colors Washington with feeling and life in this nuanced portrait of a man few of his contemporaries could claim to know intimately. Following him from his troubled childhood through a surprisingly bloody martial career and into his celebrated leadership of a young nation, Chernow delivers a humanizing perspective on an almost universally venerated figure.


April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.