Cover Image: Revolutionary Roads

Revolutionary Roads

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Reimagining what “might have been” is something we all do with the past, with capital H history and the events of our own lives. In his book, Bob Thompson undertakes what he describes as a “ridiculously ambitious, one-person staff ride of the Revolutionary War.” (A “Staff Ride” is an educational tour for military officers, to learn from battles of the past). His goal is to consider the possible alternative outcomes for the battles of the American war of independence. He argues, “We don’t know this story as well as we should—or how easily the ending could have changed.”

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Road trip! In Revolutionary Roads, Bob Thompson decides to quite literally head to the battlefields. He visits many of the major sites of the American Revolution and listens to the many experts he comes across along the way.

Thompson's style is free and easy. He writes about history in a mostly non-serious way and adds some flair to the drier sections. There is a fair amount of summing up the battles although a few like Saratoga get in-depth analysis. Benedict Arnold just begs to be examined with a microscope. 

If you are a big Revolution buff, you will not find too much you don't already know. This is more of a "cheat sheet" to the war but you will still find some nuggets which are ignored in most books. Thompson's chapter on Black soldiers in the war is a particular standout.

For someone whose experience with the American Revolution is entirely confined to grade school, this is the perfect book for you. Thompson makes the war come alive and targets an audience who vaguely remembers the facts but is willing to give this time period another look. Thompson brings these revolutionary characters back to life for a casual audience.

(This book was provide as an advance copy by Netgalley and Twelve Books.)
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“Revolutionary Roads: Searching for the War That Made America Independent...and All the Places It Could Have Gone Terribly Wrong,” by Bob Thompson, NetGalley Shelf, 12 Books Publishing, ISBN 9781455565153, Publication Date: 7 February 2023, earns the strongest five stars.

A genuinely exceptional book that is phenomenally supported by exhaustive research…yet there isn’t an easier or more fun read out there! History comes alive, is absolutely human, and still informs and entertains. Prepare to be enthralls! Each chapter makes the reader hungry for the next. I know…you don’t like history, but you will with this “can’t put it down” book!

Sincere thanks to the author, and Kindle Edition (PDF) and 12 Books Publishing, for granting this reviewer the opportunity to read this Advance Reader Copy (ARC), and thanks to NetGalley EPUB for helping to make that possible.
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Bob Thompson's Revolutionary Roads comes as a part of a wonderful trend of "historical travelogues," to sit alongside Nathaniel Philbrick's "Travels With George."  This is an excellent road trip companion as we get closer and closer to our nation's 250th anniversary.  Now, more than ever should we be reminded of the fact that our independence came at a cost and was never fore-ordained.  With Thompson's book in hand, you can revisit places that you think you knew and come away with a much deeper appreciation for the founding of our country.  I cannot recommend enough!
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A wonderful travel/history book.  The author's summaries of the action at the various location are easy to follow.  Admittedlynot an in depth history but the book serves to encourage follow up in areas that would interest the reader.
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this was really well written, it did what I was hoping for from the description. It was a great historical book and I'm glad I was able to go on this journey. It was well written and I enjoyed Bob Thompson's writing style.

"In the spring of 1779, Augustine Prévost was in the twenty-fourth year of his army career. Two decades earlier, a facial wound had left him badly scarred; his men are said to have called him “Old Bullet Head.”
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