American Revolution: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection

5 vols. ABC-CLIO. Sept. 2018. 2400p. ed. by Spencer C. Tucker & others. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781851097395. $546; ebk. ISBN 9781851097449. HIST
Tucker (World War II; American Civil War), Paul G. Pierpaoli Jr. (who with Tucker wrote the majority of entries), and 120 other scholars have produced a definitive resource on military aspects of the colonies' secession. Entries also examine the broader political and diplomatic contexts of the multiple wars in North America and Europe bookending the three phases of the Revolution proper. Especially valuable is consideration of the uprising as an unlawful rebellion, a view from Britain and within the colonies (where, for both Loyalist and Patriot Indians, the outcome was certainly not "liberty"). France's essential role is reflected in the many Frenchmen given individual entries. The index for "Native Americans and the American Revolutionary War" names no individuals, however, and Dragging Canoe is the sole person listed in the Native American article's "see also." Anyone researching Indian involvement must already know the "specific battles, people, and tribes" the index drily recommends checking. Three entries cover black Loyalists, Patriots, and free blacks. No article is titled and no individuals indexed under "African Americans." It's easier to identify women camp followers and soldiers; a general "women" article provides some names (the index still urges, "See also: specific women"). Military maps accompany seven general maps. Copious black-and-white illustrations include satirical prints, paintings, historical depictions, and many portraits.
VERDICT Heavy on biographies and battles but lighter on socioeconomics and ideas, the encyclopedia is an admirable scholarly monument to the military aspects of this influential civil and global conflict.

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