Your Favorite Author?
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For me, it is "Gordon S. Wood" who in my opinion, seems to have an indepth understanding of the social dynamics and psyche of 18th century society in America, including some of our founding fathers. I am fascinated by his books and feel like I learn many valuable lessons from this insightful historian.
I also enjoy reading books by David Hackett Fisher (love his books Washington's Crossing & Paul Revere); John Ferling; Joseph J. Ellis; David McCullough; and H.W. Brands, in particular.
However, for me I have enjoyed reading John Ferling the most. I have read two books from Ferling - A Leap in the Dark and Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800. Ferling is easy to read, provides keen insight on events/individuals, and his books are well researched. Because I am a Ferling fan, I also plan to begin reading "Almost a Miracle" in the very near future.
While I only read one book by Ron Chernow...WOW, was it great. Chernow is favorite author of mine after reading Alexander Hamilton.
Two other good authors are Forrest McDonald, especially on economic issues, and Willard Stearne Randall, who has done some good biographies of the period.
I do have a favorite editor, though, as I've exclusively -- due most to preference and time constraints -- researched and studied the law/legal history from earliest foundings (New-Plimoth Colony; its laws began 1623) to and through "revolution," and to and through ratifications of Constitution and Bill of Rights.
That favorite editor: William Henry Whitmore. Superb scholarship on, in particular, Massachusetts-Bay Colony laws.
Though I don't confine myself to that colony, finding the laws/legal history of colonies other than New-Plimoth and Massachusetts-Bay is difficult, as most modern facsimile publications of them are out of print and unavailable, though I'm looking for those, foremost being Vol. I of John D. Cushing's compilation The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts 1641-1691, and his compilations of the province laws up to circa 1776.
It is my view that the best approach to history -- especially that which refutes the many de/illusions about the Founders and Framers and their views and intents -- is to begin with that which is at the core of every society: the agreed-upon rules by which the society will regulate itself. The law. That is the measure against which to evaluate much that is written about the (any, actually) "revolution"ary period.
An example of a prominent and present view which, as example, is written about prolifically, and which is diametrically opposite that of the Founders and Framers, is that of the NRA's (and "Libertarian") Second Amendment delusion/lie: unlike that organization, and that political "party," the Founders and Framers were sane: they routinely (as was the consistent history) enacted gun control/regulation, and more: as example, there was no counter-"revolution" because they disarmed the Tories (and, also, those "disaffected with the revolution").
Moreover, they required one to swear an oath of allegiance to the "cause"; if one refused to do so -- which required signing "on the dotted line" -- all one's weapons were confiscated and given -- first dibs -- to the Continental Army, and -- second dibs -- to the militia (which latter were either always under the law, or illegal armed gangs; see Shays' and Whiskey Rebellions).
I hope the foregoing isn't off topic. If so, it is nonetheless worthwhile advice for those concerned with (1) the facts of history, and (2) whether a particular historian is correct, and or an ideologue and or uninformed.
David Mc Cullough, of course;
and I'd like to add Jeff Shaara, son of the author of "The Killer Angels", who wrote "The Rising Tide" (WWII in the No. Africa and Italy) and "The Steel Wave". I haven't read his "The Final Storm" about the war in the Pacific and "No Less Than Victory" that covers from the Battle of the Bulge to Hitler's downfall, but I want to.
I'm also fond of Chernow, although I think he takes liberties, and Ellis, though he's a little chilly. I really like Edmond S. Morgan as well,
And one book I really loved, although it predates the American Revolution, was John M. Barry's book on Roger Williams.