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Independence Day Reading List 2024

This 248th Independence Day, also known as Fourth of July, marks the historic day American colonists declared their freedom from Great Britain and adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Our Independence Day Reading List highlights the important role of Indigenous Peoples in the evolution of modern America, forgotten stories from America’s past, and revelatory biographies of the country’s founders.


The Rediscovery of America
Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History

Martin Elvis

A sweeping and overdue retelling of U.S. history that recognizes that Native Americans are essential to understanding the evolution of modern America


Thomas Jefferson
A Biography of Spirit and Flesh

Thomas S. Kidd

A revelatory new biography of Thomas Jefferson, focusing on his ethical and spiritual life


Revolutions without Borders
The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World

Janet Polasky

A sweeping exploration of revolutionary ideas that traveled the Atlantic in the late eighteenth century


The Great New York Fire of 1776
A Lost Story of the American Revolution

Benjamin L. Carp

This is the first book to fully explore the Great Fire of 1776 and why its origins remained a mystery even after the British investigated it in 1776 and 1783


Glorious Lessons
John Trumbull, Painter of the American Revolution

 Richard Brookhiser

The complicated life and legacy of John Trumbull, whose paintings portrayed both the struggle and the principles that distinguished America’s founding moment


The Memory of ’76
The Revolution in American History

Michael D. Hattem

The surprising history of how Americans have fought over the meaning and legacy of the Revolution for nearly two and a half centuries


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