Revolutionary Reads
Each year through 2026, the America250PADelco Committee will select a title connected to the history of the Declaration of Independence and American Revolution to be that year’s Revolutionary Reads Community Read.

This year the committee has chosen The Boston Massacre: A Family History by Serena Zabin.
From the book jacket: The story of the Boston Massacre—when on a late winter evening in 1770, British soldiers shot five local men to death—is familiar to generations. But the history of the event has always obscured a fascinating truth: that the Massacre arose from conflicts that were as personal as they were political.

Historian Serena Zabin weaves colorful stories from original sources, following British troops as they make their way from Ireland to Boston in 1768 to subdue the increasingly rebellious colonists. And she reveals a forgotten world hidden in plain sight: the many regimental wives and children who accompanied these armies. We see these families jostling with Bostonians for living space, finding common cause in the search for a lost child, trading barbs and and sharing baptisms – becoming, in other words, neighbors. When soldiers shot unarmed citizens in the street, it was these intensely human, now broken bonds that fueled what quickly became a bitterly fought American Revolution. 
About the Book

Serena Zabin is a professor of history and director of the American studies program at Carleton College. In addition to The Boston Massacre, she is the author of Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York. She is also the codesigner of a forthcoming serious video game about the Boston Massacre, Witness to the Revolution.
About the Author
Revolutionary Reads will culminate with a visit from the author on Sunday, November 6 at 1:00 pm hosted by Widener University. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Zabin will discuss her 2020 book which invites a reconsideration of one of the iconic events leading to revolution.

Let us know you’d like to attend and stay up-to-date on event details by RSVPing here. All attendees will be entered into a raffle to win a signed copy of the book and other fun swag!
  • Read or listen to the book by borrowing it from Delaware County Libraries
  • Buy your own copy of the book at Main Point Books in Wayne
  • Reserve a Book Club in a Bag tote (Coming Soon) and read the title with your personal book group. Let us know here that you’re hosting a book club. 
  • Join our Zoom book discussion led by local historians. (Coming Soon)
  • Let us know you’ve read the book to enter a prize raffle!
  • Participate in a book club hosted at a library or other organization (Coming Soon)
  • Attend a topical lecture (Coming Soon)
  • Check out these Read & Watch lists for other books and documentaries about the Boston Massacre and the early days of the American Revolution (Coming Soon)

The Revolutionary Reads Community Read from America250PADelco is presented in partnership with Widener University and Delaware County Libraries.

Institutional Partners