Each year through 2026, a book is chosen that gives audiences a reconsideration of the iconic events leading up to the America Revolution against the British Empire. The American colonists’ breakup with the British Empire was the culmination of a series of escalating events and politics over a ten year period. Each author shares different perspectives of the people living in the colonies leading up to the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Book selections:
  • 2022 Revolutionary Read - 'The Boston Massacre: A Family History' by Serena Zabin.
  • 2023 Revolutionary Read - 'Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776' by Patrick Spero.
  • 2024 - Join our email list to hear the announcement of the new book selection this July!
Read the Book
Read or listen to the book by borrowing it from Delaware County Libraries. Reserve the book. Check out the eBook. Borrow the digital audiobook. Reserve a Book Club in a Bag tote and read with your friends. Call your local library to reserve the tote.

Visit www.delcolibraires.org today!

Meet the Author
Widener University will host an author's event each Fall.

Get to know the authors behind your favorite books! From in-person events to virtual conversations, exciting events await.

Get Your Own Copy
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Buy your own copy of the book at Main Point Books , 116 N Wayne Ave, Wayne, PA 19087

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'The Boston Massacre: A Family History' by Serena Zabin.

A revelatory new account of the start of the American Revolution.
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.

Serena Zabin’s The Boston Massacre delivers an indelible new slant on iconic American Revolutionary history.

  • Amazon Editor’s Choice for History in 2020
  • Journal of the American Revolution Book of the Year Award.
  • Named Saturday Evening Post’s 10 Books for the New Year and an Amazon Best Book of February 2020
Dr. Sereena Zabin is a professor of history and chair of the history department at Carleton College. She is the author of 'Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York' and 'The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741: Daniel Horsmanden’s Journal of the Proceedings'. She is also the co-designer of a serious video game about the Boston Massacre, 'Witness to the Revolution'. 
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2023 Revolutionary Read - 'Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776' by Patrick Spero.

Patrick Spero recasts the familiar narrative of the American Revolution, moving the action from the Eastern Seaboard to the treacherous western frontier, today's Pennsylvania and Ohio. In spellbinding detail, Frontier Rebels reveals an often-overlooked truth: the West played a crucial role in igniting the flame of American independence.

In 1763, the Seven Years’ War ended in a spectacular victory for the British. The French army agreed to leave North America, but many Native Americans, fearing that the British Empire would expand onto their lands and conquer them, refused to lay down their weapons. Under the leadership of a shrewd Ottawa warrior named Pontiac, they kept fighting for their freedom, capturing several British forts and devastating many of the westernmost colonial settlements. The British, battered from the costly war, needed to stop the violent attacks on their borderlands. Peace with Pontiac was their only option—if they could convince him to negotiate.

Enter George Croghan, a wily trader-turned-diplomat with close ties to Native Americans. Under the wary eye of the British commander-in-chief, Croghan organized one of the largest peace offerings ever assembled and began a daring voyage into the interior of North America in search of Pontiac.

Meanwhile, a ragtag group of frontiersmen set about stopping this peace deal in its tracks. Furious at the Empire for capitulating to Native groups, whom they considered their sworn enemies, and suspicious of Croghan’s intentions, these colonists turned Native American tactics of warfare on the British Empire. Dressing as Native Americans and smearing their faces in charcoal, these frontiersmen, known as the Black Boys, launched targeted assaults to destroy Croghan’s peace offering before it could be delivered.

The outcome of these interwoven struggles would determine whose independence would prevail on the American frontier—whether freedom would be defined by the British, Native Americans, or colonial settlers.

Patrick Spero, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the George Washington Presidential Library housed within the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. Prior to his current role, he served as Librarian and Director of the Library & Museum of the American Philosophical Society (APS) in Philadelphia. Spero is the author of Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania, Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, and the forthcoming Botany and Betrayal: Andre Michaux, Thomas Jefferson, and the Kentucky Conspiracy of 1793.
Check out this More to Read list for other books about the early days of the American Revolution.

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

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