Learn the history of Independence Day with these great iBooks

It's Independence Day, the day we celebrate the birth of the United States. And on this Fourth of July, take some time to delve into the history of this country's founding with these great books from the iBooks Store. Explore, in detail, the men and women, ideas, and military decisions that shaped the United States.

Here are some great books that you should be reading this Independence Day.


Get multiple perspectives that saw America declare independence and the full start of the Revolutionary War with Great Britain in this book by by David McCullough. Much of McCullough's focus is on George Washington, but he also gives King George III, General Howe, Henry Knox, and Nathanael Greene considerable attention.

Alexander Hamilton

This massive biography about America's first Secretary of the Treasury, and one of the loudest advocates of ratifying the Constitution, served as inspiration for the hit musical Hamilton. Ron Chernow delves into Hamilton's tumultuous childhood in the British West Indies, his advocacy for American independence, and his death at the hands of Aaron Burr in their fateful duel.

John Adams

Delve into the life of America's second president in this 752-page tome by David McCullough. McCullough offers a portrait of a brilliant lawyer, fierce patriot, and a president who kept the country out of a war with France following a diplomatic breakdown.

Founding Brothers

Joseph J. Ellis explores how George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and James Madison built the country and kept it together after the ratification of the Constitution in the last decade of the 18th century. These flawed but brilliant individuals are examined over six notable episodes in American history, including Washington's Farewell Address, the selection of the new U.S. capitol, and the friendship between Adams and Jefferson.

Ladies of Liberty

Drawing from personal correspondence, journals, and previously unpublished sources, Cokie Roberts shows us portraits of several of the women who helped shape this country, both behind the scenes and out in public, from the revolution to the expansion into the western reaches of the North American continent. The book takes a look at, in particular, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, Rebecca Gratz, and Sacagawea, among others.

Rough Crossings

While much of the discussion of slavery in America is centered around the Civil War, we often don't talk about slaves during the Revolutionary War. In this book, Simon Schama does just that, offering an account of the slaves that escaped from their American masters to fight for the British in hopes of gaining their freedom. The book also explores how those people were treated after the war's end.

Washington's Crossing

Focusing on Washington's revolutionary campaign during 1776, David Hackett Fischer shows a Continental Army and its commander near the end of their rope. The British have taken New York and are within a stone's throw of Philadelphia. Fischer details how American forces adapted to losses, and the choices that ultimately led to Washington's successful crossing of the Delaware River to strike against British and Hessian forces in New Jersey.

The Federalist Papers

Originally published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788, these essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay lay out 85 arguments for the ratification of the Constitution, addressing concerns, making arguments for a stronger government, and more.

Your favorites

Do you have any particular favorite books about the beginnings of the United States? Tell us about them below in the comments.

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