Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State by Barton GellmanThen: In 2014, journalist Barton Gellman won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on Edward Snowden's leak of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents.
Now: Gellman reflects on the pressures of his white-knuckle investigation and his complicated relationship with Snowden in this propulsive deep dive into the modern surveillance state.
For fans of: All the President's Men.
Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution by Kathleen DuValWhat it's about: the lesser-known "contest of empires" between British, Spanish, and French forces fighting for control of Florida's Gulf Coast during the American Revolution.
What sets it apart: Historian Kathleen DuVal's intimate account focuses on eight individuals involved in the conflict, including Chickasaw leader Payamataha, who advocated for neutrality; slave Petit Jean, who helped the Spanish defeat the British at sea; and French Cajun refugee and avowed pro-colonist Amand Broussard.
Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It by Larrie D. FerreiroWhat it is: a richly detailed revisionist history that reveals how France and Spain's military and financial aid were crucial to securing American independence.
Want a taste? "Instead of the myth of heroic self-sufficiency, the real story is that the American nation was born as the centerpiece of an international coalition."
Book buzz: A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Brothers at Arms won the Journal of the American Revolution Book of the Year Award in 2016.
In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel PhilbrickSeptember 5, 1781: a decisive French victory at the Battle of the Chesapeake heralded the final days of the American Revolution.
Why you might like it: Author Nathaniel Philbrick draws upon letters, journal entries, sea logs, and his own firsthand knowledge of sailing to deliver a dramatic account of a key battle.
Author alert: Pulitzer Prize finalist Philbrick is the National Book Award-winning author of In the Heart of the Sea.
Revolution Song: The Story of America's Founding in Six Remarkable Lives by Russell ShortoWhat it is: an evocative history of the American Revolution as experienced by six people navigating the era's nascent conceptions of individual freedom.
Featuring: Seneca diplomat Cornplanter, who fought with the British; soldier's daughter Margaret Moncrieffe, a demimondaine who eschewed the era's gender norms; Venture Smith, a Connecticut slave who bought his freedom.
Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution through Painters' Eyes by Paul StaitiWhat it's about: how five artists, often working alongside the Founding Fathers, created visual narratives of the American Revolution that have endured for centuries.
Reviewers say: "A lively, splendid history that captures the times with insight, acumen, and a juggler's finesse" (Kirkus Reviews).
Try this next: Jane Kamensky's award-winning biography A Revolution in Color offers an intimate portrait of John Singleton Copley, one of the painters profiled in Of Arms and Artists.
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