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A Genealogist In The Archives: Book Review: Revolutionary Roads by Bob Thompson

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Book Review: Revolutionary Roads by Bob Thompson

Revolutionary Roads: Searching for the War That Made America Independent and All the Places it Could Have Gone Terribly Wrong by Bob Thompson. Published by Twelve Books: 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY. 10104;; 2023. ISBN 978-1-4555-6515-3. 448 pp. Bibliography, illustrations, index, notes. Hardback. $32.00.

Cover of Book, Courtesy of Twelve Books

Bob Thompson’s new book Revolutionary Roads is a true adventure story. I am always telling genealogists to “walk in your ancestor's footsteps” and Thompson’s book is like going back in a time machine to experience the crucial places during the American Revolution. Many times, we can’t understand what our ancestors experienced, saw, and lived through unless we actually go there and see if for ourselves.

Revolutionary Roads tour through many of the Revolutionary War sites makes for a great read. I found myself not wanting to stop reading and couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. I was concerned that I would not be able to visualize the places the author visited but his writing kept me interested and I could really see the places he was describing. In addition, the reader gets a great dose of “what if” from Thompson as he talks about what could have happened if the war didn’t go just as it did.

This book is an example for every genealogist to consider the events your ancestors experienced through their eyes as much as possible. Visiting those places, if they still exist, that had an impact on their lives, their decisions, their accomplishments, and their defeats can really add to your ancestor story.

The author covers many of the lesser-known battles and incidents, which I really liked and was glad to see. I envisioned my ancestors that I know were living in the same areas or were involved with the Revolutionary War as I read this book. Thompson’s writing helped me to place my ancestors in those times and places and truly have more of an understanding of what they went through.

I can highly recommend Bob Thompson’s Revolutionary Roads: Searching for the War That Made America Independent and All the Places it Could Have Gone Terribly Wrong to anyone wanting to know how to trace their ancestor’s footsteps and especially if you are like me and love reading about the Revolutionary War.

Courtesy of Twelve Books


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