Today marks the 240th Independence Day of the United States, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776. We wish all of our American colleagues and readers a very happy Fourth of July!

John Adams, later to become the second President, wrote of the Declaration to his wife:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival […] It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Although Adams was off by two days, his predictions came true for the enduring celebration of American Independence Day. To mark this occasion, we have put together a snapshot selection of titles that detail the history of this momentous event.

SIL 4th July VIR 4th July KAN 4th July

efferson, Lincoln, and the Unfinished Work of the Nation
Ronald L. Hatzenbuehler
May 2016 176pp, 8 illustrations 9780809334902 Paperback
Although the US changed dramatically between the presidential terms of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, these two leaders shared common interests and held remarkably similar opinions on important issues. Ronald L. Hatzenbuehler describes the views of two of the US’s greatest presidents and explains how these views provide valuable insight into
modern-day debates.
Southern Illinois University Press

Between Sovereignty and Anarchy
The Politics of Violence in the American Revolutionary Era
dited by Patrick Griffin et al
2015 328pp 9780813936789 Hardback
Jeffersonian America
Considers the conceptual and political problem of violence in the early modern Anglo-Atlantic, charting an innovative approach to the history of the American Revolution. Its editors and contributors contend that existing scholarship on the Revolution largely ignores questions of power and downplays the Revolution as a contest over sovereignty.
University of Virginia Press

The Religious Beliefs of America's Founders
Reason, Revelation, and Revolution
Gregg L. Frazer
2014 312pp 9780700620210 Paperback
American Political Thought
Were America's Founders Christians or deists? Conservatives and secularists have taken each position respectively, mustering evidence to insist just how tall the wall separating church and state should be. Now Gregg Frazer puts their arguments to rest in the first comprehensive analysis of the Founders' beliefs as they themselves expressed them - showing that today's political right and left are both wrong.
University Press of Kansas