New book offers fresh look at the American Revolution

TULSA — If you’re looking for a good read over the Fourth of July holiday, a new book by a German author takes a deep dive into what it was like to live in the colonies during the American Revolution.

Over the last couple of centuries, author Holger Hoock maintains, much of the terrible violence that marked that war has been scrubbed from the history textbooks.

His book is called “Scars of Independence.”

He refers to the Revolution as America’s first civil war, and he makes an excellent point.

Much like the Civil War, the revolution split cities, even families, into warring camps who blushed at almost nothing to either maintain loyalty to the British crown - or end it, permanently.

Ben Franklin found himself at war with his own son, who was a fierce loyalist.

Considering the tiny population then residing in North America, the war took a heavy toll in terms of per capita killed and wounded.

American prisoners of war were kept in appalling conditions, perhaps as bad or worse that POWs faced in Vietnamese prison camps in the 20th century.

Hoock’s book also documents a strong, and often forgotten, anti-war sentiment in Great Britain at the time, including some members of Parliament who fiercely condemned what some saw as a fratricidal conflict against British citizens over what amounted to a denial of their rights as citizens.

The book is well researched, and written in compelling language that’s easily understandable to even a casual reader of history.

The book "Scars of Independence" is published by Penguin Random House, and is widely available online and at book stores.

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