The history of the American rebellion against England, written by one of America’s preeminent eighteenth-century historians, differs from many views of the Revolution. It is not colored by excessive worship of the Founding Fathers but, instead, permeated by sympathy for all those involved in the conflict. Alden has taken advantage of recent scholarship that has altered opinions about George III and Lord North. But most of all this is a balanced history—political, military, social, constitutional—of the thirteen colonies from the French and Indian War in 1763 to Washington’s inauguration in 1789. Whether dealing with legendary figures like Adams and Jefferson or lesser-known aspects of a much picked-over subject, Alden writes with insights and broad eloquence.