Independence (Bloomsbury Press, 2011):
“Mesmerizing. Masterful. History written with the gravitational pull of a good novel. A history book that deserves to become a big best seller.”—Dan Rather
“This is how it really happened. In unequivocal prose, John Ferling captures the combined bluster and outrage on both sides of the Atlantic. He exposes the quirks, while exploring the vision, of the opinionated, opportunistic delegates who were present in Philadelphia in 1776; he shows us just how they rhetorically overcame the ‘mystique of invincibility’ that attached to the British military, before launching America, in the words of one delegate, ‘on a most Tempestuous Sea.’ Independence is rich in personality, and Ferling unsurpassed as an authority. This is no ordinary history.”—Andrew Burstein, author of Jefferson’s Secrets, and coauthor of Madison and Jefferson.
“John Ferling has established himself as one of the leading chroniclers of the American Revolution, but Independence goes beyond anything he has written before. Instead of recycling the familiar story of the Revolution, he has given us an enlightening and exciting book that proves that history has no guarantees or foreordained outcomes. Expertly blending biographical vignettes with fast-paced narrative and sure-footed interpretation, Ferling captures the mystery of historical contingency in exploring the period between the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and the declaration of American independence in 1776. Not even the founding fathers knew what the future would bring; Ferling performs a national public service in reminding us of this basic fact, and demonstrating it with elegance and style.”—R. B. Bernstein, distinguished adjunct professor of law, New York Law School, and author of The Founding Fathers Reconsidered and Thomas Jefferson.
“In clear and elegant prose and with formidable scholarship, John Ferling freshly examines the period that led to declaring independence. By focusing on the character of leaders in both England and her colonies as they intersected with circumstances, he captures the uncertainty of the times and the unpredictable journey to the declaration itself.”—Edith B. Gelles, author of Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage.
“A venerable historian of the American Revolution focuses on the events between the shot heard round the world and the signing of the Declaration of Independence … A lucid, erudite account of a period both terrifying and supremely inspiring.”—Kirkus "In this splendid book, noted founding-era historian Ferling presents a convincing narrative of American independence that focuses on the role of contingency in the colonial break with the mother country … Ferling’s entertaining and edifying work is sure to find an audience among general readers."—Booklist
The Ascent of George Washington (Bloomsbury Press, 2009):
“Once in a while a book comes along to remind us that history has no gods, that the past is less fossil than textbooks suggest and America more vibrant than a mere list of principles. John Ferling’s Ascent of George Washington is just such a book: a fresh, clear-eyed portrait of the full-blooded political animal that was George Washington…In John Ferling’s eminently readable, landmark interpretation, we cannot help but marvel at the man.”—Marie Arana, Washington Post
Almost a Miracle (Oxford, 2007):
"Comprehensive and engaging.." —Jon Meacham, Washington Post
"It’s not that the American Revolution hasn’t produced entire platoons of excellent surveys, including — but far from limited to — Don Higginbotham’s “War of American Independence” (1971), Robert Middlekauff’s “Glorious Cause” (1982), Gordon S. Wood’s “Radicalism of the American Revolution” (1992), Joseph J. Ellis’s “Founding Brothers” (2000) and John Ferling’s “Almost a Miracle” (2007)." - Dwight Garner, New York Times, reviewing Revolutionaries by Jack Rakove.