Revolutionary War History Geek Gift Guide 2015


November 25, 2015
by Editors Also by this Author


Journal of the American Revolution is the leading source of knowledge about the American Revolution and Founding Era. We feature smart, groundbreaking research and well-written narratives from expert writers. Our work has been featured by the New York Times, TIME magazine, History Channel, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian, Mental Floss, NPR, and more. Journal of the American Revolution also produces annual hardcover volumes, a branded book series, and the podcast, Dispatches

We realize that finding the perfect Revolution-themed holiday gift is not easy. For the past three years Journal of the American Revolution has been guiding readers through the difficult process of finding gifts inspired by our nation’s birth or relating to the era. Here are our favorite picks this year.



Revolution!: The Brick Chronicle of the American Revolution and the Inspiring Fight for Liberty and Equality that Shook the World

Every child loves Legos (and many adults, too). What could be better than combining that passion with an education about the nation’s founding? This book tells the story of the American Revolution through scenes constructed with America’s favorite building toy. [BUY]



Houdon bust of George Washington

Images of George Washington abound but the most faithful likeness remains a terra cotta bust created by Jean Antoine Houdon. The French sculptor visited Mount Vernon in October 1785 to carefully observe Washington’s movements and expressions, even making a plaster “life mask” of Washington’s face to accurately preserve every detail. Washington was then 53 years old. When completed, Houdon gave the bust to Washington and it has remained at Mount Vernon for over two centuries. [BUY]



Gift certificate to a historic establishment

If that person on your list is planning a visit to the place where political foment turned into armed conflict, help them stay in a place that was part of the action. Part of the Colonial Inn in Concord, Massachusetts was a storehouse when British troops entered the town on April 19, 1775, and some of the most important sites of that day are just a short walk away. Don’t forget that gift certificates to historic sites all over America make great gifts as well. [BUY]



Reproduction military manuals (and other books)

If you know someone who likes to read about the war, let them read what the people who fought it were reading. European military officers learned much of their trade from textbooks written by those who’d gone before them. Experience British, French and German officers wrote books on fortification, gunnery, training, discipline, tactics and finance that were translated and published in other countries. They found a ready market in America when war was approaching and people from all walks of life suddenly found themselves soldiers. Many of these volumes are available as facsimile reprints, providing not only the words, but the texture that their original readers experienced. [BUY]



Gift donation to save the Revolutionary War battlefields

Perhaps the best gift of all to a history lover is one that saves the Revolutionary War battlefields. Please join the Civil War Trust’s special project, Campaign 1776 today, and help us expand our mission to save America’s endangered hallowed ground with preservation efforts at Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields. Your tax-deductible gift will help us to preserve this irreplaceable hallowed ground — forever. [DONATE]



Battles of the American Revolution board games

Those who read about the American Revolution love to second-guess the decisions of the commanders and the prowess of the troops. Rather than argue with your friends over what should’ve happened, challenge them to prove it. Well-designed board games allow friendly rehashes of famous clashes, to see what would have happened if only the commanders had done what you would have done. [BUY]



Crogan’s Loyalty graphic novel

Crogan’s Loyalty is a graphic novel about two brothers on opposite sides of the conflict in the southern colonies. Both are sympathetic, highlighting the “civil war” aspect of the conflict. And telling a story set in the south rather than in the north during the first three years of the war is almost revolutionary in itself. Author Chris Schweizer addresses a young audience, with a somewhat moralistic framing device set in the current day, as in the other books of the series (which take place in different eras and places). His “cartoony” style is not realistic, but has a lot of narrative drive. [BUY]



Monticello coffee travel mug

In 1824 Thomas Jefferson deemed coffee “the favorite drink of the civilised world.” Jefferson enjoyed the coffee houses of Williamsburg and Paris, and served coffee at the President’s House, Poplar Forest, and Monticello. This porcelain double walled travel mug holds 8 oz, and has a silicone lid. [BUY]


Washington signature umbrella

Protect your friends from rain and sun while also showing off their (or your) respect for the greatest of the founding fathers. George Washington’s signature adorns this umbrella that the general himself surely would’ve found useful on campaign or on the grounds of his homestead. [BUY]



Map of the British invasion and Washington’s retreat, November 20 & 21, 1776

Perhaps the closest call of the war for Washington’s army occurred in Bergen County, New Jersey on November 20 and 21, 1776. This expertly rendered map, suitable for framing or armchair-generalship, charts the routes and timing of the British invasion of New Jersey and the narrow escape of the Continental Army across the strategic New Bridge. [BUY]



Handcrafted dog bowl

The Revolution’s greatest leaders loved their dogs as much as the people on your gift list love theirs. Here’s a way to share the taste of history with your favorite canine: a bowl made using eighteenth century coopering techniques featuring cypress wood bound with iron hoops. Food and water taste better from a hand-crafted, history-oriented bowl! [BUY]

One thought on “Revolutionary War History Geek Gift Guide 2015

  • My mother picked up the Bergen County map this weekend during the Retreat to Victory. We used to drive around following the old one and using the gold and blue markers from the bicentennial. This version is bigger, easier to use, and definitely attractive enough to frame (although will probably live in our glove box…)!

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