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Cover image for 1776 : a new look at revolutionary Williamsburg
1776 : a new look at revolutionary Williamsburg
Other title(s):
Seventeen seventy-six

New look at revolutionary Williamsburg

Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, ©2009.
Physical Description:
48 pages : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Introduction: a revolutionary city -- Virginia's colonial capital -- Virginia's Indians -- New spirit -- Revolution! -- Virginia's Declaration of Rights -- City at war -- Reading history's clues -- Hard-won victory -- Conclusion: birth of a nation -- Bring the past to life/Portraying a slave.
Gives a close-up look at how the war for independence played out for ordinary citizens such as women, blacksmiths, and enslaved people in colonial Williamsburg.
Reading Level:
1100 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.7 1.0 133248.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 11. 17 Quiz: 48106.
Conference Subject:
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:


Call Number
J 975.5 Kostyal 2009

On Order



Find yourself transported to Williamsburg in the days of the Revolution! See the city at war through the eyes of everyday citizens for an exciting new perspective on the historic year of 1776. The latest in the popular "New Look" line of history titles, K.M. Kostyal's 1776: A New Look at Revolutionary Williamsburg combines new scholarship with rare, powerful photographs to take readers behind the scenes at Colonial Williamsburg.

Stunning re-enactment photographs of America's "Revolutionary City" brings history vividly to life: The narrative goes beyond the story of the founding fathers to give a close-up look at how the war for independence played out for ordinary citizens such as women, blacksmiths, and enslaved people.

Colonial Williamsburg scholars shed fresh light on this vital era in our history with the most recent research and analysis. The book's lively design combines with the compelling photography of modern-day Williamsburg's street theater and historic interpretation to transport readers back to the heyday of colonial times. Scenes from around the city include a milliner forced to pack up shop, children at a play in a courtyard next to soldiers on patrol, and slaves wrenched from family and friends as they leave town with their Loyalist masters. This exciting, innovative book takes a new look at a familiar topic through the lives of the men and women who would claim America for their own and declare themselves its first citizens.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.

Author Notes

K.M. Kostyal has written a number of books for the National Geographic Society including Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Kostyal is a history buff with a fascination for the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. She lives in Washington D.C.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Like Karen E. Lange's 1607: A New Look at Jamestown (2007) and Catherine O'Neill Grace's 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving (2001, both National Geographic), this book challenges traditional views of history, incorporating the latest archaeological findings to present updated theories about how people lived in the time period. In full-page color photographs, costumed actors depict enslaved African Virginians; Williamsburg gentry, merchants, craftspeople, and farmers; and patriot and British soldiers. White space, maps, and smaller photos combine with the dramatic larger images, resulting in a visually exciting and inviting format. Brief context is provided about earlier and later Williamsburg, but most of the book is focused tightly on the Revolutionary period. Causes of the war, effects on ordinary people, and how Williamsburg fit into the larger conflict are examined. The author explains how historians and archaeologists piece together information from period writings and artifacts found during excavation. The text is current, including a description of Colonial Williamsburg's latest project, rebuilding Charlton's Coffeehouse near the Capitol. More of a social history than a straightforward history text, this book will be valuable to teachers for demonstrating the human side of an often-studied period and to anyone visiting the restored area.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Renda's bright color photographs of a squeaky-clean Colonial Williamsburgthe living history museumbelie the serious intent of this fine volume, which portrays 18th-century Williamsburg as more of a multicultural and fluid society than previously thought. Though the popular image of the gentry with their powdered wigs and fancy houses is true, so is the fact that over half of the city's population was slaves, "with families, traditions, and dreams of their own." The photo-essay is a clearly written and concise portrait of revolutionary Williamsburg, determined not to leave African Virginians, Indians and women out of the picture. The straightforward presentation, brief chapters and vivid photographs, along with a look at recent archaeological discoveries, make this an important volume for libraries and classrooms. A more extensive bibliography, especially with materials for young readers, would be useful, but this is another fine work in the "A New Look at" series, which includes the excellent 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving, by Catherine O'Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac, with photographs by Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson (2001). (Nonfiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Clear, distinctive photos add visual appeal to this short history of the American Revolution, written from the point of view of those living in Williamsburg, Virginia's capital in 1776. Kostyal blends political and social history into a readable account of the period, bolstered by informative sidebars, a chronology, and a closing note about the restoration of colonial Williamsburg. The subtitle, foreword, and introduction all refer to the increasing awareness and ongoing historical research on African Virginians, who made up more than half the city's population at that time, as well as Indians in the region. One of the book's memorable moments comes in a sidebar, where a young African American interpreter says that he feels a little awkward playing a slave. Against the unique background of Williamsburg's re-created colonial setting, the many clear color photos are often beautiful, though some look a bit staged. Still, the increasing inclusion of nonwhite colonists in the illustrations as well as the text is a welcome trend.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist