Inspired by this Fourth of July holiday, I thought it might be interesting to watch some of the recently released TV series on the Revolutionary War. First I tried Sons of Liberty, which was billed as "historical fiction" on the History Channel. The story and acting were ok, but the portrayal of a young, cool, and handsome Samuel Adams as an action hero was a little hard to take. There was just enough fact to revive this History major's interest in what really did happen in Boston that led to our independence.
Next I watched season 1 of Turn: Washington's Spies, which is an AMC series. This was much better in both production value and acting. There were still some "liberties" (a little 4th of July humor there) with the truth, but the little-known story of the Culper Ring was a great setting for a story. Season 2 is not available on DVD yet, but I'll be placing a hold as soon as it's up on ELPL's Pre-Pub Titles.
For the true story, I recommend the well-respected author David McCullough's 1776. This not only was a great re-introduction to all the names we learned as children (Washington, Knox, Cornwallis), but also included interesting letters and diary entries from ordinary British and American soldiers and citizens.
No matter which you choose, next July 4 will take on a different meaning for you.