Without a warm understanding of the people involved, there is no real understanding of history. We do have serious, accurate, history books that we suggest, but importantly — as a part of that needed “warm understanding,” we sometimes also suggest some good historical fiction that gives a human side of history to inform your understanding of real historical events.

The First Salute

by Barbara Tuchman

Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Guns of August, this is an exceptional narrative history of the American War of Independence, The compelling narrative of the progress of the American Revolutionary War takes as its starting point the first salute to a ship flying the white striped ensign of the Continental Congress. Few historians, if any, write as well as Barbara Tuchman. Buy at Amazon

King Philip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict

by Eric B. Schultz

The massacres of 1675 to 1676, known as King Philip’s War, ended the harmonious relations that had existed between native Americans and the colonists since 1620. Hundreds of English died as farmers fled and cowered behind stockades or in the few port towns. Benjamin Bucklin’s death in that war was a part of the “Nine Men’s Misery” that is the subject of a present day monument. This well-researched book keeps alive that episode so important to Bucklin and Rhode Island history. Buy at Amazon

Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

by Fred Anderson

In this engrossing narrative of the great military conflagration of the mid-eighteenth century, Fred Anderson transports us into the maelstrom of international rivalries. With the Seven Years’ War, Great Britain decisively eliminated French power north of the Caribbean — and in the process destroyed an American diplomatic system in which Native Americans had long played a central, balancing role — permanently changing the political and cultural landscape of North America. Buy at Amazon

Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America

by Edwin S. Gaustad

By a prolific historian of religion .Read it to get an understanding of the faith of Roger Williams and the colonists such as the Bucklin family. Buy at Amazon

A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island

by Elaine F. Crane

Explains how the sea voyages dominated Newport. Providence had much the same sort of reliance on trade by sea. Newporters had evaded British customs for generations, using methods which showed no commitment to the English tax laws, and made Rhode Island ready to attack the Gaspee. Buy at Amazon

Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution

by A.J. Langguth

With meticulous research and page-turning suspense, Patriots brings to life the American Revolution — the battles, the treacheries, and the dynamic personalities of the men who forged our freedom. George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry — these heroes were men of intellect, passion, and ambition. From the secret meetings of the Sons of Liberty to the final victory at Yorktown and the new Congress, Patriots vividly re-creates one of history’s great eras. Buy at Amazon

The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy)

by Michael Shaara

Have you ever read the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “Killer Angels” or seen the movie “Gettysburg”? (The movie is based on the novel.) Both the book and also the movie feature an important scene about a Bucklin. A Union Army soldier, Private Joseph Bucklin, wounded and tired of war, is a spokesman for 180 Maine soldiers that are the subject of an order to be shot for not pressing onward, but after an officer discusses the need of the country, the mutineers agree to fight in the famous and bloody Gettysburg battles of the Civil War.

The Maine mutineers incident at Gettysburg is true. There was a Joseph Bucklin in the group of Maine mutineers, and the family oral tradition in the Maine branch of the Bucklins is that their ancestor did do what the movie shows. Buy at Amazon


This is a brilliant recreation of America’s most famous Civil War battle! Excellent screenplay, a beautiful musical score, and some of the most authentic and stirring Civil War battle scenes ever filmed. Buy at Amazon