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What do you really know about the Revolutionary War?

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Rick Atkinson is the author of the new book "The British Are Coming
Rick Atkinson is the author of the new book "The British Are Coming," a narrative history of the Revolutionary War.
Courtesy photo by Elliott O'Donovan | Cover art by publisher

This week, America celebrates its independence. But how much of what we commonly believe about our country's creation is actually mythology?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Atkinson's new book "The British are Coming" masterfully brings the Revolutionary War to life. He writes about the big personalities in the war, from King George to George Washington, and paints in vivid detail what life was really like both for colonists and for the British Redcoats — properly referred to as Regulars — sent to suppress the rebellion.

In doing so he dispels many commonly held beliefs about the war — Paul Revere never said, "The British are coming," for example. And he connects the dots from America's combative past to its challenging present.

Atkinson joined MPR News host Kerri Miller to talk about his book, the Revolutionary War and what a well-rounded understanding of history can teach us about today.

Rick Atkinson, author of "The British Are Coming"

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.