Independence: A Guide to Historic Philadelphia by George W. Boudreau. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2012.

There are few recent guides to Colonial Philadelphia, but George Boudreau‘s Independence is the very best of this rather small lot. It’s a well-illustrated history of the period with both familiar and rare pictorial material, a worthy companion for walking tours also appropriate for the bedside or coffee table. Fortunately, Boudreau is careful to note just what still stands and what doesn’t, but the text is the real charmer here. An assistant professor of history at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Boudreau is a breezy and deeply-informed tour leader; interspersed in the main text are short, intriguing biographies of some rather lesser-known figures of the period. The notes to the book exemplify the extensive research that underlies the volume, but it’s directed at the general and not the academic reader. Highly recommended, and available at Amazon.

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