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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Review: The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J Miller


The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller
Paperback, 224 pages
Thomas Nelson
April 6, 2010
★★★★½☆

Genre: Non-fiction

Source: From Phenix & Phenix Publicity for Review
“He’s famous for the ride.
He’s essential for so much more.

The story of Paul Revere is the story of the American Revolution. Always smack dab in the thick of things, he was an ordinary citizen living in extraordinarily turbulent times. Revere played key roles in colonial tax fights and riots, the aftermath of the infamous Boston Massacre, the Tea Party, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and even the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. In this fast-paced, dramatic account, Paul Revere’s life pulses with energy as it explores his family and church life along with his revolutionary contribution as a spy, entrepreneur, express rider, freemason, and commercial visionary.”
 
I accepted this book for review on a whim. It was about early American history (which I love!) and they seem to be few and far between sometimes – so I jumped on this one…and I was NOT disappointed. This book gives a great in-depth look at the Revere family (formerly Rivoire) from Paul’s father, Apollos, through the end of the great American hero’s life. You get an inside look at events such as the Boston Massacre, Tea Party, battles of Lexington and Concord, the various taxations, etc. Everyone knows about Revere’s midnight ride, but did you know he also was essentially a jack-of-all-trades? Among other things he was: a silversmith, patriot, dentist, ran a copper foundry, ran a shop, was a mason, and a father of 16 children! At the same time you get an intimate look at some of Revere’s contemporaries – which was something I didn’t expect.

The way this book was written, you wouldn’t know it was non-fiction. It was never dry and always full of drama and witticisms. One of my favorite quotes shows brilliantly the humor of the author, “after repeal of the Stamp Act, Parliament was up Debt Creek without a farthing” (Miller 96). Comments like this are numerous and it keeps the reader engaged and you never realize all of the facts and tidbits you are taking in. Another technique that the author uses to his benefit is breaking the fourth wall. The author makes comments such as “recall from the earlier story…” (Miller 21) like you are right there with him while he tells you this story. I also liked the subtitles for each chapter; they came as one sentence previews of the chapter that always began with “in which…”. It was just a nice way to set you up for what was going to happen – but it didn’t give anything away if you know American history at all. All of these things combined made for a very interesting look at early American history. If only all non-fiction could be presented this way!

If you are looking for a unique look at colonial and early American history, this is the book for you.

Author Joel J. Miller also has written: Lifted by Angels, The Portable Patriot, Bad Trip, and Size Matters. On the authors website you can find links to many additional resources on Paul Revere and other early American history.
Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).

 




Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court

3 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fun read! Great review!

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  2. This sounds like another wonderful biographical work on a great figure in America's early history. The past 5 to 10 years have seen some excellent works com out. I saw this one earlier this year and put it on my To Read List. Thanks for an informative review.

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  3. LibraryPat - I love reading bios on early America - I think they are such phenomonal people and we can learn so much from them.

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