Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller -- Book Review

A superb biography of an American hero is what you'll find in The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller.

A poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow recounts Revere's famous ride to alert the colonists that the British were coming, but there is so much more to know about this American revolutionary. Thankfully, Miller saw fit to write it all down for you in this dramatic and engaging new biography.

The book opens in 1797, with Revere as an old man writing to Reverend Jeremy Belknap, a minister, historian, and secretary of the Massachusetts Historical Society, in which Revere fulfills his promise to provide Belknap with facts and anecdotes of events that took place before the Battle of Lexington.

The book then swiftly moves back in time to when people were arriving from England to settle in the new land. Paul Revere's father would arrive in 1716, change his last name from "Rivoire" to "Revere", and marry the daughter of a neighbor. In December 1734 they welcomed their second child, who elevated himself above that of a simple tradesman to become an entrepreneur, freemason, and express rider carrying important messages for the cause.

In The Revolutionary Paul Revere, Miller brings the reader through the high-points and low-points of Revere's life, and he does so in such a way that the reader can't help but turn page after page. Each chapter begins with a short blurb, a summary, if you will, of what part of Revere's life will be discussed or what political events are shaping the young nation and leading it closer to a revolution. An example from Chapter 3:

In which our hero grows up, learns
his ABCs along with his father's trade
of goldsmithing, shows self-determination,
and gets a whupping for going to church--
all before tragedy strikes the family.

Miller brings Revere and pre- and post-Revolutionary America alive in this swiftly moving story of an American hero and the war that would finally make the colonies free and independent states. I highly recommend this book to lovers of early American history and anyone who wants to read a biography that reads like a novel.

Title:  The Revolutionary Paul Revere
Author:  Joel J. Miller
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10: 1595550747
ISBN-13: 978-1595550743
SRP:  $14.99

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