Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School. He earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where … see full wiki
This book is the perfect companion to "Revolutionary Summer", which I reviewed a few days ago. In this book we see the beginning of the struggle for American independence as it evolved in Massachusetts, with the clashes at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, with the American siege of Boston following. The other book continues the story from that point and takes the reader through the New York campaign and the breakout. I highly recommend reading both of these books, but in the reverse order in which I did.
We are introduced here to the men who were instrumental in taking the first steps to break with England, even though many of them were not particularly interested in a complete rupture, but rather a rethinking of the relationship between colonies and mother country. The colonists blamed all of their ills on the king's ministers and not on the king himself. It was only when it became clear that the king strongly supported his ministers was there a concerted push to declare independence.
These early clashes revealed that the colonists would fight against an army that was larger, better equipped and better trained. Having walked in Lexington, Concord and the Bunker Hill heights of Boston, I am amazed at the courage these men showed. Quite a few good men, of all classes of society, lost their lives in these battles, particularly Joseph Warren, who, to some extent, is one of the chief focuses of the book. The Continental Congress sent George Washington to Boston to form an army, and what he found appalled him, for he did not subscribe to the belief that a militia could win a protracted war. How it all came together at last is the subject for other books, but I can highly recommend this one as a good place to begin.