We have another exciting book giveaway for our loyal readers — this time an autographed copy of Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution (Viking, April 30, 2013) by Nathaniel Philbrick. To enter, simply leave a comment below before noon EST on Monday, April 15.
Philbrick, the New York Times bestselling author of Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, “reconstructs the revolutionary landscape — geographic and ideological — in a mesmerizing narrative of the robust, messy, and blisteringly real origins of America,” according to Viking’s press announcement.
“No one has told this tale better.” –Publishers Weekly
“Philbrick… will be a candidate for another award with this ingenious, bottom-up look at Boston from the time of the December 1773 Tea Party to the iconic June 1775 battle… A rewarding approach to a well-worn subject, rich in anecdotes, opinion, bloodshed and Byzantine political maneuvering.” –Kirkus
The book caused a major media (traditional and social) stir recently with word that Ben Affleck and Warner Bros. purchased the film rights. It’s not a sure thing, but we’re already helping with casting. In addition to the giveaway, Journal of the American Revolution will publish its review the week of April 29 along with our exclusive no-holds-barred author interview. In the meantime, below is some more promotional background about the book.
For most of us the American Revolution is about the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, and how George Washington led the colonies through the decade-long struggle that ultimately led to the formation of the United States. Lost in this account of the slow march toward liberty is the truly cataclysmic nature of how the revolution began: The interplay of ideologies and personalities that provoked a group of merchants, farmers, artisans, and sailors to take up arms against their own country. With his precise sense of the unexplored side of mythic events, Philbrick turns his keen eye to pre-Revolutionary Boston — a city of 15,000 inhabitants packed onto a land-connected island of just 1.2 miles — and the gradual up-tick of tension that climaxed in June 1775 with the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first major battle of what became the American Revolution and the War of Independence.
In Bunker Hill, Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story. As it turns out, the triumvirate of Founding Fathers generally associated with Boston — John Adams, Sam Adams, and John Hancock — was far from the scene when the city erupted. The real work of choreographing the Revolution’s outbreak was done by a 33-year-old physician named Joseph Warren, who emerged as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause. Warren gave William Dawes and Paul Revere the orders to send out the alarm that British troops were headed to Concord; Warren remained in the city until the last possible moment, then joined the fighting as the British soldiers retreated back to Boston. Soon after, Warren was elected President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress even as he surprised the organization of the nascent Continental Army.
The real central character in this story is Boston, where vigilantes fill the streets with a sinister and frightening violence even as calmer patriots struggle to see their way to rebellion. The action of the book tracks in detail the 18 months following the Boston Tea Party (Dec. 1773), as Boston turned from the center of patriot defiance to a British-occupied city under a patriot siege. Through storied events such as the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, Philbrick builds to the extraordinary moment in American history when a group of ordinary citizens stood up to several regiments of British regulars as the Battle of Bunker Hill. This is the great tipping point, the bloodiest engagement of the Revolution when several hundred citizen soldiers had the bravery and discipline to hold their fire until the British soldiers, each one with a bayonet mounted to the barrel of his musket, marched to within 15 yards of the patriot entrenchment. Only then, once they could see “the whites of their eyes,” did the rebels fire, ultimately killing or wounding almost half the British force. Not until the third British charge did the Americans retreat, and only then because they had run out of ammunition. With this single battle, the ultimate course of the American Revolution had been foretold.
Leave your comment below to be entered to win this book! Monday afternoon (April 15) we will randomly select the winner and notify them via the comments below. Good luck!