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Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775…
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Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775

by Derek W. Beck

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Having grown up in Massachusetts, where we were taught the glorified version of the American Revolution, I was pleasantly surprised by the unbiased, detailed account Derek Beck gives us with this book. While the topic is complex, the ease and structure of the writing simplifies things. This isn't a light read, but it also isn't one requiring a dictionary, map, and Master's degree to sort through.

The author has clearly done extensive research. We start when the Revolution, then barely a resistance, began simmering, with events leading us to the Boston Tea Party. This isn't a dry read, loaded with nothing but facts. Instead, we meet the key players of the time on a personal level, with their stories told through snippets of journals and letters. These bits are woven into the timeline, bringing history to life on the pages.

I was surprised by how the Revolution came about almost by accident. Neither side truly understood the other, and this was complicated by distance and their inability to immediately communicate. Through the honest telling of this part of our history, the author offers compelling insight into the political and very human aspects of war.

My quibbles are minor. For one, this 480 page book is only 272 pages of actual text. The rest of the book, nearly half, is the appendix, notes, etc. Consequently, some interesting and pertinent information is buried where most readers will never venture. I read a lot of nonfiction, but I'm one of those guilty of being bored by endless pages of notes at the end. I prefer the content to flow within the timeline of the book.

My other minor complaint is that the ending felt abrupt. In fairness to the author, he does finish at the right spot for his purposes. We're left at the time when the militia join forces, taking things from a disorganized rebellion to a more organized war. I would have liked some sort of summation, in closing, of the war to come. Perhaps that will be a sequel to this book.

Overall, this is straightforward, enlightening read perfect for anyone interested in the truth of how and why American became independent.

*I was provided with an ebook copy by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.* ( )
  Darcia | Oct 7, 2015 |
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