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Samuel Adams: A Life
by Ira Stoll
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743299116, Hardcover)
"I pity Mr. Sam Adams," his cousin John Adams wrote to his wife, "for he was born a Rebel." At virtually every juncture of the American Revolution, from the Boston Massacre and Tea Party to Lexington and Concord and the ratification of the Constitution, Samuel Adams played a forceful role. With his fiery rhetoric and religious fervor, he was in many respects the moral conscience of the new nation. "The love of liberty," he thundered, "is interwoven in the soul of man, and can never be totally extinguished."And yet history has neglected him; today Samuel Adams is best known as a brand of beer. As relations with Great Britain healed in the nineteenth century, historians were all too willing to dismiss him as a zealot; Adams's distrust of secularism (he envisioned America as a "Christian Sparta") has not endeared him to many contemporary scholars, either. Ira Stoll's fascinating biography not only restores this figure to his rightful place in history but portrays him as a man of God whose skepticism of a powerful central government, uncompromising support for freedom of the press, concern about the influence of money on elections, voluble love of liberty, and selfless endurance in a war for freedom has enormous relevance to Americans today.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:07 -0400)
With eloquence equal to Jefferson and Tom Paine, Adams helped ignite the flame of liberty and made sure it glowed even during the Revolution's darkest hours. He was, as Jefferson later observed, "truly the man of the Revolution." Adams played a pivotal role not fully appreciated until now in the events leading up to the confrontation with the British. Believing that God willed a free American nation, he was among the first to call for independence. He saw the opportunity to stir things up after the Boston Massacre and helped plan and instigate the Boston Tea Party. A fiery newspaper editor, he railed ceaselessly against "taxation without representation" and argued the urgency of revolution. When the top British general in America offered a general amnesty in 1775 to all who would lay down their arms, he excepted only John Hancock and Samuel Adams: these two were destined for the gallows.--From publisher description.
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