Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review of "The Revolutionary Paul Revere" by Joel J. Miller

“The Revolutionary Paul Revere” chronicles the life and times of the bearer of one of history’s most famous messages. Starting with his father we learn of Paul’s birth; the conditions under which he arrived in America; his early struggles with work, family, and money; and, of course, the activities he participated in to help America gain her independence. We are introduced to a large number of historical figures who had an impact on Paul’s life or the history of the Revolution. We learn of success, failure, heartache and happiness. Finally, we learn of his extraordinary business acumen, especially in the building of the new country.

There are three things I knew about Paul Revere before I read this book: He was a silversmith. He dabbled in dentistry. He warned fellow colonists that the British were on their way. After reading this book, I know a few more fun facts I can toss out randomly, but not much else. I felt that this book was more of an overview of colonial Boston life wherein Paul Revere was present, but not a strict biography of Mr. Revere himself. There were too many people and events chronicled to keep track of at times, and sometimes I didn’t see how it was all tied together. The writing was not always easy to get through, and I found myself rereading sentences a few times and still not getting it (poor writing or poor editing). Overall, I was a bit disappointed in this book. I was very interested in the subject matter, but actually found myself wanting to put it aside unfinished several times, not really caring anymore. The most interesting bits of this book were the ones about Paul Revere—I would have loved more of that and much less of the filler that this book seems mostly comprised of. My recommendation to the casual reader would be to pass on this one; scholars of the American Revolution might find it worthwhile though, as long as they are not looking for a ton of information on Paul Revere.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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