Known primarily for his “midnight ride” in the primordial days of the American Revolution, Paul Revere actually had led a full and influential life, of which the event immortalized in Longfellow’s poem is but a small part. Patriot, innovator, industrialist, Freemason, soldier, father, husband–Paul Revere stands as one of the giants of early American history. In The Revolutionary Paul Revere, author Joel Miller sets out to give us a more complete picture of the great man. In this he is largely successful.
Miller’s writing style is simple, quick-paced, and attention-grabbing. He spices up the narrative with unexpected turns of phrase, and the lengthy, purposefully wordy chapter headings give the book an eighteenth-century feel. I was easily drawn into the story, and came away with a much deeper knowledge of Revere and the times in which he lived.
Did you know, for example, that Paul Revere made the copper fixtures used in the USS Constitution? Or that he also supplied copper for the steam engines of one Robert Fulton? Or that when he died in 1818 (at 83 years of age) many of the bells that tolled in Boston were of his manufacture? I knew none of this until I read The Revolutionary Paul Revere.
One of the parts of the book I appreciated most was Miller’s insistence on putting Revere’s life and actions into the context of the things going on around him. Also, while obviously an admirer of Revere, he does not shy away from recounting some of the less-than-attractive events of his life. I appreciate an author who can write an admiring biography without feeling the need to make his subject the very paragon of every conceivable virtue.
If you are interested in American history, and want to learn more about Paul Revere, this book should be on your list.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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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