American spring Lexington, Concord, and the road to revolution

Walter R. Borneman, 1952-

Book - 2014

"American Spring follows a fledgling nation from Paul Revere's little-known ride of December 1774 and the first shots fired on Lexington Green through the catastrophic Battle of Bunker Hill, culminating with a Virginian named George Washington taking command of colonial forces on July 3, 1775. Focusing on the colorful heroes John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry, and the ordinary Americans caught up in the revolution, Walter R. Borneman use...s newly available sources and research to tell the story of how a decade of discontent erupted into an armed rebellion that forged our nation"-- Publisher description.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2014.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
viii, 469 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [401]-455) and index.
ISBN
9780316221023
0316221023
Main Author
Walter R. Borneman, 1952- (-)
  • Tuesday, December 13, 1774
  • An irrepressible tide : January-March 1775
  • "Let is begin here" : April 1775
  • Decisive days : May-June 1775
  • Monday, July 13, 1775.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Popular military historian Borneman (1812, 2004; The Admirals, 2012) presents the outbreak of the American War of Independence in 1775. As the arc of his narrative touches the familiar landmarks, from the Battle of Lexington to the Battle of Bunker Hill, an avid American history buff will look for what distinguishes Borneman's account and find it in two respects, debate with prior historians on disputed points (e.g., responsibility for the first shot fired at Lexington) and thematic emphasis of the pressure on individuals to choose sides, with the rebels or the loyalists, as political polarization galloped apace in early 1775. With Benjamin Franklin's family as one of several examples of divided sentiments, Borneman constructs a general narrative that depicts British operations around Boston to seize the patriots' military supplies, one of which, of course, ignited the explosion at Lexington and Concord. Including supporting scenes, such as debate in the Continental Congress, Borneman's saga proves to be capably constructed and accessible to an audience looking for an introduction to these epic events in American history. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Best-selling historian Borneman (Rival Rails) offers an exceptionally detailed account of the first six months of 1775, a decisive period in American history during which a decade's worth of colonial frustration with Parliament's taxation policies finally boiled over into violent rebellion. The author focuses primarily on confrontations in Lexington, Concord, Fort Ticonderoga, and Bunker Hill, the first four major clashes between the disorderly and untrained, but increasingly bold, colonial militia and the larger, better organized, and more experienced British Army. He details military and political strategies on both sides of the colonies' struggle for independence, making this contribution to the spate of popular histories on the early days of the American revolutionary period (1765–83) somewhat different from other books on the subject. American firebrands Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Ethan Allen play key roles in Borneman's balanced and thorough narrative but so do British leaders Thomas Gage, Henry Clinton, and William Howe. VERDICT This extensive but accessible popular history is similar in style and scope to Kevin Phillip's 1775 and Nathaniel Philbrick's Bunker Hill but has a greater emphasis on the British side of the Revolutionary War (1775–83) narrative. It is recommended to academic and general audiences alike. [See Prepub Alert, 11/3/13.]—Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia [Page 105]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Borneman (The Admirals) takes on the oft-examined topic of the Revolutionary War and zooms in on the events and months leading up to the rebellion—the "American" spring, as it were, of 1775, up until Monday, July 3, 1775, when George Washington officially takes command of the Continental Army. Borneman takes on this important moment in history in a broad and all-encompassing manner, providing details on both the major players and events of the time as well as the ways revolution was affecting the quotidian routine of ordinary colonial settlers. This approach gives the reader not just a comprehensive understanding of the rebels' motives, obstacles, and overall tensions, but also makes the setting of the colonies during the spring of 1775 vivid and real to a 21st-century audience. The book aims to expand upon and illuminate current history rather than challenge traditional understandings of the era, though Borneman thoroughly acknowledges the large number of loyalist settlers, and shortcomings of the rebel movement, such as their occasional tendency toward violent protests (two aspects of history that Americans sometimes overlook). Borneman doesn't add new angles, but his extensive coverage of the events and balanced writing style make it an enjoyable and accessible read. B&w illus. (May) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"When we reflect on our nation's history, the American Revolution can feel almost like a foregone conclusion. In reality, the first weeks and months of 1775 were very tenuous, and a fractured and ragtag group of colonial militias had to coalesce to have even the slimmest chance of toppling the mighty British Army.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Examines the first weeks of the American Revolution, from Paul Revere's ride in December 1774, through the shots fired at Lexington Green and the ordinary Americans who were caught up in the fight alongside heroes like Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Examines the first weeks of the American Revolution, from Paul Revere's ride in December 1774 through the shots fired at Lexington Green, and the ordinary Americans who were caught up in the fight alongside such heroes as Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A vibrant look at the American Revolution's first months, from the author of the bestseller The Admirals. When we reflect on our nation's history, the American Revolution can feel almost like a foregone conclusion. In reality, the first weeks and months of 1775 were very tenuous, and a fractured and ragtag group of colonial militias had to coalesce rapidly to have even the slimmest chance of toppling the mighty British Army. American Spring follows a fledgling nation from Paul Revere's little-known ride of December 1774 and the first shots fired on Lexington Green through the catastrophic Battle of Bunker Hill, culminating with a Virginian named George Washington taking command of colonial forces on July 3, 1775. Focusing on the colorful heroes John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry, and the ordinary Americans caught up in the revolution, Walter R. Borneman uses newly available sources and research to tell the story of how a decade of discontent erupted into an armed rebellion that forged our nation.