Using the stories of six people, Russell Shorto has painted a broad picture of life and struggle in the 18th century. Shorto looks at the lives of a young woman, the British Secretary of War, an Iroquois chief, a free black man (living in Connecticut), an ambitious politician in Albany and George Washington.
He fills the book with fascinating details about each one and in so doing gives us a deeper understanding of the society that the revolution played out in. The freedom to lead your life as you see fit was the ideal, but then as now this ideal was not always available to everyone.
Fascinating, thought provoking, fun, entertaining, enjoyable- I could go on- A must read.
Russell Shorto's work has been praised as "first-rate intellectual history" (Wall Street Journal), "literary alchemy" (Chicago Tribune) and simply "astonishing" (New York Times).
In his epic new book, Russell Shorto takes us back to the founding of the American nation, drawing on diaries, letters and autobiographies to flesh out six lives that cast the era in a fresh new light. They include an African man who freed himself and his family from slavery, a rebellious young woman who abandoned her abusive husband to chart her own course and a certain Mr. Washington, who was admired for his social graces but harshly criticized for his often-disastrous military strategy.
Through these lives we understand that the revolution was fought over the meaning of individual freedom, a philosophical idea that became a force for violent change. A powerful narrative and a brilliant defense of American values, Revolution Song makes the compelling case that the American Revolution is still being fought today and that its ideals are worth defending.