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They Were Heroes, Revolutionaries Who Risked Everything They Were Complicated, Sometimes Conniving Men Of Intellect And Instinct, Passion, Ambition, And Reserve In This Scrupulously Researched Narrative History, AJ Langguth Brings Them Alive With Vivid Portraiture And Actual Dialogue From Their Letters And Speeches Patriots Conveys The Reality Of The American Revolution With All Its Bloody Battles, Treacheries, And DramaIn This Most Engaging, Richly Shaded Portrait Of George Washington, We See The Essential Honor And Integrity Of The Man And The Tenacious Will That Inspired His Soldiers Onward Despite His Sometimes Shaky Military Strategies We See Thomas Jefferson, Who Wrote The Declaration Of Independence Only Because John Adams Wouldn T, Who Annoyed Fellow Legislators At The Continental Congress By Constantly Returning Home To The Bedside Of His Ailing Wife We See The Adams Cousins John, Self Conscious, Desperately Ambitious, And Sam, An Unforgettable Character Who Feared Washington S Imperial AmbitionsLangguth Captures All The Familiar Figures And All The Drama Of American History S Greatest Scenes, From Shipboard Pandemonium At The Boston Tea Party To The Secret Meetings Of The Sons Of Liberty, To The Final Victory At Yorktown He Takes Us Into The Battles, Into The New Congress To Hear Washington S Stirring Retirement Address, Into The Spirit Of Our History S Most Unforgettable Patriots


10 thoughts on “Patriots: The Men Who Started The American Revolution

  1. says:

    I sort of read this books to tatters I refuse to throw out the tattered copy I loved this book I was obsessed with this book This book is the reason I will name my cat Molineaux when I get it Stop, Mr Molineaux Stop, Mr Molineaux Gentlemen, if Mr Molineaux leaves us, we are forever undone I HAVEN T OPENED THIS BOOK IN THREE YEARS AND I AM PROBABLY CLOSE TO IF NOT ACTUALLY WORD PERFECT ON THAT QUOTE I don t know why I somehow doubt it is actually all that brilliant And yet I I sort of read this books to tatters I refuse to throw out the tattered copy I loved this book I was obsessed with this book This book is the reason I will name my cat Molineaux when I get it Stop, Mr Molineaux Stop, Mr Molineaux Gentlemen, if Mr Molineaux leaves us, we are forever undone I HAVEN T OPENED THIS BOOK IN THREE YEARS AND I AM PROBABLY CLOSE TO IF NOT ACTUALLY WORD PERFECT ON THAT QUOTE I don t know why I somehow doubt it is actually all that brilliant And yet I WAS OBSESSED OMG.This book has forever poisoned me against non narrative history HISTORY IS EXCITING AND SHOULD BE TOLD IN GRIPPING NARRATIVE If you can t tell a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat, you are doing it rong How much do I love James Otis and Mercy Otis Warren It is this book s fault How much do I love Thomas Jefferson the horny twenty year old It is this book s fault How much do I love Thomas Paine the one step ahead of debtor s jail hack It is this book s fault THEY ARE ALL SO EPIC I LOFF THEM OMG


  2. says:

    Again, one of my favorite books I like history and I like military History This book tells an absorbing story of the Revolution built around short bios of the founders of the United States.


  3. says:

    This is a good overview of the period leading up to the American Revolution, the revolution itself, and the short period after the war ended but not into the early days of the United States under the Articles of Confederation.Langguth, as he does in his next volume on the War of 1812, focuses on a handful of well known and not so well known personalities Samuel Adams is a central figure and appears to be unjustly underrated as a figure in the period leading up to the war and the Continental Con This is a good overview of the period leading up to the American Revolution, the revolution itself, and the short period after the war ended but not into the early days of the United States under the Articles of Confederation.Langguth, as he does in his next volume on the War of 1812, focuses on a handful of well known and not so well known personalities Samuel Adams is a central figure and appears to be unjustly underrated as a figure in the period leading up to the war and the Continental Congresses Hisfamous cousin, John, is probably better remembered having been our 2nd president Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Arnold, Hamilton, and many other familiar names are all present Langguth points out, as others have, that the Founding Fathers were hardly of one mind or one motivation.The book serves as a good reminder of the difference between warfare in the 18th Century and what it would evolve into by mid 19th Century The military action, such as it is, is a series of small battles, lots of maneuvering of armies, much like a massive game of chess When Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, it almost comes as a surprise if we didn t know that already Unlike Grant and Lee duking it out for month after bloody month or Sherman ravaging Georgia, Cornwallis finds himself surrounded on land and cut off by water and simply surrenders.For someone wanting a good solid overview of the period and a glimpse of some very interesting and surprising characters, this is a good place to go


  4. says:

    This is my favorite book on American History and one of my favorite books ever written I picked this up at my mom s house when I was bored one day and started skimming through the first few pages I figured I might learn a few interesting facts Instead, I was captivated This book reads like a novel and it left me feeling like I knew some of our founding fathers personally It made the events leading up to the Revolutionary War seem so muchreal to me I am not a history buff and never th This is my favorite book on American History and one of my favorite books ever written I picked this up at my mom s house when I was bored one day and started skimming through the first few pages I figured I might learn a few interesting facts Instead, I was captivated This book reads like a novel and it left me feeling like I knew some of our founding fathers personally It made the events leading up to the Revolutionary War seem so muchreal to me I am not a history buff and never thought I would be, but this book taught me so much and made me thirsty forknowledge about the men who shaped the beginning of this country I loved it


  5. says:

    This is a well written book that held my interest throughout Like a good novel, it tells a story that kept me turning to the next pages to find out what happened The story, in this case, involves the events that led up to the American Revolution, starting with James Otis s opposition to the writs of assistance in 1761 and ending with George Washington s farewell to his troops in 1783.In between, A J Langguth a professor of journalism, who wrote Our Vietnam generally does a masterful job This is a well written book that held my interest throughout Like a good novel, it tells a story that kept me turning to the next pages to find out what happened The story, in this case, involves the events that led up to the American Revolution, starting with James Otis s opposition to the writs of assistance in 1761 and ending with George Washington s farewell to his troops in 1783.In between, A J Langguth a professor of journalism, who wrote Our Vietnam generally does a masterful job of telling us about the dynamic, brave, sometimes vain, and often brilliant leaders most notably, Samuel and John Adams, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Joseph Warren, and Benjamin Franklin , who rebelled against the mother country And there are also the not so great, who made terrible mistakes on the battlefield Charles Lee or switched to the other side Benedict Arnold.Langguth also does a very good job in describing the key battles of the war, and the strategy of both sides The details provided are excellent The Minute Men and their duck hunting rifles, picking off British troops withdrawing from Concord John Stark s men hiding behind hay and stones to stop William Howe s flanking manuever at Breed s Hill Washington s nine hour crossing of the Delaware River, ending at 3 AM and his defeat of the Hessians at Trenton when the enemy commander did not bother to read a note of warning from a loyalist Horatio Gates s victory at Saratoga, when British forces led by John Burgoyne were trapped and attacked from three sides von Steuben ordering the American soldiers to place kitchens and latrines at opposite sides of their camps Washington begging his troops to stay for sixweeks for ten dollars in hard money in the winter of 1776 sentries at Valley Forge standing barefoot inside their hats in December 1777.This book not only fascinated me by providing such details, but also answered a lot of the questions I had about the war for independence, and what led up to it What was the Stamp Act How did groups of farmers and tradesmen defeat the British Empire What tactics did Washington and his generals employ to defeat tens of thousands of British and Hessian troops What role did the French play What exactly did Sam Adams and others do to move us towards independence How many people were loyalists and what part did they play in the events This book answered all of these questions, andThe only real problem I had with the book was that the fighting in the South was not covered adequately, I believe, along with leaders like Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter.The heroes are heroic especially Washington , and deservedly so, but we also read about their less than admirable qualities There is also the factor of the mistakes made by opponents The author does not devote much attention to social, economic, racial, and legal trends and effects That is not his purpose A good, little book to read on these matters is The American Revolution A History by Gordon S Wood.Patriots by A J Langguth is an excellent, journalistic account mainly chronological of this period in American history I am recommending it because it brings the leaders and events that founded our country to life, in a clear and interesting way


  6. says:

    A.J Langguth s Patriots was published in 1989, and I ve had it on my bookshelf almost that long not really, but it s been at least five years The great thing about history is that it really doesn t change much and a well written popular history, barring new scholarship, is still going to be interesting 20 or 50 or 100 years after publishing Patriots is well written popular history.Which is not say everyone will fall in love with it or that it s the greatest book ever on the subject For sta A.J Langguth s Patriots was published in 1989, and I ve had it on my bookshelf almost that long not really, but it s been at least five years The great thing about history is that it really doesn t change much and a well written popular history, barring new scholarship, is still going to be interesting 20 or 50 or 100 years after publishing Patriots is well written popular history.Which is not say everyone will fall in love with it or that it s the greatest book ever on the subject For starters not everyone enjoys reading history I blame teachers for that I have a theory that there is nothing inherent in anyone s personality that will make them like or dislike history instead it s the teachers you have the first couple years you have to take history in school Doesn t matter what age, whether you first take history in fourth grade or seventh grade If at least one of your first two teachers makes history interesting you stand a chance, but if they both suck you ll never be able to get into it, no chance Anyway , although this at least is fun history Really, what American can t at least sorta get into a story about the Revolution Langguth frankly admits in the acknowledgements that Revolutionary history suffers from a lack of, shall we say, academic agreement on what actually happened To some degree all the writer of history can do is pick the least unlikely of the available options We know Washington didn t chop down a cherry tree what we don t know beyond a shadow of a doubt is what he did do At least he left a lot of letters.I ve read a bit about the Revolution Founding Brothers was great One of the things I liked about this was Langguth s decision to cover James Otis and Samuel Adams as heavily as he did Unfortunately the focus on Massachussetts meant I kept wanting to knowabout what was going in the South I m sure there s a book out there like that, but the thing is, going in, I had heard the name James Otis once, but knew nothing about him, and all I knew about Samuel Adams was that he was a brewer it turns he was not, in fact, a brewer He made malt, but never actually brewed beer also, he didn t really make much malt, either, and was usually broke Following them was great I had no idea how important Samuel Adams actually was to the early movement for independence.It s a really big book, about 600 pages If that s not daunting it s worth your time


  7. says:

    Political fervor is at the highest level it has ever been at during my life For the longest consecutive time in my life, I have been glued to the radio on my way to and from work during the long commute People losing their homes, banks in trouble, our tax dollars being mixed with cement to repair all of the cracks in our confidence in the economy Iraq was it right, was it wrong, is it lost, has it been won Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan Conflicts of interest in our politics A Political fervor is at the highest level it has ever been at during my life For the longest consecutive time in my life, I have been glued to the radio on my way to and from work during the long commute People losing their homes, banks in trouble, our tax dollars being mixed with cement to repair all of the cracks in our confidence in the economy Iraq was it right, was it wrong, is it lost, has it been won Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan Conflicts of interest in our politics An open hand makes a fine backhand as well At least we live in interesting times Reading this book, in a sense, is an attempt to dig my hands into the soil I ve spent 31 years on in order to feel the roots that have been holding all of this ground up What did our founding fathers have in mind when they began thumbing their noses at the Tories Ransacking ships in the harbor, clandestine meetings to write up a new set of rules, discussions about land, rights, liberty and happiness What were these men like themselves Was our nation forged by Zeus like tempers, the wisdom of philosophical fathers, or simply the brave instincts of Prometheans Thinking of these times, I wonder how true we have stayed to the original spirit of those revolutions Have our recent leaders lived up to a code established by these men Have citizens lived up to their responsibilities as members of a democracy I know that laws and rules and practices must all change with time it is one of the only certainties But, I can t help but believe that all of those men gave the best pieces of themselves to what began then and has evolved or de evolved until now I want to find that At the atomic level of our flag, what forces stitch, what threads are resistant to all stains I finished this book late on November 4th, 2008, immediately after the announcement came that Barack Obama would be the 44th President of the United States


  8. says:

    Patriots by A.J Langguth is a non fictional history book on the American Revolution It describes different events in that time and important people The book is 640 pages long but a pretty easy read It describes what each person did and the importance of them in that time in history It shows the heroism of our founding fathers and the fight for our freedom It mentions a time of slavery and war Although it describes many events in history that we may know have already learned about before, Patriots by A.J Langguth is a non fictional history book on the American Revolution It describes different events in that time and important people The book is 640 pages long but a pretty easy read It describes what each person did and the importance of them in that time in history It shows the heroism of our founding fathers and the fight for our freedom It mentions a time of slavery and war Although it describes many events in history that we may know have already learned about before, it goes into greater detail to show us the good, the bad and the ugly We see our greatest leaders struggle and we see them conquer great battles It starts off by introducing John Adams and a couplepeople like James Otis who wanted a place on the superior court The author describes how the countrymen weren t ready just yet to attack the British crown Then it described the outbreak of riots andevents with important leaders in the American Revolution This is an interesting read for any high school student looking to learnabout history It goes into detail what our leaders went through and why the outcome of these events were how they ended up It mentioned their lives outside of politics and the choices they made There are many, many days of history this book includes like the massacre, trails and disagreements between people on signing agreements of wanting what was best for their country I recommend this book to anyone looking to learnabout our leaders or becomeeducated on what happened during the American Revolution This book shows us victory and independence of our great country


  9. says:

    Excellent narrative history of the American Revolution, starting with the Stamp Act and other policies of the British crown that led the Patriots to rebel Langguth really makes the stories and names come alive, and you get a better sense of the frustration and anger felt by the colonists, as well as the difficulties they faced I had always wondered what role Samuel Adams played, or where Paul Revere was going on his midnight ride, or how Benedict Arnold became a traitor and what became of him Excellent narrative history of the American Revolution, starting with the Stamp Act and other policies of the British crown that led the Patriots to rebel Langguth really makes the stories and names come alive, and you get a better sense of the frustration and anger felt by the colonists, as well as the difficulties they faced I had always wondered what role Samuel Adams played, or where Paul Revere was going on his midnight ride, or how Benedict Arnold became a traitor and what became of him afterward and those are some of the things explained here Several of the pivotal battles are also told so well that you can almost feel the roar of the cannons and hear the bullets racing by The focus of the book is muchon the earlier part of the Revolution and Samuel Adams is almost the main character before shifting toward George Washington about halfway through The contentions with Loyalist governors, such as Thomas Hutchinson, are explained very well The latter part of the Revolution, as the war shifted south, is explained in much less detail, almost as if the author was trying to wrap things up, although the account of the Battle of Yorktown was quite thrilling He doesn t seem to shy away from some of the less heroic facts, either, from John Adam s ego to Washington s blunders There were even a number of interesting and sometimes amusing anecdotes that I don t recall reading in other books even a couple I don t remember from McCullough s extensive John Adams Maybe not the best or fullest account of the Revolution, but certainly one of the most readable


  10. says:

    Good read overall, captures the important events and interactions As described, does follow key individuals of the period and gives you a nice basis of who they were, how they became prominent, the role the played, etc I see this as a great starter book for someone interested in the period and to spark their interest intodetailed accounts on the person, independence, or the Revolutionary War I feel adetailed account and better book on the Revolutionary War that I have read to Good read overall, captures the important events and interactions As described, does follow key individuals of the period and gives you a nice basis of who they were, how they became prominent, the role the played, etc I see this as a great starter book for someone interested in the period and to spark their interest intodetailed accounts on the person, independence, or the Revolutionary War I feel adetailed account and better book on the Revolutionary War that I have read to date is Almost a Miracle which goes intodetail and hits all parts of the war in painstaking detail But, this does a good job of giving you some depth of key decisions and points in the war.I felt this book also was able to spark my interest in key patriots to say maybe I will pick up a personal account or biography on one or two of them So it sets that table nicely.I do feel Langguth had a tendency at times to wander in his writing and there were people or accounts he threw into a chapter or paragraph that felt like it came out of left field or did not play into the read very well It s not to say it wasn t valuable information it just jumped around a bit or felt cut off in sequence and sometimes I had to stop and read something over again to determine how it tied in.Again this is a nice book for a first approach at the time period and certainly hits the patriotism and importance of events