Sunday, June 02, 2013

Book Review: Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult; 1 edition (April 30, 2013)

Due out in paperback this April,  Nathaniel Philbrick revisits the Battle of Bunker Hill--which was really at Breed's Hill.  Philbrick does not lack passion or insight either.  He really knows his craft here as he reconstructs the landscape in a mesmerizing narrative of the robust, messy, and blistering real origins of America.

We all know the names and events involved in the American Revolution: The Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence, and George Washington's decade-long leadership.  What isn't told in most of the books and such on the American Revolution is just how merchants, farmers, sailers, and artisans were forced to take up arms against the Crown.

Travel back in time to a pre-Revolutionary Boston.  The city of 15,000 inhabitants are packed on an island of 1.2 square miles.  Tension quickly builds up to the climax of the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775.  It was the first major battle of the American Revolution.

When the battle went down, John Adams, Sam Adams, and John Hancock were not even close to the scene of events.  The big name here is Joseph Warren, a 33-year-old physician.  He was leading the events on the ground at the time.  It was Warren who told Paul Revere and William Dawes to sound the alarm that the British were going to Concord.

Philbrick tracks the 18 months that transpired between the Boston Tea Party and Bunker Hill.

Warner Brothers and Ben Affleck have optioned the film rights.  But a story this epic can't simply be told in two hours.  It deserves a mini-series treatment similar to that of John Adams.

No comments: