Title: Give Me Liberty!Give Me Liberty
Author: Russell Freedman
Pages: 90
Recommended Ages: 9 & up
Star Rating: ★★★★★

Instead of addressing merely a specific aspect of the American War for Independence (as did The Story of the Declaration of Independence and …If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution) Give Me Liberty! begins prior to the war, gives a brief history of America from its settling by the pilgrims, and documents the earliest causes of dissent before diving into the events of the war itself. The causes of the war are well expressed and are enhanced by dozens of oil paintings and portraits which are included in each chapter.

One thing that Give Me Liberty! touched on which is often ignored is the fact that the colonists were not entirely peaceable in their demonstrations. Besides the Tea Party, colonialists also stormed and vandalized several British-owned mansions. The Boston Massacre, also – though then touted as a propaganda piece against British tyranny – was provoked by the hostile crowd that threatened the redcoats.

As a demonstration of the propaganda, Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre is included. (This painting shows men lying on the ground with blood gushing out of them.)

A few of the illustrations show women in colonial clothing, and on pages sixty-seven, it is mentioned that “recent evidence suggests that Jefferson may have fathered several children with his slave Sally Hemings.” [pg. 67]

Conclusion. I loved this book. It is a short but well written peek into the spirit and reasoning behind Colonial Independence.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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