BOOK REVIEW: American Spring by Walter R. Borneman

american_springBook: American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution by Walter R. Borneman

Genre: Historical Nonfiction

Most Americans are familiar with the general idea of the events that led to the American Revolution, at least from their poetic, though not strictly factual presentation by Henry Longfellow.

Listen, my children, and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,/On the 18th of May in Seventy-Five,/Hardly a man is now alive/Who remembers the famous day and year. (“The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Though more romanticized than factually accurate, I daresay that poem is responsible for a goodly number of people managing to remember the year the American Revolution began.  Of course, Paul Revere’s ride was neither the beginning breath nor the final nudges towards war.  A great deal more was involved in leading the original rebels toward the break from Britain and formation of our own United States. Walter R. Borneman has given us an opportunity at all-inclusive enlightenment in American Spring.

Going far beyond the general barrage of dates and grand events from most high school textbooks, American Spring delves deeply into the events, examining the people involved and their motivations–both personal and political.  Borneman also firmly debunks the parts of history that have swollen with retelling, examining and displaying the evidence we have.

American Spring is a very in depth look at the years leading up to the first battles of the American Revolution.  It is not for the faint of heart, but if you have a deep-seated fascination with history, you may or may not get so excited by this book that you’re all but bouncing up and down on the couch, interrupting your husband’s reading multiple times to ply him with trivia…. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…

This is the first of Borneman’s books that I’ve read, but I’ve heard that his The Admirals was also fantastic, and am looking into making that one of my next historical nonfiction conquests.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars