Desparate Sons by Les Standiford

I’m reading a review copy of Les Standiford’s excellent Desparate Sons, a very well researched historical narrative featuring the people and events leading up to the American Revolution.   In Desparate Sons most of the action takes place between 1765 and 1776, giving us insight into a period of American History that is often overlooked when accounts focus mostly on the Revolutionary War for independence from Britain, the Declaration of Independence, The US Constitution, and the other well-trod literary grounds of Early American History.

Desparate Sons focuses on the colonial discontent that grew partly from ideas of personal liberty but, to this reader, mostly seemed to be a very hotheaded response to Britain’s efforts to tax the colonies.    Perhaps one of the reasons school kids don’t learn about this period is that it appears many of the early revolutionary acts were essentially organized mobs bullying those who supported England and English soldiers, many of whom did little to incite any violence whatsoever.

I’ll save a full review until I’m done with the book, but I can already recommend it for both the quality of writing and the depth of historical research into a period critical to an understanding of American Colonial History and US History.

From Amazon.com:

A groundbreaking narrative—a historical political thriller—that explores the role of the Sons of Liberty in the American Revolution.

More than two hundred years ago, a group of British colonists in America decided that the conditions under which they were governed had become intolerable. Angry and frustrated that King George III and the British Parliament had ignored their lawful complaints and petitions, they decided to take action.

Knowing that their deeds—often directed at individuals and property—were illegal, and punishable by imprisonment and even death, these agitators plotted and conducted their missions in secret to protect their identities as well as the identities of those who supported them. Calling themselves the Sons of Liberty, they gathered together in a radical society committed to imposing forcible change. Those determined men—including second cousins Samuel and John Adams, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock—saw themselves as patriots. Yet to the Crown, and to many of the Sons’ fellow colonists, the revolutionaries were terrorists who deserved death for their treason.

In this gripping narrative, Les Standiford reveals how this group of intelligent, committed men, motivated by economics and political belief, began a careful campaign of interlocking events that would channel feelings of vague injustice into an armed rebellion of common cause, which would defeat an empire and give birth to a radical political experiment—a new nation known as the United States.

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