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This biography begins with what is probably Hancock's most famous act, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It then takes readers back to the beginning of his life to tell how he became such an important and influential part of America's Revolutionary War. Details of his upbringing and personal life are spare, as the focus of the book is really on his political activities, from early acts of rebellion against the British to his participation in the Second Continental Congress. Terse explanations of major events may seem too brief to those with previous knowledge, but they are enough for budding historians to understand the primary causes of the war. Quotations appear throughout and are cited at the end. Himler's watercolors in muted tones offer visual guides to historical events. This title covers similar ground as that in Jean Fritz's Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? (Putnam, 1976) and is a solid addition to biography collections.
—Jody KoppleCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.