Signing Their Lives Away

Signing Their Lives Away

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by Denise Kiernan, Joseph D'Agnese
     
 

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In the summer of 1776, fifty-six men risked their lives and livelihood to defy King George III and sign the Declaration of Independence—yet how many of them do we actually remember? Signing Their Lives Away introduces readers to the eclectic group of statesmen, soldiers, slaveholders, and scoundrels who signed this historic document—and the manySee more details below

Overview

In the summer of 1776, fifty-six men risked their lives and livelihood to defy King George III and sign the Declaration of Independence—yet how many of them do we actually remember? Signing Their Lives Away introduces readers to the eclectic group of statesmen, soldiers, slaveholders, and scoundrels who signed this historic document—and the many strange fates that awaited them. Some prospered and rose to the highest levels of United States government, while others had their homes and farms seized by British soldiers. Signer George Wythe was poisoned by his nephew; Button Gwinnett was killed in a duel; Robert Morris went to prison; Thomas Lynch was lost at sea; and of course Sam Adams achieved fame as a patriot/brewer. Complete with portraits of the signers as well as a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, Signing Their Lives Away provides an entertaining and enlightening narrative for history buffs of all ages.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Kiernan and D'Agnese (coauthors, The Indiana Jones Handbook: The Complete Adventurers Guide) use a light and breezy tone to portray the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Using decidedly contemporary language, they succeed in stripping away preconceived notions of the more famous signers and bringing out something of interest about the other, less well known ones. The signers are grouped by state and presented in short profiles, none more than five pages long. The authors manage, nonetheless, to present a fairly complete picture of each man, focusing on a fact that seems to be the most interesting or unusual, often conveyed in the chapter's title, e.g., James Wilson of Pennsylvania is "The Signer Who Went Broke on Shady Land Deals." Each chapter is adorned with a facsimile of the signer's signature as well as a cameo portrait. In what can only be called a gimmick, the inside of the dust jacket has a replica of the Declaration. An appendix with the full text of the document, a time line, and "The Miscellany of Independence" follows the main text. VERDICT Although this book is entertaining, the tone and somewhat superficial treatment of each signer might make this work more suitable for YA readers, as well as for general readers new to the topic.�Jane B. Marino, Great Neck Lib., NY


—Jane B. Marino
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—On that immortal "Second of July," in 1776, 56 men described by King George III as daring and desperate affixed their names to the most celebrated document in American history. Or did they? With this work, Kiernan and D'Agnese present readers with astonishing individual portraits of all the signers in an attempt both to dispel some of the mythology surrounding the document as well as to establish a place in the historical discourse for those men not named Jefferson, Hancock, Franklin, or Adams. The marvelously arranged work lends itself to either straightforward reading or skipping around. The table of contents, divided by state, sparks readers' interest from the very beginning with its "the Signer who…" format, a feature that also allows great accessibility for reports and assignments. An entertaining and effective narrative of about three to five pages per individual is presented, and the full text of the document, a brief time line, and a section on the "Miscellany of Independence" are appended. Readers will delight as they discover just which signer "was the first to die," "slept in caves," "had the worst penmanship," and "went broke on shady land deals."—Brian Odom, Pelham Public Library, AL

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594744808
Publisher:
Quirk Publishing
Publication date:
08/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
147,027
File size:
4 MB

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