The Revolutionary Paul Revere

The Revolutionary Paul Revere

by Joel J. Miller


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595550743
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/06/2010
Edition description: Original
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 423,481
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Joel J. Miller is the author ofseveral books including The Revolutionary Paul Revere. His writing has been featured in The American Spectator, Reason, Real Clear Religion and elsewhere. He blogs on faith and spirituality at He and his family live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Read an Excerpt

The Revolutionary Paul Revere

By Joel J. Miller

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Joel J. Miller
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59555-074-3

Chapter One


In which the forebears of our hero trade the trials and hardships of the Old World for the uncertainties and hopes of the New, starting our story rolling in the boisterous town of Boston, in the British colony of Massachusetts.

This land grows weary of its inhabitants." That's what John Winthrop thought of his home. England was too small, geographically, theologically, politically, and economically. He couldn't stand the cramp, and the feeling was mutual: England couldn't stand him. Winthrop was a Puritan and ran afoul of the Act of Uniformity, which outlawed doctrinal squabbles (something at which the Puritans excelled) in the Anglican Church.

It came to this: Winthrop, a onetime government lawyer, needed new digs, preferably where he could structure a little government of his own. So in 1630 he gained control of the Massachusetts Bay Company and led a pack of Puritans to America. Picture Moses leaving Egypt with the children of Israel, except in this case the promised land was the wilderness.

The plan was to settle in Salem. Some Pilgrims were already there, and Winthrop figured they could farm alongside. But that plan was hatched several thousand miles away, and when Winthrop and company actually arrived, they realized that clearing the dense woodland was too big a chore. They could hunt the game-thick forest, but they were largely inexperienced, and Winthrop was a klutz with a gun. As a young man, he gave up hunting because "I have gotten ... nothing at all towards my cost and labor," a roundabout way of admitting that he was a lousy shot. So, down with Salem.

After further scouting the New England coast, Winthrop decided on the peninsula of Trimountain, as the earliest English settlers first called Boston. It had ample room at seven hundred square acres, good drinking water, and breathtaking landscape. The best feature? The mile-long muddy finger that gripped the mainland. Boston Neck doesn't exist today as it did then. In the seventeenth century, before the hills were leveled into the bay to expand the land mass, the slender sinew was narrow enough to keep enemies out (or inhabitants bottled in, as the British army would later discover).

The Puritans had their base of operation; now they had to operate. England might have grown weary of its inhabitants, but fledgling colonies needed to create businesses profitable enough to survive in their new homes and enrich underwriters and benefactors in their old. Fattening British purses was a colony's reason for existence-so much so that colonies were often called "plantations." Production was the whole point.

Virginia had tobacco.

New York had furs.

And Boston had the "sacred cod."

It's an apt adjective. The fish is one of the earliest Christian symbols, so it makes a providential sort of sense that Winthrop and his Puritans bettered themselves through the burgeoning industry. He didn't have the foresight to keep up his hunting practice as a lad, but he was smart enough to bring shipbuilders with him to the New World. As one observation had it, "[T]he Puritans took to sea with such vigor that ... their commerce smelled as strongly of fish as their theology did of brimstone." By 1640, Massachusetts exported three hundred thousand dried and salted cod, the very foundation for Boston's future wealth and status.

By the time Paul Revere's father, Apollos Rivoire, hit shore in 1716, the settlement had grown from a bedraggled band barely fit to occupy the dirt under their feet to a bustling and prosperous seaside city of nearly fifteen thousand inhabitants, bursting with as many opportunities as people. No mistaking it: Boston was an unweary place. English Puritans were not alone in the world. A like-minded group, the Huguenots, lived in the predominantly Catholic France. But just as England wearied of its inhabitants, France tired of its Huguenots-to the point of persecution. Fearing trouble, Isaac Rivoire baptized newborn son Apollos in secret in 1702 because the law forbade Protestant rites.

Huguenots dodged trouble in three ways; they phonied up an allegiance to Rome, kept a low profile, or took off. Isaac opted for one of the first two. He owned land near the wine-rich region of Bordeaux and remained there the rest of his life. But he chose option three for Apollos. Sending the boy away must have been hard, though not as difficult as watching authorities seize the child should they suspect Isaac of teaching him Protestant doctrines. So in November 1715, thirteen-year-old Apollos boarded a boat for the English Channel Island of Guernsey. His uncle Simon previously fled there and now arranged for Apollos's passage from Guernsey to Boston.

If young Apollos's trip was typical, then the journey was probably rough. Food stores, often insufficient, just as often went bad. Stormy winter waves endangered anyone above decks. Most passengers trekked it below in the ill-lit, damp interior, the ship throbbing and undulating with the nauseating swell of the sea. Cramped quarters, poor food, and stale air meant that voyagers often took sick. Days and weeks passed, and the voyage seemed interminable.

Then land. Lumpen masses rose from the sea. Hazy coastline sharpened and firmed against the horizon. Smells of earth and vegetation blew from shore as the ship approached. Threading narrow Nantasket Channel, the vessel glided past Castle Island on the right. On the left, Governour's Island and then little Bird Island. Steering clear of the shallow Dorchester Flats, the ship washed into a welcoming wharf and disgorged its cargo as excited passengers bounded ashore. All but Apollos, whose family indentured the boy to pay for his apprenticeship to goldsmith John Coney. Apollos could no more do as he pleased than could one of the slaves attending the brocaded merchants by the docks.

Indenture ensured long-term care and safety. Apprentices were guaranteed humane treatment, room, board, and education. But for this moment, while he waited for the captain to transfer him to his new master, Apollos was also guaranteed the dehumanized status of a living, breathing transaction waiting for paperwork and fulfillment.

Commerce was everything. Boston's fortunes were built on cod, but trade follows trade. For that John Winthrop could have hardly picked a better spot. Boston was well sheltered and closer to England than any other American port. The shoreline sprouted an ever-growing tangle of wharves, docks, and shipyards, all sprawling over the water's edge as if the peninsula were pulsing and alive.

Trimountain was nothing like the calm, rolling hills of Bordeaux. Likely both anxious and fearful, Apollos took in the display around him. The skyline jagged in its hectic array of rooflines, bristling with church steeples and glinting weather vanes. Wharves spiked with ship masts. Merchants, sailors, and artisans scurrying along wooden planks and muddy streets, in and out of warehouses, counting houses, shops, inns, taverns, and coffeehouses, hasty with errands and missions. Shipwrights and joiners bending to their tasks, maintaining the fleets of vessels that brought textiles from England, sugar from the Caribbean, wine from the Canaries, tea from Holland, and slaves from Africa. Within earshot there were the clink-clinking of hammers, the ringing and clanging of bells, the haggling of shopkeeps, the shouting of tradesmen, the cursing of seamen, the barking of seals, the cawing of gulls. Maritime smells suffused the air: salty breezes, hot tar, wood smoke, breweries, rum distilleries, soap boilers, whaleworks, and of course, fish, particularly cod-caked with salt and drying in the sun, ready to make its way back to the ports and markets of England and Europe, possibly even Rochelle, the port from which Apollos forever departed his home only months before.

A long shot from the serene vineyards of home-stretching before him now was the turbulent preurban tussle of Boston and the vast expanse of America.

Chapter Two


In which the father of our hero, Apollos Rivoire, comes into his own, and changes the family name before buying his freedom, marrying a good Yankee girl of hardy stock, and then bringing little Paul into a world beset by economic troubles.

For all the freshness and novelty of America, some things didn't change. As apprentice and master, Apollos and Coney commenced a relationship unaltered since the Middle Ages. Apollos had to learn, serve, submit, and not embarrass or harm Coney by thieving, whoring, gambling, or boozing. He was, as the standard contract language had it, to "behave himself as a faithful apprentice ought." Meanwhile, Coney's job was to provide "sufficient meat, drink, apparel, lodging and washing befitting an apprentice" and to "use the utmost of his endeavor" to teach his "trade or mystery."

It was a lucky stroke for Apollos that New England boasted some of the finest goldsmiths in the colonies, and Coney was one of the best. There were around five hundred working in America then, some good, some bad. Apollos might have been apprenticed to a hack and been degraded day and night. Benjamin Franklin, just a few years Apollos's junior, was indentured to his abusive brother, a Boston printer. Ben split for Philadelphia rather than buckle under. Many apprentices beat town, just as many masters beat the stragglers into submission. Things weren't so bad for Apollos.

Coney showed Apollos the tools and techniques of the trade: how to melt silver coinage and recast it as salver, tankard, or bowl; how to beat an ingot of silver into a large sheet; how to raise a disc of flattened silver into a teapot; how to engrave everything from porringers to printing plates.

Apollos spoke no English but picked up his new tongue with his craft. He proved a quick study, capable, industrious, and worked hard to apply himself. In time he turned an ample income, enough by 1729 to purchase a copy of The Life of the Very Reverend and Learned Cotton Mather, evidence of decent finances, religious devotion, and adequate command of the language. So thoroughly anglicized was Apollos by this point that he called himself "Paul" and changed his last name "Rivoire" to "Revere." His son, our story's Paul Revere, said he made the switch because "the Bumpkins pronounce it easier." At least he hadn't lost that native French charm. To avoid confusion I'll use the old name, but the change is significant. While some things remained the same continent to continent, other things changed dramatically. Out of the persecutions and struggles of the Old World, Apollos emerged a new man in a New World, so self-possessed he rechristened himself with a name of his own invention.

Apollos never finished his apprenticeship under Coney. In 1722, the old man died. Coney's widow could now sell his indenture, and with the death of her husband, she might well need the cash. Facing several additional years of uncertain servitude, Apollos pulled together the funds and bought his own contract.


No longer the captive boy on the dock, he could now do as he pleased.

Deborah Hitchborn, as it happened, pleased him right down to the ground. Apprentices took up with the boss's daughters often enough, and Coney had a handful within easy reach. But convenience isn't everything, and Apollos cast his gaze in a different direction. Deborah lived next door.

Puritans were supposed to hold two competing values in tension: "diligence in worldly business, and yet deadness to the world." That's from the pen of Puritan divine John Cotton. The Hitchborn family was expert in the former even if members sometimes flagged in the latter. Thomas, the paterfamilias, built and repaired ships, operated a tavern, and owned Hitchborn Wharf, a mansion, and several other properties. He was not unique. Since hitting the New England dirt, succeeding generations of Hitchborns and their in-laws commonly hiked further up the ladder of success and status. Even the rowdy ones like Thomas Dexter, an infamous scofflaw whose only known hobbies were cheating Indians and offending magistrates, made their ascent rung by rung.

Coney's neighbor Deborah saw Apollos trying the same hand-over-fist climb. Now he was finally in business for himself. She could do worse for a husband. The couple married 19 June 1729, when he was twenty-seven and she was twenty-five.

The newlyweds kept climbing. Within a year of marrying, they announced in The Weekly News Letter their move "from Capt Pitt's, at the Town Dock, to the North End over against Col Hutchinson's."

Their new neighbor, the Colonel, was one of Boston's leading citizens, a merchant who weathered the hazardous waves of oceangoing commerce and came out ahead more times than not. Pilasters and a cupola adorned his brickwork manse. Fenced and girt with gardens, the estate counted fruit trees and coach houses among its rare features.

The Reveres moved next door with big hopes. The North End was a cramped and cockeyed place where wealthy merchants and common artisans shared scarce space, and proximity promised business. It was handy for a goldsmith to have wealthy merchants in the neighborhood; they were always needing salvers and tea sets. The Reveres encountered the Hutchinsons on the street and saw them at church, the New Brick Church, commonly called the Cockerel after its rooster-shaped brass weather vane. Apollos would soon count the Colonel and his rising-star son, Thomas Hutchinson, as customers.

Financial advantage was no doubt on Apollos's mind. The Puritan ethic might have made wealth more likely-hard work never hurt-but it guaranteed nothing. Boston suffered from several economic crises. Smallpox hit in the twenties, and deaths tallied almost two thousand, wiping out as much as an eighth of the total population. Traders avoided the wharves. Farmers avoided the markets. The Revere family felt the financial impact long after the birth of Paul's eldest sibling. Deborah, named for her mother, arrived in 1732. Apollos had enough money to muster his Mather in '29, but there was less jingle in the purse now, and his family was growing.

As Boston recouped from those shocks, Parliament leveled another. The Molasses Act of 1733 slowed the spigot of cheap French molasses to American distillers. Pity more than poor tipplers. Rum was big business, so that blow was bad enough, but industries connected to the trade staggered as well. Orders for new ships fell by half. Cuts in the fishing trade-the cornerstone of Boston's economy-were even more dramatic. Sailors, carpenters, rope makers, and others felt the bruise and, as one writer put the additional misfortune, "did not even have the consolation of cheap rum in which to drown their sorrows."

Apollos and Deborah's second child, our Paul Revere, arrived a year later, in December 1734, on the twenty-first day of the month, and the family finances suffered throughout his early years.

The Reveres knew from the Bible that the love of money was the root of all evil. They also knew that the lack of it wasn't much better. English trade laws rerouted gold and silver back to England, where it stayed. Enough of the coinage that colonists kept ended up as spoons, bowls, and tankards that they were constantly short on specie. Following philosopher David Hume's comparison of money in an economy to oil in a wheel-housing, the Massachusetts economy was grinding along with a fair share of bumps and knocks. Between 1736 and 1738 Apollos found himself strapped and dragged into court three times for debts he couldn't pay.

Without hard cash, colonists had to get creative. They printed paper money. Apollos's old master was one of the colony's first engravers and printers of the stuff. But paper currency had drawbacks, the worst of which was that it never seemed to be worth as much one day as it was the day before.

Merchants and shop owners turned to barter. Grain, gunpowder, and salt cod replaced pounds, shillings, and doubloons. Oats for hymnbooks and Bibles. Molasses for guns and blankets. Leading merchant Thomas Hancock kept detailed records. Biographer Harlow Giles Unger tells of one particular trade: a tailor purchased tea, paper, and gloves from Hancock in exchange for, among other things, two pairs of britches for Hancock's young nephew John.


Excerpted from The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller Copyright © 2010 by Joel J. Miller. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Arrivals....................1
Chapter 2 Ascent....................9
Chapter 3 Moxie....................17
Chapter 4 Foes....................27
Chapter 5 Friends....................37
Chapter 6 Grudges....................47
Chapter 7 Pox....................59
Chapter 8 Riots....................69
Chapter 9 Parties....................81
Chapter 10 Boycotts....................93
Chapter 11 Showdown....................109
Chapter 12 Skirmishes....................123
Chapter 13 Massacre....................135
Chapter 14 Ebb....................149
Chapter 15 Flow....................157
Chapter 16 Express....................169
Chapter 17 Ride!....................185
Chapter 18 Betrayal....................201
Chapter 19 Waiting....................213
Chapter 20 Penobscot....................223
Chapter 21 Founding....................241
Chapter 22 Departures....................255
The Author....................293

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The Revolutionary Paul Revere 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Jesse37 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this account of Paul Revere's life. The book - The Revolutionary Paul Revere - does a good job of discussing the various stages in Paul's life, from his childhood years all the way to his death. It shows all of the various ways he was a part of the American Revolution. You've undoubtedly heard of his famous midnight ride, but he was also involved in the Revolution in many other ways. He made many other rides during the Revolution years, delivering messages and important documents from one colony to another. Mr. Revere was also an expert engraver and goldsmith, and even dabbled in dentistry! One of the many things I learned about Paul Revere while reading this book is that he was part of the Continental Army during the Revolution. As mentioned, I enjoyed reading this book. However, I think the recommendation shown on the front cover is a bit overstated - "Gallops along with all the drama and intrigue of a great novel." This is a good book, but it did not grab my attention and pull me in the way a great novel typically does. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
SpeedMuser More than 1 year ago
We have always heard about the role of Paul Revere at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, but we probably have not heard his complete story. This book recounts that history to a very rich and full extent. In this book, we get a glimpse of his past, including the arrival of his father from France. I had no idea that Paul's father was French. This book outlines Paul's history, from cradle to grave, and is replete with information regarding his active role within the Patriotic movement, most of which I am certain has not been taught previously. Another aspect of this book that I found enlightening was another perspective of the oppressive tactics used by the English monarchy during this period, and the ways they justified their actions. Aspects of the various taxes and levies placed upon the American colony are illumined with new light, and from a new perspective. I was so captivated by this book, only the need for sleep would prompt me to put it down. This book is written very well, and is quite easily read. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a biography about what can now be understood as a man whose role was larger than realized, especially with respect to the Patriotic movement in Boston, MA. I believe anyone who reads this book will be pleased!
ChicShelby More than 1 year ago
I am a nerd. I love history, but American History has always been hard for me to get into. I hoped that by reading this biography I would have a better appreciation for the time period and the lives during that time; and I do. This biography is written much like a novel, the author goes to great leangth to help the reader understand the background of these lives and how they lived. How people connected and reacted to situations. Paul Revere has an interesting family history; from his father coming over from France to Paul going to the Anglican Church without his father's approval. Go inside the Secret Mason Meetings and Paul Revere's own relationships. This is a well written text and is easily read. I feel that this is a great historical biography for those interested in history and those wanting to know more. After reading this I feel much more informed on the life of the Colonial Americans before, during and after the Revolutionary War.
ThriftyTori More than 1 year ago
This book walks the reader through the life of Paul Revere. I know most everyone knows of that famous ride where Revere fills the night air with shouts of " the British are Coming," but there is so much more to Revere. This book lays his life story out in an easy to read novel form starting all the way back to his father's arrival to America. It's hard for me to sit down and read a history text book, I found the novel format that Miller wrote this book easier to read. I am a bit curious to know how much extra was added to make the story go smoothly and how much was based on the true story of Paul Revere. If I were to give this book a score on a scale of 1 to 10 I would say this book gets at seven. It was very informative on the life of Paul Revere, but I must admit there were sections that I found harder to get through that did not hold me attention. I received a free copy of this book from book sneeze for review purposes. All opinions for this review are my own and not influenced by book sneeze in any way.
melz98 More than 1 year ago
You don't know how much you don't know, until you find out. Isn't that how the old saying goes? I had studied American History in eighth and twelfth grades, and again in college, but other than memorizing a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I knew next to nothing about Paul Revere. Did you know that he was a soldier in both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War? I didn't. I also did not know that he had two wives, and between them bore 16 children for him. I also learned that he wasn't the only rider on April 18, 1775, but one of three - and that he didn't even make it to his destination because of a run-in with British forces. So if you're a history buff, or even if you aren't, you owe it to your American self to read The Revolutionary Paul Revere. It will give you a much deeper understanding of a true American patriot.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
While most Americans learned in school about the famous nightrider messenger of the American Revolution, Paul Revere, few really know about the day to day struggles of Paul Revere and others like him in Colonial Massachusetts. Nor do they know about what a creative, genius as a copperplate engraver and later on a commercial entrepreneur. Religion was a powerful vehicle shaping this colony but it was also a divided colony between conservative and liberal viewpoints, both arising from the Puritan faith and also arousing deep enmity and social condemnation depending on one's choice. Paul Revere showed his tendency toward fairness and justice very early on in his admiration for a certain minister, a choice that earned him fatherly displeasure for sure. This books reads like a fascinating novel as one gets a glimpse into how individuals were shaped by disease that killed mercilessly and without favor and constantly fluctuating financial circumstances. One could be a pauper one day and amazingly rich the next, with the application of disciplined work and the vicissitudes of fortune. But few realize how early commerce in the colonies was conducted more on trade by goods rather than money. One then feels as well as reads about the rational and emotional response to taxes, taxes and more taxes. Parliament was controlling all through the governors and military keeping very tight reins on these families, like that of Paul Revere, who could do nothing but evolve from being loyal British subjects to becoming outraged, suffering believers in freedom and revolution. In reading more about how under-prepared the original fighters of the Revolution were, one begins to appreciate even more than before how much guts and united determination can and did accomplish. The drama and mystery of every step pervades every page, making this a well-told tale of real people in both real and unreal circumstances. Joel J. Miller has done an EXCEPTIONAL job in taking us into the mind, feelings, words and deeds of this very famous, ordinary but so extraordinary man. Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on May 19, 2010
Daenel More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wondered about the back story of one of America's greatest revolutionary heroes? Then The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller is the book for you. It's an irreverent look at an American hero who always seemed to be in the thick of things. The book is a quick and easy read that follows the life of Paul Revere from the immigration of his father, Apollos, in 1716 to Revere's death in 1818. Miller highlights every day events in Revere's life that propelled him into the limelight. For example, his work as a goldsmith granted him access to key people in his community which led to his joining the influential brotherhood ~ the masons. While not an academic book, Miller does provide nice reference material and easy to follow explanations of various characters and events that go into shaping Revere's life and character. As an history instructor, I can appreciate the colloquialisms in the book because it makes the story much more approachable and enjoyable for people who are not necessarily history buffs but who have an interest in sort of man~behind~the~action stories. Disclosure: This is a Thomas Nelson Review. I received this book free through in exchange for a review. I am not required to write a positive review, just an honest one.
Lucindareads More than 1 year ago
"The Brittish Are Coming!" These words are synomous with the name Paul Revere. Yet Paul Revere was so much more than just a rider with a message. The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller looks at the life of Paul Revere. Revere was a great man living in an historic time and place. Miller begins at the beginning with Revere's father's journey to America. This book not only traces the happenings in the life of Paul Revere but also the world around him, manily Boston leading up to the American Revolution and thereafter. If you are a lover of Revolutionary War history this book is sure to appeal to you. Being a history lover myself I enjoyed seeing the parts Paul Revere played in our nation's history besides his infamous ride. I learned many facts about Revere's life of which I had no clue. The book was not a quick read and took longer to read than my usual books. The depth of knowledge is great. I really enjoyed how the author included events that shaped what was happening yet we know that they would have had an effect on Revere but we have no written proof of what the effect was. Do you love the Revolutionary time period then read this book. Want to know more about the years leading up to events such as the Boston Tea Party read this book. Like to know more about the man Paul Revere then I would say read this book. I give this book 4 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller is an essential biography for any Founding Fathers collection. Paul Revere is best known for his midnight ride made famous by Longfellow's poem, but Revere played a vital role in America's quest for independence. He didn't have family ties going back to the Mayflower like John and Sam Adams nor was he wealthy like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. Revere's story is that of the everyman who was angered by the unfair British taxes and practices and wanted to do something about it. Miller's writing has real flair that brings two hundred year old events to life. Readers will quickly come to understand the real Paul Revere and his role in the Revolutionary War. He was a brilliant entrepreneur who developed one of the first copper mills in the US and wasn't far more than just a silversmith. His cartoons and engravings inspired colonists because of their symbolism and the emotion he captured. I've read several other biographies of our Founding Fathers, but Revere is the first who seems like an average man, someone most Americans can relate to. Miller's writing makes it an enjoyable read and as well as an important one to understand how the son of a French Huguenot became one of the most famous men of the Revolutionary Era.
SuzyqPS More than 1 year ago
The Revolutionary Paul Revere, by Joel Miller; Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2010. Ok, so you and I might have memorized or at least read the poem "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" or perhaps you remember Paul Revere and the "one if by land, two if by sea" phrase - but what else do you know about him? If you aren't a history buff, you've avoided the history sections in your local library or book store. But history is far more than just dates and names-and that's where my history teacher failed-there are human interest stories-lives behind the famous names with real character flaws and strengths that were hewn from struggles in their real lives! Reading Joel Miller's The Revolutionary Paul Revere reminded me of the unanswered questions I had in class about the man with the fast horse. What was the source of his courage that propelled him through town from Boston towards Concord and Lexington where patriotic eyes were trained on the North Church steeple? To quote Longfellow, ".he springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, but lingers and gazes till full on his sight a 'second lamp' in the belfry burns! ....the fate of a nation was riding that night. . . So through the night rode Paul Revere; And so through the night went his cry of alarm To every Middlesex village and farm--- A cry of defiance and not of fear, A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo forevermore! For borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere." There were many lessons learned that brought Paul to this moment in time. In November 1715, at age thirteen, Paul's own father, Apollos was shipped off by his father to America. Frenchman Isaac Rivoire wanted more for his son, Apollos, so he arranged for a relative to see to it that Apollos would go to Boston by way of Guernsey to escape the persecution in France of the Huguenots who wanted to remain protestants. Apollos was an indentured apprentice, working for his ship's passage, learning and working for a goldsmith in Boston. Paul, no doubt learned from his father what it meant to be free from persecution and the dictations of a government's interference in how people worshipped. Paul learned a trade that would support his large family. He also learned the importance of keeping a new country from some of the same mistakes his own father's land had made. In school we learned about the taxes imposed on the colonies by Britain: the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and the Tea Act, to name but a few. And we remember the story of the Boston Tea Party, with the masquerading patriots dressed as Indians. We were quizzed on names such as Lt. Gen. Thomas Gage, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere. But in Joel Miller's book, we get many more personal vignettes and finally get to hear "the rest of the story." Why couldn't my history teacher have made these men more personal, and real? The why's behind the event are much more interesting when you are introduced to the men and their friends, their character-their fears and their dreams! Hurray for Joel Miller! **Thomas Nelson Publishers provided the book for this book review; however, I thoroughly enjoyed it-it was already on my "to purchase" list!
Misplaced_Midwesterner More than 1 year ago
The book is a quick and easy read that follows the life of Paul Revere from the immigration of his father, Apollos, in 1716 to Revere's death in 1818. Miller highlights every day events in Revere's life that propelled him into the limelight. For example, his work as a goldsmith granted him access to key people in his community which led to his joining the influential brotherhood ~ the masons. I don't always enjoy reading biographies because usually they are fact filled and boring. Sorry but that's how I feel. I was surprised when I read this book because it was more like a novel than a biography! It was refreshing and informative to read and kept my interest to where I didn't want to put it down. The book has 22 relatively short chapters, each with a one word title followed by a heading that briefly summarizes the chapter's emphasis. I was very much surprised with the captivating story of Paul Revere. From humble beginnings, he worked hard to improve his standings and eventually attained recognition and success. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a gripping account of life in colonial Boston. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
HES927 More than 1 year ago
After deciding that we will be taking a trip to Boston this summer, I decided to read up on some of the historical figures associated with the area. I knew little of Paul Revere besides what I had been taught in school which was basically that he rode through the night to worn that the British were coming. This book provided me with background into Paul Revere's family, his associations with other political and revolutionary historical figures, and also provided information about the landscape of New England, which was something I didn't expect. The only thing I wish there was more of was pictures of family and associates. There are some pictures of people and battles, but not as many as I had hope for to aid with the imagery. But overall, this is a very well researched depiction of an extraordinary man in history, and a great read for anyone who is interested in American history.
Vipula More than 1 year ago
For someone who has no knowledge of America's freedom struggle, "The Revolutionary Paul Revere', is fast paced biography that not only talks about one of the most important patriots but also educates the reader on the start of the American freedom struggle The focus of the novel is Paul Revere, who is probably most known for his role as the express rider, who on one very famous midnight ride , awoke every house from Boston to Lexington and informed them about the approaching red coats. The story starts from his birth of France and his move to Boston under the bounds of an apprenticeship. Paul Revere is an enterprising young man who not only excels in his craft as a silversmith but also manages to rise about his station and mingle with the gentlemen of his time. In his early youth, he gets involved with the masonic society in Boston and is soon participating in the local political meeting. These early years of iniitation ensure that he becomes a key participant in the freedom struggle at its peak I beleive that Joel Miller did a very good job of explaining Paul Revere role as a revolutionary, though, some more personal details and characterstics would have made for a more interesting reading. The best thing that I liked was how this book was a crash course in American history for me - Joe talks about the American freedom struggle as much as he talks about Paul's role in it. He captures very well the first notions of dissent among the populace as newly established towns thrived inspite the various colonial laws and regulations. I learned of many famous patriot names - Sam Adams, John Hancock - which may be common knowledge to most Americans. I will be reading more on who these people were and what they did. Joel Miller's writing style is simple and succinct. It never gets text-bookish. For me it was literally a page turner! However, as this book outlines a story almost 200 years old..use of slang language is jarring and out of place. I also feel that towards the end of the book, the writer has lost his steam and is trying to just finish off the last few chapters. This book was both educating and entertaining and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in history.
nblow74 More than 1 year ago
The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller is what turned out to be a very interesting and exciting life story of Paul Revere. At first, I thought it was a little slow for the reading, only because it starts out with his family history. But given the chance and getting through that helped to understand the story as it unfolded and how it shaped Paul in the later years to come. From childhood through the French and Indian War to the pre-revolutionary economic disasters,tax fights and riots. His role in the military occupation of Boston; through Paul's part of the Boston Massacre trial, his role in the Boston Tea Party. The tragic death of his first wife through the whimsical pursuit of a new love; from his role as waterfront spy through his famous midnight ride; from his participation in the worst American naval disaster before Pearl Harbor. Revere's life in the Freemasons and the secret political clubs of Boston. Discover his role in Massachusetts' ratification of the U.S. Constitution. I would recommend this book for those of the high school age on up, because it is a lot to understand and learn. Joel J. Miller did a very good job a writing this book and at giving you as a reader a better understanding of Paul Revere as a man of society, government, military, political, family man, but also the shady side of this well known man as well. I'm glad i had the chance to read The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller and get a better understanding of American History and how Paul Revere helped shape it in so many ways.
rspooner More than 1 year ago
I just completed the book: The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller. This is a book that encompasses the extraordinary life of Paul Revere. More often than not, history bores me not because of its lack of detail, but because of its poor presentation. This book presents very well. For a historical account it was interesting and generally captivated my interest. This is a book that you read and walk away from a better person. How could I not be inspired by the incredible life of Paul Revere? Joel J. Miller takes you back to a time and a place that has been forgotten by most and had the unexpected effect of making me nostalgic. I must admit to my previous ignorance to the history of the American Revolution. However, this book gave me a whole new appreciation for liberty, and what it means. The American colonists fought for freedom, they fought to be represented and they fought to be heard. I wonder if we fight the same way today? It is much easier to sit back and let someone else take the reigns on our political rights and freedoms that these men fought for. If I could have asked for anything to be different in the book, I would have liked the pictures to be larger. I found myself squinting to see the intricate details on Revere's engravings or a particular portrait. Otherwise I found it refreshing and a mentally stimulating read that I know I will come back to. **This book was provided free of charge by Thomas Nelson
arcook More than 1 year ago
Few people have not heard of Paul Revere. After reading The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller, I can truthfully say that I know a lot more about Paul Revere than most people. The book starts with information about Paul's parents and ends with Paul's death at age 83 in 1818. The Revolutionary Paul Revere is a well documented book about the life of Paul Revere, the events leading up to the revolutionary war, the war, and post-war. In college, history was my worst subject mainly because I found it boring. Had my history books read like Joel's book, things would have been different. Joel brings Paul Revere to life and makes him a real person. The book tells of the personal and family struggles that Paul went through. In addition to his personal struggles, Paul seems to have always been in or near where the action was all his life. I gained more insight into the struggles that the colonies experienced and the hardships that they endured. There were things in this book that I never heard in any of my American history classes. The Revolutionary Paul Revere is easy to read and flows well. I found the book both enjoyable and informative. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to learn more about this American hero. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
historygirl2008AS More than 1 year ago
Most people know Paul Revere for his famous midnight ride but he did so much more and thats what I learned about in this book. I was really interested in reading this book because I love history and this book did not dissapoint. I liked this author's writting style and that this biography was actualling engaging and not dry and boring. This book was also very easy to read and understand, its somewhat of a long book (304 pages) but its a good read and I believe it also would be a very good resource for anybody. I thought this book was very good and I will probally read this book again. I recomend this book highly to anyone expecially if your a history lover.
LauraN More than 1 year ago
his was a great read. The cover has a great feel to it, so it's comfortable to hold. The chapters are fairly short and easy to read. This period of history has so many people of interest. The author does a good job of introducing people, reminding us who they are when it's been awhile since they were first mentioned, and explaining how they intersected with Paul Revere's life. This is obviously not an in-depth scholarly biography. It is a well written, easy to read description of the character and history of a man we all know of, but don't know much about. This is a great book to learn about what life was like for the residents of Boston leading up to and during the American Revolution, but it is never boring. Highly recommended. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Listen my children and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. Lamps in the church tower, a dangerous rowboat ride across the river past British ships, a ride across the countryside awakening the people of the eminent danger of troops - the high water mark of the history of famed silversmith Paul Revere. But that wasn't all he did for the independence of the United States of America. Nor is it the only thing he did with his life. The father of sixteen children, a leader in Boston politics, a silversmith, engraver, bell maker, lieutenant colonel and friend of some of the most famed leaders of colonial times - Paul Revere filled his eighty-three years. The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller is an easy read biography, skimming through the life and events of a long life as fast as Paul Revere took his ride from Charlestown to Lexington. It isn't greatly detailed or in-depth, but if you want a good review of his life this is the book for you. This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.