Samuel Adams: America's Revolutionary Politician offers a fresh full-life biography of the man Thomas Jefferson once described as the helmsman of the American Revolution. In his study, historian John K. Alexander uses narrative history to argue that Samuel Adams was both America's first professional politician and its first modern politician. Adams, Alexander argues, was an unwavering politician who strove to protect the people's basic rights and who emphasized the importance of virtue, liberty, a sense of duty, and education in fashioning a republican society. John Alexander's fresh reading of Adams's record, and a uniquely close look into his personal life, uncovers a masterful politician and a man consistent in his beliefs.
This is a deep, solid, well researched, and highly readable work of history. I am particularly impressed by Alexander's contribution to the history of the Boston 'mob' in the American Revolution. Criticizing the 'myopic' views of those at the time (as well as more recent scholars) who saw the crowd as manipulated and propagandized by Adams, he gives due credit to Adams's role while nonetheless presenting us with a crowd with agency and a mind of its own. -- Jesse Lemisch, professor of history emeritus, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York
John K. Alexander has written an intelligent, thoughtful, and concise biography of one of the most important leaders of the revolutionary generation. -- Richard E. Ellis, SUNY Buffalo, author of The Jeffersonian Crisis and The Union at Risk
It is chock full of original research and fresh observations on moments in Massachusetts's revolutionary struggle. * Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography *
A sparkling biography of a street-level politician who battled in the trenches for the American Revolution. -- Paul Green, director of policy studies, Roosevelt University