The Well-Read New Englander: The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller

By Carla Charter

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Paul Revere is famous for his midnight ride to alert colonists that the Red Coats were coming. I like many saw this flat one-sided view of this man’s story. That is until I happened to read the book, The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller.

From the first page the book drew me in not only to Paul Reveres life but the life that surrounded him in Boston as well.    This book made me aware of not just Paul Revere and his famous ride but Paul Revere the multi-faceted silver smith, family man and patriot who was an integral part of this country achieving its freedom and liberty.

Revere’s was a master silversmith using such techniques as the rococo technique, an involved process that many New England silversmiths would not use.  His connections with the wealthy elite of town, who purchased his silver, led him to the patriot cause.  The British taxes that affected them after all, trickled down to Revere’s business as well through their purchases including his connections to the Sons of Liberty.

Although I knew that Revere did not complete the famous ride to Concord that night, this book made me aware of details of the story which I had never known. The fact that Revere had been captured by the British, and had a gun held to his head before he was finally released on foot with the British taking his horse was a tale I was unaware of.  The man who did complete the ride, Samuel Prescott, too had  had an equally thrilling tale of a capture and escape before he completed the ride on that night.

I highly recommend the book to those interested in Revolutionary War History and to those just interested in this country’s past. It will change your views on Revere and the ride that night that changed the path of this country forever.

This is more than just a biography of facts it is a biography of immersion dropping you into the tinderbox Boston was at the time prior to the battle of Lexington and Concord. For anyone who want to learn more about Revere, his life, his silversmithing and the complete story of the Lexington and Concord ride, this is a book not to be missed.

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