Rise to Rebellion
by Jeff Shaara
There is much to commend Jeff Shaara for his "Rise to Rebellion." It is an ambitious work that spans seven years of American resistance to British authority bracketed by the so-called Boston Massacre and the thirteen colonies' unanimous declaration of independence from
A scene I especially liked has
Despite these compliments, I've rated the book three stars.
I found the book to be a slow read. As much as I value subjective narration, I believe Shaara emphasized far too much what his four famous characters may have felt and thought. The major events that stirred the populace to rebellion received secondary consideration. The book, 481 pages, provided me little excitement.
Much worse, Shaara's account of the Battles of Lexington and
I judged Shaara's characterization of some of the day's notable participants to be superficial. For example, Shaara portrays Paul Revere as a simpleton who needs Dr. Joseph Warren's instruction of how he is to get across
Shaara's narration of
Shaara has Major John Pitcairn, whom he identifies as "Thomas Pitcairn," depict the redcoat advance to Lexington, the battle on the town common, the subsequent march to Concord, the exchange of musket fire at the North Bridge, and the entire march back to Charlestown. Nobody else contributes information. It is as though Shaara did not feel it expedient to provide detail or he didn't know the detail. He fills this void of information with generalizations.
He provides nothing specific about the activities of Pitcairn's advance scouts, who intercept several militiamen sent out successively by Lexington Captain John Parker to locate the army's whereabouts. He does not mention that the six light infantry companies Pitcairn commands, in advance of the six grenadier companies that the expedition's commander, Colonel Francis Smith, controls, divides in half upon reaching the Lexington common, not according to Pitcairn's wishes; and it is the first company of the six that opens fire on the 50 some militiamen standing on the common.
Shaara has Pitcairn witness the fighting at the
Shaara does write that Colonel Smith's forces were reinforced at
I recognize that it was not Shaara's intention to write a book about