Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-7033-7 • Hardback • May 2011 • $67.00 • (£52.00) - Currently out of stock. Copies will arrive soon.
978-0-7425-7034-4 • Paperback • January 2013 • $36.00 • (£28.00)
978-0-7425-7035-1 • eBook • June 2011 • $34.00 • (£26.00)
John K. Alexander is Professor of History and Distinguished Teaching Professor (Emeritus) at the University of Cincinnati. An associateeditor of American National Biography (1999), he is also the author of Render Them Submissive: Responses to Poverty in Philadelphia, 1760-1800 (1980), The Selling of the Constitutional Convention of 1787: A History of News Coverage (1990), and Samuel Adams: America’s Revolutionary Politician (2002).
Chapter 1: The Failure of Promise
Chapter 2: The People Shall Be Heard
Chapter 3: The Lurking Serpent
Chapter 4: The Politics of Principle
Chapter 5: The Great Incendiary Confronts the Quiet Period
Chapter 6: Britain Miscalculates and the Great Incendiary Strikes
Chapter 7: The Helmsman of American Independence
Chapter 8: "Zealous in the Great Cause": Winning Independence
Chapter 9: "The Principles of Liberty": The Massachusetts Scene
Chapter 10: "An Idolator of Republicanism" and the Nation's Constitution
Chapter 11: "The Consistent Republican" in the Turbulent 1790s
Students, scholars, and general readers will welcome this important new study of Samuel Adams. Indeed, this is the best biography yet of the man Jefferson called "the helmsman of the American Revolution." Alexander's extensive research supports his view that Adams, "more than anybody, consistently and ardently worked to convince Americans of the need for independence" and kept the revolutionary movement alive during the critical early 1770s. Alexander (Univ. of Cincinnati) considers Adams the US's first "modern politician" in that he made politics his lifelong occupation, grasped the political power of the media, and linked the towns of Massachusetts through committees of correspondence that ultimately became an effective intercolonial communications network. Adams has been eclipsed in US public memory by more famous founding fathers; many remember him now primarily as the fellow who brewed beer. But Alexander makes the case that Adams was one of the most significant of the country's founders and did as much as anyone to build an American republic dedicated to liberty and equality. This well-written book includes 51 pages of notes and an excellent 19-page bibliography to guide further study. Highly recommended. All university and major public libraries.
— Choice Reviews
Even for supposedly objective historians, it has often been difficult to remain neutral about Sam Adams. He was an inspiring orator or a demagogue inflaming the mob. He was a brilliant organizer or an unprincipled manipulator. Alexander gratifyingly avoids the pitfalls of easy categorization. Still, in a generally admiring biography, he convincingly asserts two consistent aspects of Adams' career. First, he was a political animal, who felt most alive when organizing, negotiating, and when necessary, compromising to achieve his goals. Second, he was a true revolutionary, who viewed the arena of politics as a means for transforming American society in accordance with republican principles. His hopes extended beyond simple independence from Britain. Within those parameters, Alexander examines Adams' activities during and after the revolution as he dealt with a variety of issues, including slavery, the rights of women, and foreign affairs. Alexander also makes clear that Adams was no austere, cold Robespierre but a man with a vibrant personal life. A well-done re-examination of the life of an American icon.
— American History
Samuel Adams is the most elusive of the Founding Fathers and, until now, the only one without a first-rate biography. Historian John Alexander, a careful author and meticulous scholar, has solved the matter of a decent life history. In this definitive biography, Alexander not only shows what made Adams tick, but fleshes out his contributions to the American Revolution. Samuel Adams: The Life of an American Revolutionary is the book for those who wish to understand both this extraordinary American Founder and the shadowy contours of the American Revolution.
— John Ferling, author of Independence and The Ascent of George Washington
John Alexander makes the case undeniable: No individual was more central than Samuel Adams to the coming of the Revolution and the effort to sustain republican society and government once independence had been achieved. Engagingly written, Samuel Adams offers a thorough and page-turning account of Adams's life and his remarkable times.
— Barbara Clark Smith, author of The Freedoms We Lost: Consent and Resistance in Revolutionary America
• Winner, CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title (CHOICE, 2011)