Finished Reading: Samuel Adams- A Life by Ira Stoll

No… not the Beer Company in Boston.

I have on my shelf, and have read David McCullough’s large biography on President John Adams, but this is the first time thru the biography of Samuel. Intelligent, hard working, common man but not a “common” man by any stretch. His actions and words fill the very Genesis of our Revolutionary history. It’s confusing and unfathomable that his story isn’t more widely known or told.

I’ve just finished the book yesterday. I would probably describe Samuel Adams as a religious zealot, reformer, “community activist”, local and state leader and hero… but ultimately not the one you’d want to actually govern the nation as a whole. He was a politician, as colonial delegate to the pre and post revolutionary congresses, as a state representative and later as lieutenant governor and governor. But he was no… Politician in the manner one needs to be in leading and guiding a diverse and growing nation.

Perhaps that is why when the revolution was over, or nearly so, that he chose to step away from national affairs, and never was called on for international representation of the new republic as an ambassador, like his cousin and more well know to history books now, John.

Samuel Adams’s voice and pen rose to call for liberty and freedom for America when no one else had the courage to do so. His name and that of John Hancock were the only two specifically exempted early on in the rebellion and then in offers of negotiated peace during the war, from amnesty. All others were extended pardon and their lives if only they would drop their arms and submit… except Samuel Adams. So well known to the British overseas at the time as the instigator, Propagandizer, protagonist and antagonist that when John Adams was sent to Europe to represent America, they expected “the other” Adams.

We owe much of our freedom and country to Samuel. The first to call for rebellion. The first to try to gather the other colonies in support of Massachusetts’ cause, which lead to the continental Congress. The first to urge and push for Declaration of Independance from Britain. John Adams may have been the ambassador, the vice president, the President… but Samuel was the Revolutionary and the Instigator of our Liberty.

It really is tragic that more people don’t know this man the way he was in history. History books refer to him now more as a stirrer of mobs and an agitator. But he was much more than that. He was the Father of the very idea that we could be an Independant and Free republic apart from King George’s Britain. His was a Life that truly gave us and our Nation life.

What do you think? Have you read this book? Any thoughts to add? In the bucket down below… you know what to do. Thank for reading.
-mike

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