The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams (Hardcover)

The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams By Stacy Schiff Cover Image

The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams (Hardcover)

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A revelatory biography of arguably the most essential Founding Father—the one who stood behind the change in thinking that produced the American Revolution. "A glorious book that is as entertaining as it is vitally important” (Ron Chernow).

Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the Revolution, “Samuel Adams was the man.” John Adams thought his cousin “the most sagacious politician” of all. With high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, Adams led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history.

Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Stacy Schiff returns Adams to his seat of glory, introducing us to the shrewd, eloquent, and intensely disciplined man who supplied the moral backbone of the American Revolution. A singular figure at a sin- gular moment, Adams packaged and amplified the Boston Massacre. He helped to mastermind the Boston Tea Party. He employed every tool in an innovative arsenal to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him, creating the cause that created a country. For his efforts he became the most wanted man in America: When Paul Revere rode to Lexington in 1775, it was to warn Samuel Adams that he was about to be arrested for treason.

In The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Stacy Schiff brings her masterful skills to Adams’s improbable life, illuminating his transformation from aimless son of a well-off family to tireless, beguiling radical who mobilized the colonies. Arresting, original, and deliriously dramatic, this is a long-overdue chapter in the history of our nation.
Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize and the Ambassador Book Award; Cleopatra: A Life, winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography; and most recently, The Witches:Salem, 1692. Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she lives in New York City.
Product Details ISBN: 9780316441117
ISBN-10: 0316441112
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: October 25th, 2022
Pages: 432
Language: English
"With incomparable wit, grace, and insight, Stacy Schiff narrates the birth of the American Revolution in Boston and the artful, elusive magician who made it all happen: Samuel Adams. For too long, Adams, hiding behind his many masks and stratagems, has evaded historians, but Schiff draws him from the shadows into the spotlight he so richly deserves. A glorious book that is as entertaining as it is vitally important. This is a time for Americans to meditate on the fate of their republic and no better place to start than here, at the beginning, with this book."—Ron Chernow

"Revelatory and frequently riveting... Throughout, Schiff vividly recounts major events in the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, including the Stamp Act Crisis, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party, and draws incisive sketches of Loyalist governor Thomas Hutchinson, Patriot lawyer James Otis, and others. Fast-paced and enlightening, this is a must-read for colonial history buffs."—Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)

"Schiff is one of the most formidable nonfiction writers working today.”—BookRiot

"This is a meticulously researched and often eloquent work of historical biography… Schiff offers a welcome, fresh study featuring notions of liberty and democracy that feel particularly relevant in today’s consistently tumultuous political landscape."—Kirkus Reviews

PRAISE FOR THE WITCHES:

"An oppressive, forensic, psychological thriller: J. K. Rowling meets Antony Beevor, Stephen King, and Marina Warner... Schiff’s writing is to die for.”—The Times (London)

“Every page of The Witches is almost scandalously pleasurable, the phrases rising, cresting and falling like all the best incantations. [Schiff] casts a spell on you.” (4 Stars)
 —Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today

"Schiff brings to bear a sensibility as different from the Puritans’ as can be imagined: gentle, ironic, broadly empathetic, with a keen eye for humor and nuance. Thanks to this, and to Schiff’s narrative gifts, the present-day reader flits above New England’s smoky chimneys and thatched rooftops... it is wizardry of a sort—in a flash of brimstone, a whole world made wondrously visible.”—The Atlantic

“Haunting...the first major commercial nonfiction book on the subject in decades...Ms. Schiff instead delivers an almost novelistic, thrillerlike narrative of those manic nine months. By sidestepping most of the popular theories, The Witches...stands out from much of the existing literature.”—The New York Times

"[Schiff's] research is impeccable; no previous writer has scoured the documentary record to such great depth. Moreover, she has mastered the entire history of early New England—from long before to well after the year of the witch-hunt....Indeed, readers may experience her narrative as a virtual tour of the time and place....Schiff’s skills as a writer extend to such formal matters as structure, pacing, and point of view...she maintains throughout the authority of an omniscient narrator who is firmly in charge.”—John Demos, The New York Review of Books

"Engagingly thorough, thrillingly told and bracingly authoritative."—Jean Zimmerman, NPR

"As in her Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Cleopatra, Schiff excels at finding fresh angles on familiar stories, carries out massive research and then weaves it into a dazzling social panorama. In Henry James’s phrase from The Art of Fiction, she is a writer on whom nothing is lost....a superb account of the Terror of Salem."—Elaine Showalter, Washington Post

PRAISE FOR CLEOPATRA:

"A masterpiece...[Schiff] has brought to life Cleopatra."—Michael Korda, The Daily Beast

“A work of literature.”—Judith Thurman, The New Yorker

“Enthralling.”—Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

“Stacy Schiff is that rare combination: a first-rate historian and a brilliant storyteller. Using a wide range of sources, she spins straw into gold, conjuring the world of Ptolemaic Egypt in full vibrant color, and returning the voice of one of the most powerful, fascinating, and maligned women in history. Cleopatra is impossible to put down.”—Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson & the Olympians series

"Ms. Schiff strips away the accretions of myth that have built up around the Egyptian queen and plucks off the imaginative embroiderings of Shakespeare, Shaw and Elizabeth Taylor. In doing so, she gives us a cinematic portrait of a historical figure far more complex and compelling than any fictional creation, and a wide, panning, panoramic picture of her world."

Michiko Kakutani, New York Times